I've mentioned a few times the NBA is in a very good place, and tonight was a terrific example as to what I mean.
Nikola Jokic put up 17 points, 12 rebounds and 4 assists in his first 14 minutes. He is 22.
Sounds amazing? Well he got outdone by Giannis Antentokuonmpo who managed to put up 17 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals and a block in the first quarter. He is also 22.
But these were just appetizers, when Devin Booker hit his and one free throw for his 50th point today it set an NBA record as the ninth player in a single season to hit the half century mark. Only there was still 6 minutes and 40 seconds left in the game. He managed to drop another 20 points in that time, bringing him up to 28 points in the 4th quarter alone.
Devin Booker became just the 4th person to score at least 70 points since 1963-1964, the first person to do so under 25 years old to do so since David Thompson put up 73 as a 23 year old in 1978. That was almost 40 years ago, twice Devin Booker's age. As a 20 year old, Booker managed to score 70, 3.5x his own age in an NBA game on a mere 40 shots.
Going back to the list of guys who hit 50 this season, Russell Westbrook is oldest player on the list, and he's 28.
Beyond setting the record for the most players to drop 50 point games in a single season, 2016-17 has also set the record for most triple doubles in a single season. It did so on March 5th when the league collected its 79th triple double, topping the record set in 1988-89 when Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan were all basically in their primes. The season still has about 10 games to go, and that number has already climbed to 97.