Suns’ Booker shines with 70, but Celtics win

The Denver Post - - SPORTS - Kyle Hightower

bos­ton» Phoenix’s Devin Booker scored 70 points, be­com­ing the sixth dif­fer­ent player in NBA his­tory to reach that to­tal, but the Bos­ton Celtics got 34 points from Isa­iah Thomas and out­lasted the Suns 130-120 on Fri­day night.

Booker joined Wilt Cham­ber­lain, Kobe Bryant, David Thomp­son, David Robinson and El­gin Bay­lor as the NBA’s 70-point scor­ers. Bay­lor also held the pre­vi­ous record against the Celtics with 64 points in Min­neapo­lis for the Lak­ers on Nov. 8, 1959.

Just 20 years old, Booker scored 51 af­ter half­time.

The win, Bos­ton’s third straight, avenged its buzzer-beater loss in Phoenix ear­lier this month. Suns guard Devin Booker takes a shot Fri­day. The As­so­ci­ated Press

The re­match was dom­i­nated early by the Celtics as they hit eight 3-point­ers dur­ing a 37-point sec­ond quar­ter to grow their lead as high as 26 points.

Cham­ber­lain had six 70-point games, and his 62 points on Jan. 14, 1962, had been the most in Bos­ton.

Phoenix, which has al­ready been elim­i­nated from play­off con­tention, had only eight avail­able play­ers be­cause of in­juries. Younger than some lineups in the NCAA Tour­na­ment, the Suns have lost seven straight and nine of their last 10, and they were out of this one early be­fore Booker’s ex­plo­sive per­for­mance made it in­ter­est­ing.

His pre­vi­ous ca­reer best was 39, which he reached three times be­fore Fri­day. He had 19 points at half­time, then scored 23 in the third quar­ter to get the Suns back within range.

The Suns’ pre­vi­ous scor­ing record was held by Tom Cham­bers. He had 60 points March 24, 1990. Booker was 10 for 10 from the free throw line in the third quar­ter.

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