Harden makes some more history
James Harden scored 51 points, hauled down 13 rebounds and handed out 13 assists leading the Rockets to a win over the 76ers on Friday night. It marked the second time Harden produced a triple-double with 50 points this season, having also done that on December 31 against the Knicks. No other player in NBA history has done that twice in a single season, and only two players have done it twice in their career: Elgin Baylor and Wilt Chamberlain.
There have been three triple-doubles with 50 points this season, the other produced by Russell Westbrook on October 28. Prior to the 2016-17 season, no player had a performance of that kind since Kareem Abdul-Jabbar on January 19, 1975.
LeBron’s big night ends Cleveland’s losing streak
LeBron James registered 31 points and 11 assists and made 13 of his 18 field-goal attempts in Cleveland’s win over Brooklyn on Friday night. It marked the second time this season that James produced at least 30 points and 10 assists while making 70 percent of his field-goal attempts, having also done that on December 10 against Charlotte. Over the last 25 seasons, only two other players have had multiple games of that type in a single season: Gary Payton (2000-01) and Deron Williams (2007-08). Prior to this season, James had only one game in which he recorded at least 30 points, 10 assists and a .700 or higher field-goal percentage in his career (March 24, 2013) and there has been only one other game of that type this season, by Kyrie Irving on December 29 against Boston.
Celtics beat Magic by 30 for the second straight time
After beating the Magic by a score of 117-87 in December, the Celtics put another whipping on
Orlando with a resounding 128-98 win on Friday night. It’s only the second time in the Celtics’ franchise history they won consecutive games, each by 30 or more points, against one opponent in a single season. Boston beat Cleveland by scores of 126-95 and 126-96 in consecutive contests during the 1985-86 season.
Pelicans’ big second-half startles Spurs
The Spurs took a nine-point lead into halftime but the Pelicans outscored San Antonio by 25 points in the second half to come away with a 119-103 win on Friday night. It marked the first time San Antonio was outscored by 25 or more points in the second half of a game it led at halftime in over five years, since Miami scored 71 points and allowed only 35 to the Spurs in the third and fourth quarters combined after trailing by 14 points at the half on January 17, 2012.
Miles scores all of his 18 points on three-pointers
C.J. Miles was 6-for-9 from three-point range accounting for all of his 18 points in Indiana’s overtime win over Sacramento on Friday night. That tied the Pacers franchise record for most points scored in a game, with all coming on three-point field goals. Miles did that earlier this season, with 18 points on 6-for-9 shooting from beyond the arc against the Mavericks on December 9; and two other Pacers did it prior to this season: Travis Diener in 2008 (6-for-8) and C.J. Watson in 2013 (6-for-7).
Butler’s poor shooting does in struggling Bulls
Jimmy Butler made only one of his 13 field-goal attempts in the Bulls’ loss to the Heat in Chicago on Friday night. That is the third-worst shooting performance by a Bulls player with more than 10 attempts in a losing effort at the United Center ahead of only Ron Artest, who missed all of his 13 shots on December 18, 1999 against the Magic and Toni Kukoc who was 1-for-14 against the Knicks on November 3, 1999 in Chicago’s current home.
All Wizards starters score 15 or more points for the second time this month
All five Washington starters scored at least 15 points in the team’s win over the Hawks on Friday night. It marked the second time this season all five Wizards starters produced 15 or more points, with both games coming this month (the other was on January 6). The last time Washington had multiple games of that kind in a calendar month was in January of 1971 (four games).
Jennings comes up big in the fourth quarter
Brandon Jennings scored nine of his 15 points in the fourth quarter leading the Knicks to a 110-107 win over the Hornets on Friday night. Jennings has scored 40.2 percent of his points in the fourth quarter this season (157 of 391), the fourth-highest percentage among players that have scored at least 350 points, behind Marreese Speights (45 percent), Langston Galloway (42.3 percent) and Zach Randolph (40.5 percent).
Crabbe makes six shots from beyond the arc off the bench
Allen Crabbe made six of his eight three-point attempts in a 23-point effort off the bench in Portland’s win over Memphis on Friday night. The only other Trail Blazers to make at least six three-pointers off the bench in a regulation game are James Jones (six in 2008), Rudy Fernandez (six in 2009 and 2011) and Nicolas Batum (nine in 2012).