It was a historic Friday night for Boston Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo. With 10 points, 10 rebounds, and 24 assists, Rondo posted his fifth career triple-double and the first triple-double of the 2010-11 NBA season. Obviously, those numbers jump out of the box score. So let's dig into some of the history:
• The 24 assists represent the second-highest single-game total in Celtics history. The record belongs to Bob Cousy (28 against the Minneapolis Lakers on Febuary 27, 1959).
• Rondo is the second player to dish out 24 assists against the New York Knicks. The other was Guy Rodgers on December 21, 1966. The only player to ever drop more dimes against the Knicks was John Stockton (27 on Dec. 19, 1989).
• So we've established that 24 assists is a lot under any circumstances. How about 24 assists in a triple-double? According to our friends at Elias, only one other player in NBA history ever had at least 24 assists in a triple-double. On February 7, 1985, Isiah Thomas also had 24 assists in a triple-double in a 2-OT game against the Washington Bullets.
Most Assists in First 3 Games of Season
• Lest we forget, Rondo put up 17 and nine assists in the first two games of the season, respectively. Elias tells us that his total of 50 assists through the first three games of the season ties John Stockton's NBA record.
While Rondo's performance stole the statistical spotlight on Friday, let's check out some other notes from a busy night around The Association:
• Jeff Green hit the game-winner for the Oklahoma City Thunder in their win at the Detroit Pistons, but it was Kevin Durant's 30 points that led the way. Dating back to last season, he has scored at least 30 points in nine straight regular-season games. That's the longest such streak in the NBA since LeBron James' 10-game streak in the 2005-06 season.
• The New Jersey Nets knocked off the Sacramento Kings to improve to 2-0. Research from the Elias Sports Bureau indicates that the Nets are the 4th team in NBA history to start 2-0 one season after finishing a full NBA season with fewer than 20 wins. The last team to do this was the 1968-69 San Diego Rockets. That Rockets team went 37-45 and made the playoffs led by a rookie named Elvin Hayes.
• The Miami Heat rolled the Orlando Magic thanks to some suffocating defense. The Magic mustered just 70 points, which is their fewest in a game since December 2, 2005 (69 vs Grizzlies). Only 25 of those points came after halftime (four points more than the franchise-record for scoring futility in a half). The Magic's five assists set a record for fewest assists in a game in franchise history. Furthermore, the Magic's total of 21 field goals made is tied for the fewest in a single game in franchise history. Orlando hit just seven field goals in the second half. The only other time the Magic hit so few field goals in a half was on November 9, 1991 against the defending champion Chicago Bulls.
• LeBron James scored 15 points for the Heat one game after posting 16 points against the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday. It's the first time James has scored fewer than 20 points in back-to-back regular-season games since 2007-08.
• Chris Bosh shot just 2-for-9 from the field for the Heat, but perhaps was more important than his numbers indicated. In the past two games, the Miami Heat are +52 with him on the floor. Without Bosh on the floor, the Heat are -16.
• Dirk Nowitzki entered Friday with 80 consecutive made free throws. He hit his first two against the Grizzlies but then missed his third. Nowitzki's streak of 82 consecutive free throws made is the third-longest streak in NBA history. Micheal Williams owns the record with 97 straight during the 1992-93 and 1993-94 seasons.
• Human-rebounding machine Reggie Evans posted just two points to go along with his 14 rebounds against the Cleveland Cavaliers. In the season opener, Evans had no points and 16 rebounds. He's the third player in NBA history to grab at least 30 rebounds while scoring 10 or fewer points in the first two games of the season (joining Sam Lacey and Wes Unseld), according to Elias.
• Blake Griffin went for 14 points and 10 rebounds in the Clippers loss to the Warriors. The rookie has now started his career with consecutive double-doubles. According to Elias, he is the sixth player to debut since 1990 to post double-doubles in each of his first two career games. Coincidentally, the last player to do this was also a Clipper (albeit a more obscure one): James Singleton in 2005-06. The other players on this list are Emeka Okafor, Damon Stoudamire, Shaquille O'Neal, and Dikembe Mutombo.