Cousins produces a monster game
DeMarcus Cousins scored 40 points, hauled down 22 rebounds and registered four blocks in the Pelicans’ win over the Nuggets. Over the last 40 years, only one other player produced at least 40 points, 20 rebounds and four blocks in a regulation game: Houston’s Hakeem Olajuwon had 40 points, 24 rebounds and four blocks against the Kings on March 14, 1989. Four players did it in an overtime game over that time frame: Joe Barry Carroll (1987), Patrick Ewing (1990), Shaquille O’Neal (1993) and Antonio McDyess (2000).
It’s the second time Cousins has produced at least 40 points and 20 rebounds in a game this season, having also done that on October 26 against his former team, the Kings. The last player with multiple 40-point/20-rebound games in a single season was Patrick Ewing, who had two such games in 1989-90, with one coming in overtime. Prior to Cousins, no player had registered multiple 40/20 regulation-length games in one season since Moses Malone did it three times in 1981-82.
Cavs win 13th straight as LeBron falls one assist shy of a triple-double
The Cavaliers defeated the Kings to extend their winning streak to 13 games on Wednesday night. Cleveland is the second team to produce a winning streak of 13 or more games in this young season, joining the Celtics who won 16 straight contests from October 20 to November 20. This only the second time in NBA history that multiple teams registered winning streaks of 13 or more games within their first 30 games of a season. The only other time that happened was in 1993-94, when Atlanta (14 straight wins) and Houston (15 straight wins) each did it.
LeBron James, who had 32 points and 11 rebounds, finished one assist shy of a triple double. That’s the 37th time James has fallen one assist, point or rebound shy of a triple-double, which are by far the most such games for any active player. The only active player with more than half the total number of such games than James is Russell Westbrook (26).
Pacers rally from 16 down in the fourth quarter to extend Bulls’ losing streak
The Pacers rallied from a 16-point fourth-quarter deficit to defeat the Bulls by a score of 98-96 on Wednesday night. It marked only the second time in the last nine seasons that Indiana won a game after trailing by more than 15 points in the fourth quarter, posting a 1-137 record in those games over that span prior to Wednesday’s comeback. The only other such win for the Pacers over the last nine seasons came on April 9, 2013 against the Cavaliers (trailed by 20).
The Bulls’ loss extended their losing streak to 10 games. This is the first time Chicago has suffered a double-digit losing streak in over seven years, since losing 10 straight contests in February/March 2010.
Gordon and Vucevic team up to beat Hawks
Aaron Gordon produced 24 points and 15 rebounds and Nikola Vucevic scored 22 points and hauled down 16 rebounds leading the Magic to a win over the Hawks on Wednesday night. Gordon and Vucevic became the first pair of teammates to each produce 20 or more points and 15 or more rebounds in nearly four years, since the Clippers Blake Griffin (25 points, 15 rebounds) and DeAndre Jordan (25 points, 18 rebounds) did it on January 3, 2014.
Lee continues his hot shooting
Courtney Lee made 10 of his 17 shots from the field and scored a game-high 24 points in the Knicks’ win over the Grizzlies at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday. Lee has made at least 54 percent of his shots from the field with at least five attempts in each of his last nine games. That ties the second-longest streak of that kind in New York’s franchise history. Tyson Chandler converted at least 54 percent of his field-goal attempts with at least five shots in 11 consecutive contests in 2012 and David Lee (2008) and Charles Oakley (1990) did it in nine straight games.
Durant produces a triple-double
Kevin Durant registered 35 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists in the Warriors’ win over the Hornets on Wednesday. It was the ninth triple-double performance of Durant’s career, but the first in which he produced 35 or more points. Durant is the fifth different player in Warriors’ history with a 35-point triple-double performance, joining Wilt Chamberlain (four times), Guy Rodgers, Chris Mullin and Stephen Curry (twice).
Forbes imitates Ginobili in San Antonio’s victory
Bryn Forbes came off the bench and made all of his five three-point attempts in a 17-point effort in the Spurs’ win over Miami on Wednesday night. Forbes is the second player to shoot 5-for-5 or better from beyond the arc while coming off the bench in a game this season, joining Portland’s Shabazz Napier. Prior to Forbes, the last Spurs bench player to make all of his shots from beyond the arc with at least five attempts in a game was Manu Ginobili in 2014 (5-for-5).
Antetokounmpo leads Bucks to victory on his birthday
Giannis Antetokounmpo, who was celebrating his 23rd birthday, scored a team-high 25 points leading the Bucks to a win over the Pistons. Antetokounmpo has scored 20 or more points in each of his last 14 games, tying the longest such streak of his career (December/January last season). Only two other Bucks players over the last 35 seasons scored 20 or more points in 14 consecutive games: Terry Cummings (20 straight in 1984-85) and Michael Redd (14 straight in 2006-07).
Antetokounmpo entered the contest with 5364 points, 2407 rebounds and 1230 assists, making him one of three players in NBA history with at least 5000 points, 2000 rebound and 1000 assists prior to their 23rd birthday. The others are Tracy McGrady and LeBron James.
Celtics rookies control the boards
Jayson Tatum (10) and Daniel Theis (11) each produced double-digit rebound totals in the Celtics’ win over the Mavericks on Wednesday. That marked only the second time over the last 50 years the Celtics had multiple rookies each record 10 or more rebounds in a winning effort. The only other time that happened over that span was on April 18, 1997, when rookies Antoine Walker and Brett Szabo both did it in a win over the 76ers.
All five starters contribute in T-Wolves win
All five Minnesota starters scored at least 16 points in the team’s win over the Clippers on Wednesday night. It’s the second time this season all of the Timberwolves starters each scored more than 15 points in a game having also done that on November 22 against Orlando. No other team has done that even once this season. Prior to the 2017-18 season, Minnesota had only one regulation-length game in which all of its starters scored more than 15 points: April 7, 2010.
Ovechkin, Backstrom get Caps off on the right foot
The Capitals beat the Blackhawks, 6-2, Wednesday night on the strength of three first-period goals. Both Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom found the back of the net in the opening frame. It was the 83rd game in which both Ovechkin and Backstrom scored a goal, but just the seventh time that they both scored goals before the end of the first period. The Capitals’ dynamic duo hadn’t done that since March 22, 2016 at Ottawa.
Andersen stifles Flames
Freddy Andersen made a season-high 47 saves in Toronto’s 2-1 shootout win over the Flames on Wednesday night. It was the fifth time this season that Andersen stopped 40 or more pucks, matching the league high this season. Calgary’s Mike Smith and Anaheim’s John Gibson also have made at least 40 saves in a game five times this season.
Oilers’ power-play goal drought continues
The Oilers were held without a power-play goal for the eighth consecutive game as they fell to the Flyers, 4-2, on Wednesday night. Edmonton got a shorthanded goal from Leon Draisaitl and an even-strength goal by Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. Each of the Oilers’ last 32 goals have been scored at even strength or while shorthanded. That’s the longest streak of goals without a power play goal by a team since the Senators had a 36-goal streak like that in 2015-16. It’s the longest such streak in Edmonton franchise history.
Henrique is off to a fast start with the Ducks
Adam Henrique accounted for two of Anaheim’s three goals in its 3-0 win over the Senators on Wednesday. Henrique has garnered at least one point in all four games he has played for the Ducks since being traded by the Devils on November 30. The only player with a longer point-scoring streak from the start of his tenure with Anaheim is Teemu Selanne. The recent Hall of Fame inductee earned at least one point in each of his first 15 games with the club in 1996. Four other players tallied points in each of their first four games with the Ducks: Jari Kurri (1996), Corey Perry (2005), Jakob Silfverberg (2013) and David Perron (2016).