Devin Booker became the youngest player in NBA history to score 70 points in a game -- nobody his age had ever even scored 60. After he scored his final points of the night in a 130-120 loss to the Celtics on Friday, everyone was happy for the 20-year-old Suns guard.
Well, not everyone.
Celtics point guard Isaiah Thomas didn’t appreciate the way that Booker finished the game. The game was well in hand from basically the opening tip, and Thomas felt Booker and the Suns chased points toward the end of the game.
“It was weird what they were doing,” Thomas said. “I’ve never seen nothing like that -- chasing those numbers. I mean, it is what it is.”
Thomas said that his teammates were also upset with what the Suns were doing.
“I don’t think anybody’s ever seen that,” he said. “I mean, continue to call timeouts -- continue to foul when we’re up 15. But, I mean it was obvious what they were trying to do -- give him the most points possible. I mean, hat off to him though, he played a hell of a game.”
When asked whether the Celtics took it as a sign of disrespect, Thomas gave a nice little shot to the Suns, saying, “We’re worried about the playoffs, they’re worried about the lottery.”
You can kind of see where Thomas is coming from here. The 5-foot-9 scoring machine is averaging 29 points per game, and put up a career-high 52 this past December. Surely in his mind, he thinks he could score 70 if the game was a blowout and it was the Celtics’ sole mission to get him buckets.
Even when Kobe scored 81 back in 2006, he took a ton of shots but he was doing it to bring the Lakers back from behind and eventually win the game. He wasn’t taking advantage of garbage time to pad his stats.
But then again, come on. Booker’s 20 years old and this could very well be the highlight of his career. As Thomas said himself, the Suns are going nowhere this season or in the immediate future. They saw an opportunity to make a memory for themselves and the fans, and they capitalized on it.
Can’t really blame them for that.