Not long before the Los Angeles Lakers took the court to face the Minnesota Timberwolves, the NBA world was buzzing thanks to an outstanding performance in Boston. Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker became just the sixth player in NBA history to score 70 points in a single game.
Booker put on a truly memorable performance as he shot 21-40 from the field, 4-11 from three-point range, and 24-26 from the free throw line while adding eight rebounds, six assists, and three steals. The last person to reach this mark of course, was Booker’s idol and Lakers legend Kobe Bryant.
In fact, it was Bryant who inspired Booker’s performance as after the game Booker mentioned an interview from Kobe that sticks with him to this day (via Adam Himmelsbach of the Boston Globe):
“I’ve seen an interview with Kobe where he said what separated him from a lot of people was that he thought everyone thought 30 points was a lot. He said he never set himself with a limit, and that always sticks in my head. He said he’d score 100 if he could, so he never had a limit, I don’t put a limit on anything.”
The performance caught the eye of everyone in the basketball world, including Bryant himself, who shouted Booker out on Twitter:
— Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) March 25, 2017
Booker’s performance was truly a special one, especially considering his age. At only 20 years old he is easily the youngest player to ever reach that mark. The fact that Booker has taken so much from Kobe shows how influential he was.
Booker joins Kobe, Wilt Chamberlain, David Robinson, Elgin Baylor, and David Thompson as the only players to reach the 70-point mark.