Information researched by Elias Sports Bureau, Inc.
Cavaliers less than ordinary without James
•Kevin Love (27 points) and Kyrie Irving (24) were not enough for the Cavaliers in their 103–93 loss at Indiana as LeBron James was rested in the second of two games on consecutive nights for Cleveland. During James’s second tour of duty with the Cavaliers, Cleveland has a 4–16 mark in the games he has not played, compared to its 115–40 record with LeBron on the floor. As you might expect, both Love and Irving have higher per-game scoring averages in the games that James has missed during that time (18.7 and 26.5, respectively) than they have in the games he has played (16.3 and 20.4).
But the Cavaliers set a record in their loss. They have made at least 11 three-point field goals in each of their 11 games this season. No other team in NBA history has made 11 or more three-point field goals in 11 consecutive games at any point during one season.
Curry and Durant show what they can do together
•Stephen Curry (35 points) and Kevin Durant (30) each scored 30 points in a game as teammates for the first time in the Warriors’ 127–121 triumph at Toronto. Curry led the NBA with a scoring average of 30.1 points per game last season and Durant ranked third with an average of 28.2 PPG. There have been only two other pairs of NBA teammates who both averaged at least 28 points per game the previous season: Jerry West and Elgin Baylor on the 1962–63 Lakers; Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal on the 2001–02 Lakers.
Career high for Porzingis
•Kristaps Porzingis scored a career-high 35 points in the Knicks’ 105–102 win over the Pistons. Porzingis, whose previous high was 29 points, became the second second-year player to score 35 or more points in an NBA game this season, joining Devin Booker (two such games).
Oladipo scores 29 for OKC
•Russell Westbrook scored 30 points and Victor Oladipo chipped in 29 to help the Thunder top the Rockets, 105–103, at Oklahoma City. It was the first game in which Oladipo scored at least 25 points for the Thunder and it must have felt unfamiliar for him to do that in a victory. While Oladipo played for Orlando, the Magic lost ten of the last eleven games in which he scored 25 or more points.
Big fourth quarter for Thomas
•Isaiah Thomas scored 22 of his 30 points in the fourth quarter to help the Celtics top the Mavericks in Boston. Thomas’s 22 points were the second-most that he has ever scored in one quarter of an NBA game. He set his high with Sacramento when he scored 23 points in the fourth period of a loss at Oklahoma City on December 14, 2012. Thomas went 12-for-13 from the free-throw line in the fourth quarter of Wednesday’s game, which is his career high for foul shots both made and attempted in one period.
Chandler stars off the bench
•Wilson Chandler scored 28 points and pulled down 11 rebounds off the bench in the Nuggets’ 120–104 win over the Suns. The only other players who reached those minimums for the Nuggets in a game in which they did not start were George McGinnis (1979), Bison Dele (1995) and Keon Clark (2000).
25 points and 15 rebounds does not guarantee a victory
•Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 26 points and gathered 15 rebounds in the Bucks’ loss in Atlanta. There have been 11 instances of players producing minimums of 25 points and 15 rebounds in NBA games this season, but their teams have a surprisingly poor 3–8 record in those games.
Payton fills the box score
•Elfrid Payton’s diverse skill set was displayed in the Magic’s victory over the Pelicans. Payton produced four rebounds, four assists, three steals and two blocked shots, which are certainly modest totals, but the only other starting guards who have generated such high minimums in each of those four categories in an NBA game this season are All-Stars Kyle Lowry and Chris Paul.
Rodriguez leads unselfish Sixers
•The 76ers were credited with assists on 30 of their 42 field goals while defeating the Wizards, with Sergio Rodriguez handing out a game-best 12 helpers to match his single-game career high. Rodriguez has played 296 games in the NBA and the only other one of them in which he generated a dozen assists was his final regular-season game with his original team, the Trail Blazers, on April 15, 2009.
Oshie scores on special teams
•T.J. Oshie scored two goals, the first shorthanded and the second on a power play, in the Capitals’ 7–1 victory over the Penguins. Oshie is the first player to score a shorthanded goal and a power play goal in the same game for the Capitals since Mike Green did so against Florida on Feb. 7, 2009. Three NHL players pulled off that feat this season before Oshie: the Ducks’ Jakob Silfverberg, the Panthers’ Colton Sceviour and the Flyers’ Wayne Simmonds.
Career high for Backstrom
•Nicklas Backstrom tied his career high for points in one game when he tallied two goals and three assists in the Capitals’ rout of the Penguins. This was the fifth five-point game for Backstrom, who has spent his entire 10-season NHL career with Washington. Backstrom has tied Dennis Maruk for the second-most games with five points or more by a Capitals player; he needs one more to tie Peter Bondra’s team record of six such games.