Over his last four games in TD Garden, Devin Booker has averaged 43 points, including 70 back in 2017. With the second place Phoenix back in Boston, you’d have to think that the Celtics would focus on shutting down the Suns guard.
For most of the night, it was Marcus Smart putting the clamps on Booker, holding him to 6-of-13 shooting and two assists. However, it was Kemba Walker stepping in on three offensive charges that would truly change the complexion of the Suns’ offense and eventually fouling out their leading scorer.
You gotta love Smart’s reactions after each one.
Walker scored 32 points on the night, but it was those three calls that held Booker to just 26 minutes that really influenced the outcome. All year, Kemba has been finding ways to make winning plays as he recovers from an offseason knee procedure and even on a night where he was the leading scorer for both teams, he sacrificed his body and contributed big time on the defensive end.
After the game, Smart said of Walker, “Kemba’s been struggling coming off that injury. He’s been hearing it a lot, a lot of backlash from it. I’m just proud of the way he’s responded. He comes in everyday, gets his work in, doesn’t let anything phase him, very professional, and he comes out and it pays off. I’m very happy. I’m very proud of him and I’m excited that he’s finally getting his legs back under him.”
With the three drawn charges tonight, the 6’0 Kemba Walker is now tied with Blake Griffin, Montrezl Harrell, and Kyle Lowry for the league lead.