Wednesday produced some interesting stories in the NBA as we saw a team become the first to 50 wins (San Antonio Spurs), a future Hall of Famer turn back the clock (Kevin Garnett) and a team that won despite giving up the first 14 points of the game (Atlanta Hawks).
Unlike the Los Angeles Lakers, and most recently the New York Knicks, the Spurs weren't going to fall in Cleveland. Playing their second game without injured point guard Tony Parker, the Spurs improved to a league-best 50-11. Even more remarkably, it's the 12th consecutive 50-win season for a franchise that few label a dynasty.
Last year, it was the Cavaliers who became the first team to 50 wins. And if they lose their next game, on Friday against the Knicks, the Cavaliers will become the first team this season to 50 losses!
Could we see a Spurs-Celtics NBA Finals? Garnett turned back the clock Wednesday as he scored 28 points and added 11 rebounds in a 115-103 win over the Suns. It was the 214th time in his career that Garnett has produced at least 25 points and 10 rebounds in a game. Only teammate Shaquille O'Neal and Tim Duncan have done it more frequently among active players. For Garnett, it was just the second time he's done it this season.
Most Consecutive 50-Win Seasons
With their 12th consecutive 50-win season, the Spurs tie an NBA record set by the Lakers during the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar-Magic Johnson years.
We're always quick to compare bench scoring, but it was the Celtics' starters who thoroughly outplayed their Phoenix counterparts. Each Celtics starter scored at least 13 points, while Vince Carter and Grant Hill led Suns starters with 11 points apiece. Maybe Phoenix was just tired after thrilling last-second overtime road wins over the Pacers and Nets to close out February.
The Bulls were fast starters, jumping out to a 14-0 lead over the Hawks. Things didn't end well, however, as the Bulls scored just 30 points in the second half after leading by 17 at the break. It was Chicago's lowest-scoring half of the season as they went on to lose 83-80.
So how rare is it for a team to lose after scoring the first 14 points of a game? The Elias Sports Bureau reports that the Bulls were the first team to do it since ... the Bulls on January 5, 2007. That night Chicago jumped out to an 18-0 lead at New Jersey, but wound up losing 91-86.
ELSEWHERE IN THE NBA
• Kevin Love had 20 points and 20 rebounds in the Timberwolves' 116-105 win over the Pistons. It was the 48th consecutive double-double for Love, two shy of the longest single-season streak since the NBA-ABA merger in 1976-77. That mark is held by Moses Malone, who had 50 straight double-doubles in 1978-79. Over the last 40 NBA seasons, only Elvin Hayes (55), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (51) and Malone (50) have longer streaks than Love's.
• On the 49-year anniversary of Wilt Chamberlain's 100-point game, there were six teams that failed to score 100 points on Wednesday.