NBA

Devin Booker scores 70 against Celtics, but Suns lose

Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker gestures after he scored a basket, as fans cheer him at TD Garden in the fourth quarter of the Suns' NBA basketball game against the Boston Celtics.

Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker gestures after he scored a basket, as fans cheer him at TD Garden in the fourth quarter of the Suns' NBA basketball game against the Boston Celtics.  (AP)

Devin Booker scored 70 points, becoming the sixth player in N.B.A. history to reach that total, but the Boston Celtics got 34 points from Isaiah Thomas and outlasted the Phoenix Suns by 130-120 on Friday night.

Booker joined Wilt Chamberlain, Kobe Bryant, David Thompson, David Robinson and Elgin Baylor as the N.B.A.’s 70-point scorers. Baylor also held the previous record against the Celtics with 64 points in Minneapolis for the Lakers on Nov. 8, 1959.

The win was Boston’s third straight, and it avenged its buzzer-beater loss in Phoenix earlier this month.

The rematch was dominated early by the Celtics as they hit eight 3-pointers during a 37-point second quarter to grow their lead as high as 26 points.

Chamberlain had six 70-point games, and his 62 points on Jan. 14, 1962, had been the most in Boston.

Phoenix has already been eliminated from playoff contention, and had only eight available players because of injuries. Younger than some lineups in the N.C.A.A. tournament, the Suns have lost seven straight and nine of their last 10, and they were out of this one early before Booker’s explosive performance made it interesting.

His previous career best was 39, which he had reached three times before Friday. He had 19 points at halftime, then scored 23 in the third quarter to get the Suns back within range.

Boston took advantage of a disastrous shooting start by the Suns to build an early cushion.

The Suns missed their first 13 shots from the floor before Booker finally hit the first field goal for Phoenix on a layup with 4 minutes 40 seconds left in the first quarter.