Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker broke a sequence of NBA data on Monday evening however couldn’t forestall his workforce from dropping a fourth recreation in a row.
The 22-year-old completed with 59 factors, capturing 19-of-34 from the sphere, because the Suns had been thrashed 125-92 by the Utah Jazz in Salt Lake City.
Booker’s 59 factors had been his season-high and the third-highest whole in Suns’ historical past and it was solely prevented from reaching the 60-point milestone by the Jazz’s systematic double-teams.
“Devin is the face of the franchise,” Suns head coach Igor Kokosov mentioned after the sport. “He’s the present and future of this team.”
Booker’s was additionally the third-best particular person efficiency within the league this season, behind James Harden’s two 61-point efforts and Kemba Walker’s 60 factors in opposition to Philadelphia in November final yr.
He is the 12th totally different participant to attain at the very least 50 factors this season, however Harden alone has reached the milestone 9 instances already.
Despite his scoring spree, Booker grew to become the primary participant in NBA historical past to document at the very least 50 factors in a recreation by which his workforce misplaced by at the very least 30 factors.
That wasn’t the one undesirable accolade for Booker. Data compiled by ESPN Stats & Info exhibits the 15th general decide of the 2015 NBA draft grew to become solely the fifth participant in NBA historical past to lose the primary two recreation by which he scored at the very least 50 factors, becoming a member of Bob McAdoo, Hakeem Olajuwon, Michael Redd and LeBron James.
However, Booker additionally grew to become solely the fourth participant in NBA historical past to attain 50 factors in two separate video games earlier than his 23rd birthday. Rick Barry had seven earlier than turning 23, whereas LeBron and Kyrie Irving achieved the feat three and two instances, respectively.
According to Elias Sports Bureau, the previous Kentucky pupil can be solely the third participant after Kobe Bryant and David Robinson to attain 50 or extra factors in a recreation by which none of his teammates reached double figures.
To put issues into context, the Suns’ different 4 starters mixed for a meagre 14 factors on Monday evening, whereas the bench produced a complete of 19 factors.
The determine meant Booker scored 64 p.c of Phoenix’s factors, the second-highest proportion over the past 25 seasons, bettered solely by Bryant’s 81-point recreation in 2006, which amounted to 66 p.c of the Los Angeles Lakers’ whole factors.
Phoenix, admittedly, was with out the injured T.J. Warren and Kelly Oubre Jr, who common 18 and 15.2 factors per recreation this season, respectively. Josh Jackson and Tyler Johnson, who contribute 11 and 10.9 factors per recreation on common, had been additionally lacking.
Booker, who in 2017 grew to become the youngest participant to attain at the very least 60 factors, additionally set a brand new scoring document on the Vivint Smart Home Arena. In the Jazz’s residence court docket’s 22-year historical past, no person had scored greater than 51 factors—a document held by Karl Malone, LeBron and Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf.
Despite Booker’s brilliance, Phoenix slumped to a fourth straight loss, their seventh defeat within the final eight video games. The Suns stay backside of the Western Conference with a 17-58 document, the second-worst within the league after the New York Knicks’ 14-60.