A few days after the four-year anniversary of his historic 70-point game, Devin Booker continues to show his evolution, turning in a masterful performance against the Chicago Bulls.
The 24-year-old went off for a season-high 45 points in the Phoenix Suns' 121-116 win, and while he's one of the best scorers in the league, the two-time All-Star continues to display different facets of his game, from his playmaking, defence and work off the ball.
"Just trying to be a complete player, that's playing both ends, that's doing everything out there," Booker said post-game.
"Not just scoring the ball, not just defending, setting screens for my teammates, making the right play and hitting a couple clutch baskets."
Without Chris Paul on the floor, Booker becomes the Suns defacto point guard, handling the ball, setting up teammates and seamlessly transitions into a dynamic off-ball threat, forming a terrifying offensive tandem alongside the 36-year-old.
Devin Booker scored 45 points tonight, the 6th in his career.- StatMuse (@statmuse) April 1, 2021
No other Suns player has more than 2 in franchise history. pic.twitter.com/gpJr2hJoEP
With his second 40-point game of the season, Booker now has the second-most in Suns franchise history, with tonight's performance coming at a scorchingly efficient clip.
He shot 17-of-24 from the field, 2-of-5 from beyond the arc and 9-of-10 at the free-throw line, seven of which came in the fourth quarter.
"I think the fact that he does it in the course of how we're playing, not like he's out there hunting and trying to get it - it's over the course of the game," Chris Paul said of Booker. "I didn't even realise till the fourth quarter he had as many as he did."
When it mattered most, he delivered down the stretch,
With the Suns up by five with under 40 seconds to go, Booker blew past All-Star big man Nikola Vucevic to get the tough left-hand lay in to go to put the result beyond doubt.
"I was just making shots," Booker said. "Getting good screens, getting in the paint and taking what the defence gives me. Got a few transition ones early to get in a rhythm."
Game on the line?- Bally Sports Arizona (@BallySportSAZ) April 1, 2021
No problem. pic.twitter.com/CchIoFtOyG
Booker's ability to get to the rim, draw fouls, kill you from mid-range and step back beyond the 3-point line creates a headache for opposing defenders as he continues to find new ways to score on a nightly basis.
"He's one of the rare guys in the league who can score on all three levels, with the ball, without the ball and he can post up," Suns head coach Monty Williams said. "He did it every way you can describe or imagine tonight."
Averaging 25.5 points, 4.5 assists and 4.1 rebounds on 49.5 percent from the field and 35.1 percent from long-range, Booker has the Suns sitting second in the Western Conference as they improve to 33-14 on the season with their fourth straight win.
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