Basketball purists are not going to like this, but the Utah Jazz did it anyway.
The Jazz won their game over the Phoenix Suns, 125-92. It was a blowout that was never really competitive, and with the win, the Jazz moved into a fifth-place tie with the Los Angeles Clippers in the Western Conference standings.
However, the story of the game wasn't the Jazz winning -- it was Devin Booker 59-point effort. He became just the second player -- along with Tom Chambers -- to post multiple 50-point games in a Suns uniform. As you may remember, Booker scored 70 points in a losing effort to the Boston Celtics back in 2017.
While that is impressive, the story then shifted from Booker's 59-point effort into the Jazz fouling another Suns player to prevent the young shooting guard from reaching the 60-point plateau for the second time in his career.
As you'll see in the clip below, the Jazz intentionally fouled Suns forward Ray Spalding with 18.9 seconds remaining to prevent Booker from having the opportunity to score 60 points.
Why didn’t Booker get 60? Because the Jazz fouled his teammates to take away the opportunity 😅 pic.twitter.com/QHOlnGWMCQ— Def Pen Hoops (@DefPenHoops) March 26, 2019
As the commentator mentions in the video, why couldn't the Jazz just man up and play Booker fairly? Put your best defender on him and let them go one on one and make him earn the 60 points. Don't come up with "creative tactics" to prevent a player from scoring 60 points when you already have the game won. You have nothing to lose if you're the Jazz at that point.
Although we didn't get to see Booker score 60 points due to Jazz head coach Quin Snyder's strategy of playing scared, the 22-year-old became just the fourth player in NBA history under the age of 23 to score 50-plus points in multiple games. He joins an exclusive list, featuring Rick Barry, LeBron James and Kyrie Irving.
Rick Barry ✅@KingJames ✅@KyrieIrving ✅@DevinBook ✅— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) March 26, 2019
D-Book is the fourth player in NBA history with multiple 50-point games before turning 23 🔥 pic.twitter.com/A9sD0jwCW8
Despite Snyder depriving Booker of the 60-point plateau with a shameful strategy, 59 points isn't any less impressive than "60."
If Booker didn't play for a rebuilding Suns squad, we can only imagine what type of impact he'd have on a playoff contender.