- CLUTCH SUMMARY: The Phoenix Suns were bad again last season, but Devin Booker enjoyed a career year.
- Booker put forth a number of monster performances, including nearly scoring 50 points in three straight games.
Phoenix Suns star Devin Booker managed to overcome the odds after yet another year without some real help, taking yet another leap in his evolution as a player. The 22-year-old phenom was tasked with being the primary playmaker for the majority of the season, as well as handling the bulk of the scoring load, resulting in a career-best season with averages of 26.6 points and 6.8 assists per game soon after inking a five-year, $158 million extension with the franchise.
While there wasn't much going right for the Suns, Booker did have one hell of an individual regular season, with these three key performances standing out from the rest.
3. Devin Booker drops 40-point, 13-assist gem in frantic OT win over Pelicans (3/16/2019)
Spoiler alert: This was the only one of the three moments in which the Suns won the game, and it happened in the strangest of ways.
Booker constantly torched the New Orleans Pelicans' defense with his long-striding drives and his perimeter shooting, including a timely block in overtime that gave Phoenix the chance to claw back into the game, but it would be the second of two gaffes by the Pelicans — having called for a timeout they didn't have — which put the ball back un Booker's hands, allowing him to seal the deal with a pair of free throws.
2. Devin Booker goes for 59 on the road against Utah Jazz, hears the cheers from typically hostile crowd (3/25/2019)
This was no 70-point game, but Booker has had a habit of making his presence felt on the road. The Suns were counting on Book to deliver with no Kelly Oubre Jr. or Jamal Crawford active to give him some scoring support.
The game wasn't close, but the Michigander was determined to put up as many points as he could. Booker took a seat with 5:12 left in the fourth quarter and 56 points in his bag, but the crowd wanted more from the young phenom, who re-entered the game despite a 31-point deficit, only to be double- and triple-teamed by the Jazz.
The 22-year-old had his way with Joe Ingles, Royce O'Neal and Jae Crowder — the latter is rather familiar with his scoring prowess, as it was Crowder who checked Booker during his legendary 70-point night. Utah would foul on purpose just to keep Booker away from a 60-piece, something that irked the Suns' broadcasting crew who saw Booker carve the Jazz defense alive time and time again through his 41 minutes on the floor.
1. Devin Booker follows 59-point game with 50-point, 10-rebound masterpiece (3/27/2019)
Just when we thought we had seen the best from him, the Kentucky standout had more to give in a late-season showdown against the Washington Wizards. The Suns shooting guard would once again score 19 field goals on his way to 50 points in a loss to the Wizards, scorching his competition from every spot on the floor.
It's tough enough to have a 50-point game in a season, yet Booker had two consecutive ones with only a day between them. The marksman would come close to making it three 50-point nights in a row three nights after, dropping 48 points and 11 assists against the Memphis Grizzlies on March 30 while trying to shake off a late-season skid.
Booker had a dominant end to the season before he sprained his ankle in the first quarter of an April 3 game against the Jazz, forcing him to miss the three remaining games of the season.