Booker Goes Back-to-Back with Another 50-Point Performance

by Cody Cunningham

“I’m going for 50,” Devin Booker said to his brother during the second quarter.

After dropping 59 points in the Suns previous game, Devin Booker erupted for another remarkable performance against the Washington Wizards on Wednesday.

Booker started the game strong with 18 points in the first quarter and looked well on his way to a big night. After scoring 20, 22, and 27 in the first half of the previous three games, Booker one-upped himself again with 30 of the Suns 59 points as they entered halftime tied with the Wizards.

This was already Booker’s 17th consecutive game of 20-plus points for the longest streak of his career and tied with Charlies Scott for the fourth longest in Suns history. This was also his 9th straight game with at least 25 points, also a career-long, and tied Scott again for the second-longest by a Sun.

Booker joined James Harden as the only players in the NBA this season with four straight games of 20-plus points by halftime.

Deandre Ayton stepped in to make history of his own during the third quarter as the Big Fella notched his 38th double-double of the season. Not only does this lead all current rookies, but he broke Alvan Adams' record from 1975-76 for the most double-doubles by a Suns rookie in franchise history.

“I think he’s having the most underrated rookie season in a very long time,” Booker said. “The most important part for me is he gets better every day on both ends of the ball…We’re going to be together for a very long time so I’m excited to have him as my teammate.”

The Suns led by one entering the fourth quarter as Booker sat just two points shy of his career-high at home with 39 points.

Booker checked back in with 9:46 remaining in the game and quickly went to work. Just 15 seconds after checking in, Booker drove for the layup, got fouled and made the and-one bucket. He surpassed his career-high at home with 42 points as he joined Tom Chambers as the only Suns in franchise history to have back-to-back games of 40-plus points.

But while 40 is nice, Booker said he was going 50.

The Suns were down by two with under two minutes remaining in the game and Booker needed just one more bucket to reach the fifty mark. Jamal Crawford found Booker sprinting down the court on a fast break as Booker laid it up for the score.

The game was tied and Booker had himself another 50-point night. He became the first Sun ever to produce back-to-back 50-point performances and was just the tenth player in NBA history to do so joining Wilt Chamberlain, James Harden, Elgin Baylor, Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan, Rick Barry, Bernard King, Antawn Jamison and Allen Iverson.

At just 22-years-old, Booker became the youngest player ever in NBA history to record consecutive 50-point outings as he continues to carve his way into the record books.

“It’s a blessing,” Booker said. “It’s an honor, I say it every day, to lace it up and play a sport that I love. Every time I’m out there, I’m trying to find ways to get better and find out ways to get wins for this team. I think right now, it’s time for me to be more aggressive, being down a couple men. Teammates helping me, setting good screens. Jamal made a couple tremendous passes today that got me easy buckets so it was a team effort.”

Unfortunately for the Suns, this didn’t come in a win as Bradley Beal connected with Thomas Bryant for a game-winning bucket as the Wizards defeated the Suns 124-121.

Booker finished the game with 50 points and a career-high ten rebounds for his tenth double-double of the season. He shot a highly-efficient 65.5 percent from the field (19/29) while shooting 90 percent from the free throw line (9/10).

“Devin Booker is Devin Booker,” Head Coach Igor Kokoskov said. “As a coach, as somebody who cares about him, I’m happy for his numbers… Not surprised at all. I don’t think anybody in the arena, whoever watched the game is surprised. He didn’t force anything, tried to find teammates, make the simple play and make the tough plays.”

While both of his other 50-point games came on the road in Boston (70) and Utah (59), Booker was happy he was able to share this performance with the hometown fans in The Valley.

“Here with the people that support us,” Booker said. “The fans in Phoenix have been behind us the past four years since I’ve been here. They deserve that. It’s entertainment for them, they come to the game and hopefully I try to put on a show for them and hope they enjoy and make memories that last forever.”

Over the last two games, Booker has scored a total of 109 points on 60.3 percent from the field, 47 percent from the three-point line and 92.6 percent from the free throw line.

Booker and the Suns remain at home for their final home stand of the season as they gear up to face the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday be sure to catch the action on Fox Sports Arizona.

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