18 triple-doubles in 40 games for Westbrook
Russell Westbrook scored 24 points, hauled down 13 rebounds and handed out 12 assists in Oklahoma City’s 103-95 win over Memphis on Wednesday. Westbrook has recorded 18 triple-doubles in 40 games played this season. The only other player in NBA history to produce at least 18 triple-doubles in his first 40 games of a season is Oscar Robertson, who had 24 at that point of the 1961-62 campaign. In fact, only two other players had as many as 10 triple-doubles through 40 games: Jason Kidd (10 in 2007-08) and James Harden (recorded his 11th triple-double of the 2016-17 season in his 40th game on Tuesday night).
Sixers snap streak with a win at the buzzer
T.J. McConnell’s game-winning shot at the buzzer lifted the 76ers to a 98-97 victory over the Knicks in a game in which Philadelphia trailed by 17 points on Wednesday night. Philadelphia entered the contest having lost each of its last 78 games when trailing by 15 or more points with its last win in that situation coming on March 13, 2015 against the Kings. That was the longest streak of its kind for any NBA team since the Trail Blazers lost 84 consecutive games when trailing by 15 or more points from February 2004 to November 2006.
It marked the second time the Knicks lost a game on a shot at the buzzer this month. Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo beat the Knicks in that fashion on January 4. Only one other NBA team has multiple losses of that kind this season: the Nets.
Towns does it all for the T-Wolves
Karl-Anthony Towns registered 23 points, 18 rebounds, five assists and three blocked shots in Minnesota’s win over Houston on Wednesday night. Towns (21 years, 57 days old) became the third-youngest player to record at least 20 points, 15 rebounds, five assists and three blocked shots in a game since the NBA began tracking blocks in 1973. The only players to do that at a younger age than Towns are Chris Webber, who did it on his 21st birthday on March 1, 1994, and Shaquille O’Neal, who accomplished that feat for the first time one day past his 21st birthday in 1993.
Isaiah’s big fourth quarter lifts Celtics
Isaiah Thomas scored 20 of his game-high 38 points in the fourth quarter leading the Celtics to a victory over the Wizards on Wednesday night. It marked the third time Thomas scored 20 or more points in the fourth quarter this season, having previously done that on November 16 against Dallas (22 points) and on December 30 against Miami (29 points). No other NBA player has had more than one 20-point fourth quarter this season.
Prior to this season, Thomas scored 20 or more points in the fourth quarter only twice in his career, both instances coming while he was with Sacramento (December 14, 2012 and December 3, 2013).
Redick is flawless in Clippers’ win
JJ Redick scored a team-high 22 points and did not commit a turnover in the Clippers’ win over the Magic on Wednesday night. It marked the 13th time that Redick produced at least 20 points without turning the ball over since January of 2015. The only NBA players with more such games than Redick over that span are Kawhi Leonard (20), Klay Thompson (16) and LaMarcus Aldridge (14).
McCollum brings back memories of Clyde The Glide
C.J. McCollum scored a game-high 27 points leading the Trail Blazers to a victory over the Cavaliers on Wednesday. McCollum has now produced at least 25 points in each of his last seven games, which is the longest single-season streak of its kind by a Portland player since Clyde Drexler did it in nine straight contests during the 1987-88 season.
Ovechkin reaches 1000-point mark
Alex Ovechkin became the 84th player in NHL history to reach the 1000-point mark when he scored a goal 35 seconds into the Capitals’ game against the Penguins on Wednesday. That goal was the 545th of Ovechkin’s career, which ranks him second to Brett Hull (560) for most goals by a player at the time he reached the 1000-point milestone. Brett’s father, Bobby Hull, ranks third in that regard with 527 goals among his first 1000 NHL points.
Backstrom beats up on Penguins again
Nicklas Backstrom scored one goal and assisted on three in the Capitals’ 5–2 win versus the Penguins. Backstrom has racked up 11 points in three games he’s played versus Pittsburgh this season (three goals, eight assists). That’s the most points any NHL player has produced against one team this season, and the most points any player has scored versus the Penguins within one season since Ilya Kovalchuk recorded 11 points in six games for the Devils against Pittsburgh in 2011–12 (four goals, seven assists).
Demers’ goal is the difference in Panthers’ win over Islanders
Defenseman Jason Demers scored a goal which snapped a 1–1 tie early in the second period and proved to be the game-winning goal in the Panthers’ 2–1 victory against the Islanders in Brooklyn. Demers, who signed with Florida as a free agent last summer, has played in all 43 games for the Panthers this season and scored eight goals, breaking the single-season career high of seven goals he set with Dallas in 2015–16. Demers scored only two goals this season through the end of November but he has tallied six of the 11 goals scored by Florida defenseman since December 1.
Danault and Lehkonen each produce their first career multiple-goal game
Montreal’s Phillip Danault and Artturi Lehkonen each produced their first two-goal game in the NHL when the Canadiens beat the Jets, 7–4, in Winnipeg on Wednesday. This was the first game in which two Canadiens players notched their first multiple-goal NHL game since Oct. 19, 1985, when Stephane Richer and Kjell Dahlin each tallied twice in an 11–6 Montreal loss at Hartford. Ron Francis scored three goals for the Whalers in that game (all in the first period) and three other players scored two goals for Hartford.