Tuesday marks the third-year anniversary of Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker's 70-point game at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts.
On March 24, 2017, Booker became the sixth player in NBA history to reach the 70-point threshold, joining all-time greats like Wilt Chamberlain, David Robinson, David Thompson, Elgin Baylor and Kobe Bryant.
The one-time All-Star became the youngest player to score 70 points - or even 60 points - in a game, though his efforts came in a loss to the hometown Celtics.
Booker's career-night came as he shot 21-for-40 (52.5%) from the field and 4-for-11 (36.3%) from 3-point land. He would also get to the free throw line frequently as he went 24-for-26 from the charity stripe.
Booker has continued to prove he's one of the league's most talented bucket-getters, going for 40-plus points nine times and 50-plus points twice since his historic 70-point game.
Although the then-20-year-old had been tabbed as a prolific scorer when he was selected 13th overall in the 2015 NBA Draft, the scoring outburst still came as a surprise. To that point in his young career, Booker had yet to even score 40 points in a game, going for 39 on three different occasions that season while maxing out at 35 points as a rookie the year before.
We know players like James Harden, Damian Lillard, Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant can fill it up in a hurry, but Booker's big night was unexpected. So who are some "under the radar" players that could be next to crack that 70-point milestone?
Buddy Hield, Sacramento Kings
Hield has topped his career-high twice this season, going for 41 against the Celtics back in November before dropping 42 points on the Minnesota Timberwolves in January.
If the 27-year-old guard can get his 3-point jumper going, he can score in bunches. We saw that in both of the above performances, going for a career-high 11 3s against Boston and nine 3s against Minnesota.
He's not afraid to continue to let the deep ball fly, as evidence of his 21 3-point attempts against the Celtics. The one knock - and common denominator in both of his 40-point games would be that Hield doesn't get to the free throw line enough to score 70.
In Booker's performance, he attempted 26 free throws. Hield was 0-for-1 from the line when he dropped 41 on Boston and only had five attempts against the Timberwolves. His sniper-like perimeter shooting makes him an enticing under the radar option, but he'd have to get to the free throw line more.
Brandon Ingram, New Orleans Pelicans
Ingram is another player who had never eclipsed the 40-point mark until this season, but he's reached that milestone twice now. Scoring 49 points in an overtime win over the Utah Jazz, Ingram fell just shy of the 50-point mark but with the way he's played this season, he's due to get there sooner rather than later.
The first-time All-Star is having a breakout year in his first season with the Pelicans, recreating himself offensively, firing away from long range at the highest and most efficient of his career (38.7% on 6.3 attempts per game) while getting to the free throw line at the highest rate of his career (5.9 attempts per game).
His 24.3 points per game ranks 13th-best in the league as a result and at the young age of 22-years-old, Ingram's all-around offensive abilities are really starting to shine through.
His recent success as a 3-point shooter combined with his already polished scoring inside the perimeter and his newly increased free throw rate makes Ingram a great candidate as an under the radar 70-point scorer.
Zach LaVine, Chicago Bulls
Over the past two seasons with the Bulls, we've really seen LaVine take his scoring to another level. He has one of the league's greenest green lights when it comes to shot selection with his 20.0 field goal attempts per game ranking just outside the top-five in the NBA. He's become a high-volume 3-point shooter and he's converting from deep at an efficient clip of 38.0%.
LaVine is averaging 25.5 points per game - good for 12th-best in the NBA - and his six 40-point games this season ranks fifth-most in the league behind prolific scorers like James Harden, Trae Young, Bradley Beal and Damian Lillard.
When LaVine dropped a career-high 49 points on the Charlotte Hornets earlier this season, he poured in 13 3-pointers, falling just one shy of tying Klay Thompson's all-time NBA record for 3s in a game. LaVine had only shot two free throws in that contest, showing that if he can get that 3-point stroke going and get to the free throw line, he's more than capable of flirting with the 70-point mark.
LaVine is my favourite candidate on this list.
Terrence Ross, Orlando Magic
Did you know that Ross had once scored 51 points in an NBA game?
Back in 2013-14 as a member of the Toronto Raptors, Ross dropped 51 points on the LA Clippers shooting 16-for-29 from the field, 10-for-17 from 3 and 9-for-10 from the free throw line. He's typically one of the first names that comes to mind when you think of under the radar players that have scored 50 in a game, so why not 70?
Six years later, the 29-year-old can still fill it up.
He had just dropped 35 points (halfway there!) a week before the NBA's suspension, going 12-for-18 from the field and 8-for-10 from long range against an elite defence like the Miami Heat.
I know it doesn't sound likely, but when it comes to making a list of unexpected players that could drop 70, it would be disrespectful to not at least mention a veteran like Ross.
Karl-Anthony Towns, Minnesota Timberwolves
I had to include at least one big man and when it comes to centres that can score, few can do it like Towns.
The Timberwolves' franchise cornerstone already has seven 40-point games and one 50-point game to his name at just 24 years old. He's a pioneer as a new-wave centre who can both bang in the post but also step beyond the arc and shoot from long range - converting his 7.9 3-point attempts at a 41.2% clip this season.
At 22 years old, we saw Towns drop a career-high 56 points on the Atlanta Hawks by way of 19-for-32 from the field, 6-for-8 from 3 and 12-for-15 from the free throw line. Any player that can score 56 points in a game is more than capable of taking things up one more notch if they got hot like that again.
Who's to say Towns couldn't knock down a couple more 3s and get to the free throw line a few more times to reach 70?
If you're looking for a big that might be able to eclipse 70 points, Minnesota's 24-year-old centre is your best bet.
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