Simmons sets rookie mark in Sixers’ win
Ben Simmons attempted 29 free throws in Philadelphia’s 118-113 win over Washington on Wednesday. Those are the most free-throw attempts in a single game by a rookie in NBA history. Prior to Wednesday, the rookie record for most free-throw attempts in a game was 26 by Milwaukee’s Frank Selvy (1954) and Baltimore’s Earl “The Pearl” Monroe (1968).
Washington scored 48 points in the fourth quarter in the loss. That marked the first time a team scored as many as 48 points in the final quarter of a loss in over 26 years, since Milwaukee’s 53-point fourth quarter went for naught in a defeat at the hands of the Cavaliers on November 12, 1991.
Aldridge ends Spurs’ 40-point drought
LaMarcus Aldridge scored 41 points lifting the Spurs to a 104-95 win over the Grizzlies in San Antonio on Wednesday. Aldridge became the first Spurs player to produce a 40-point game at home since Tony Parker had 42 points against the Thunder at the AT&T Center on February 4, 2012. San Antonio’s streak of 235 consecutive home games without a 40-point scorer was the fourth longest current streak in the league entering Wednesday’s action behind Philadelphia (447), Detroit (357) and Atlanta (355).
Three visiting players scored 40 or more points at the AT&T Center since Parker’s performance: Minnesota’s Kevin Love in 2013 (42), Portland’s Damian Lillard in 2014 (43) and Cleveland’s Kyrie Irving in 2015 (57).
Harden extends 20-point streak
James Harden scored a game-high 29 points leading the Rockets to a win over the Pacers on Wednesday. Harden has scored at least 20 points in each of his 21 games this season. This is only the fifth time in the last 30 years that a player has scored 20 or more points in each of his first 21 games of a season, with Karl Malone doing it in 1989-90 (first 24 games), Allen Iverson in 2005-06 (first 21) and 2006-07 (first 21) and LeBron James in 2012-13 (first 33)
Harden’s streak is by far the longest to a start a season in the Rockets’ franchise history. The previous mark was held by Elvin Hayes, who scored 20 or more points in each of his first 13 games of the 1969-70 season.
Pistons backcourt lights up Suns
Reggie Jackson scored a team-high 23 points and made nine of his 13 field-goal attempts and backcourt mate Avery Bradley was 9-for-12 from the field in a 20-point performance in Detroit’s 131-107 win over Phoenix on Wednesday. It marked the first time in nearly 28 years that each of Detroit’s starting guards scored 20 or more points and made at least 65 percent of their field-goal attempts in the same game, since Isiah Thomas (30 points, 15-for-23 from the field) and Joe Dumars (24 points, 10-for-13) did it in a victory over the Pacers on December 9, 1989.
Gordon joins Shaq and Howard in Magic lore
Aaron Gordon produced 40 points and 15 rebounds leading the Magic to a 121-108 win over the Thunder on Wednesday. Gordon is only the third player in Orlando history to register at least 40 points and 15 rebounds in a game, joining Shaquille O’Neal (12 times) and Dwight Howard (four times).
It’s the second time Gordon produced a double-double with 40 or more points this season, having also done that on October 24 against Brooklyn (41 points, 14 rebounds). No other NBA player has had more than one such game this season.
DeRozan and Lowry produce big numbers in Raptors win
Kyle Lowry scored 36 points and handed out six assists and DeMar DeRozan chipped in with 30 points and six assists leading Toronto to a win over Charlotte on Wednesday. It marked the first time in franchise history the Raptors had multiple players with 30 or more points and more than five assists in the same game.
Lowry and DeRozan are the first pair of teammates with 30 or more points and at least six assists in the same game this season and only three did it all of last season: Cleveland’s LeBron James and Kyrie Irving (twice), Portland’s CJ McCollum and Damian Lillard and Golden State’s Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant.
Knicks are on the mark at MSG
The Knicks made 60.3 percent of their field-goal attempts in their win over the Heat at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday. It marked the second time this month New York made at least 60 percent of its field-goal attempts in a game, having also done that on November 7 against Charlotte. This is the first time the Knicks have had two such games in a single calendar month since 1981, when they converted 64.2 percent of their field-goal attempts against Denver on December 8 and had a .609 field-goal percentage against Chicago on December 18.
Carroll is top scorer for second straight time
DeMarre Carroll scored a game-high 22 points in the Nets’ win over the Mavericks on Wednesday. Carroll has been the outright scoring leader in each of the last two games he played, scoring 24 points against Memphis on November 26. Prior to his last two games, Carroll had scored more points than any other player in only three of his first 431 games.
Wiggins puts an end to his New Orleans slump
Andrew Wiggins made three of his six three-point attempts in his game-high 28-point performance in Minnesota’s win over the Pelicans at the Smoothie King Center on Wednesday. Wiggins entered the contest having missed each of his last 19 shots from beyond the arc at New Orleans’ current home. That was the second-longest streak of that kind in the history of the Smoothie King Center behind 24 straight misses from three-point range by Baron Davis in 2003.
Drouin scores Montreal’s first penalty-shot goal in more than three years
Jonathan Drouin scored the Canadiens’ first penalty-shot goal in more than three-and-a-half years in Montreal’s 2–1 win against Ottawa. Drouin’s tally, which tied the score at 1–1 early in the second period, was the first penalty-shot goal for the Canadiens since Dale Weise scored one in Montreal’s 5–1 victory versus the Bruins on Nov. 13, 2014. Entering play on Wednesday, the Canadiens’ streak of 254 regular-season games without a goal on a penalty shot was the fourth-longest current drought by an NHL team. The longest active dry spells are by the Capitals (323 games), Blues (307, including their game on Wednesday) and Flames (281).
Bruins ride fast start to victory
The Bruins notched their sixth win in their last seven games with a 3–2 victory over the Lightning. Boston jumped out to a 3–0 lead, with first-period goals by Charlie McAvoy and Riley Nash, and an early second-period tally by Torey Krug, then held off a Tampa Bay comeback attempt. The Bruins have led at the end of the first period in each of their last six games. It’s the longest single-season streak of its kind for the Bruins since they led at the end of the first 20 minutes in six straight games in February 2010, and it’s the longest streak of its kind by any NHL team since the Panthers’ six-game skein in January 2016.
Ducks beat Blues on the strength of two quick power play goals
The Ducks beat the Blues, 3-2, Wednesday night on the strength of a pair of power play goals scored 148 seconds apart early in the second period. It was the fastest two PPGs scored by the Ducks in over a year. Anaheim scored two power play goals during a span of 31 seconds in a 4-0 victory in Los Angeles on November 1, 2016.
McKinnon nets another OT winner
Nathan MacKinnon scored his second overtime goal in the last 10 days as the Avalanche beat the Jets, 3-2, Wednesday night. It was MacKinnon’s fourth overtime goal since the start of last season. The only player with more OT winners over that time frame is Alex Galchenyuk (5). Max Pacioretty, Leon Draisaitl and Jeff Carter have also scored four extra-period goals since the start of 2016-17.