1. United Stats of America
Thomas outduels Paul in Boston
Isaiah Thomas produced 36 points and 11 assists out-dueling Chris Paul, who registered 35 points and 13 assists in the Celtics’ overtime win over the Clippers in Boston on Wednesday night. There have been only two other games in NBA history in which opposing players each produced at least 35 points and 11 assists: Boston’s Larry Bird (49/12) and Portland’s Clyde Drexler (41/11) on March 15, 1992; and New Jersey’s Jason Kidd (38/14) and Phoenix’ Steve Nash (42/13) on December 7, 2006.
Karl-Anthony Towns scored 35 points, hauled down 11 rebounds and blocked three shots in Minnesota’s 117-112 win over Toronto on Wednesday night. At 20 years, 87 days old, Towns is the second youngest player to record at least 35 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks in a regulation game, trailing only Kevin Durant, who had 41 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks on December 8, 2008 at the age of 20 years, 70 days. LeBron James registered 38 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks at 19 years, 316 days old on November 10, 2004, but that came in an overtime game. (The NBA began recording blocked shots in 1973-74).
DeMarcus Cousins recorded 28 points and 12 rebounds and Rajon Rondo chipped in with 15 assists in the Kings’ win over the 76ers on Wednesday night. It marked the seventh time that Cousins has registered at least 25 points and 10 rebounds and Rondo dished out 15 or more assists in the same game. There have been only five other instances of teammates doing that in the same game this season and only one other pair has done it more than once: Minnesota’s Karl -Anthony Towns and Ricky Rubio (twice).
Stephen Curry made five three-pointers in a 26-point performance and Klay Thompson hit five shots from beyond the arc accounting for 15 of his 24 points in Golden State’s victory on Wednesday. Curry and Thompson have each made at least five three-pointers in the same game 14 times since they became teammates, which is not only the highest total for any pair of teammates since the NBA instituted the three-point shot in 1979, it is 10 times more than any other combo has done it. Four pair of teammates each made five three-pointers in a game four times: Steve Nash and Raja Bell; Rashard Lewis and Ray Allen; Antawn Jamison and Gilbert Arenas; Bell and Leandro Barbosa.
Hornets snap losing streak in Indiana with a big win
The Hornets snapped a 12-game road losing streak against the Pacers by posting a 117-95 win in Indiana on Wednesday night. Over the last 20 season, the only other teams to end a road losing streak of 12 or more games against a particular opponent with a 20+ point win are the Pistons at the Bulls (30-point win on March 2, 1999 ending an 18-game losing streak), Nuggets at Jazz (21-point win on January 20, 2004 ending a 14-game losing streak) and Timberwolves at Lakers (23-point win on November 10, 2013 ending a 13-game losing streak).
Leonard’s game-winning bucket caps Spurs comeback
Kawhi Leonard scored with 0.9 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter to put the Spurs ahead in a game they would win over the Magic on Wednesday night. Leonard entered the game just 1-for-4 on shots in which he had a chance to give his team the lead with less than five seconds remaining in the fourth quarter or overtime in his career with his only success in that situation coming on February 13, 2013 against the Cavaliers.
The Spurs overcame a 14-point fourth quarter deficit to win in Charlotte. San Antonio was only 3-48 on the road when trailing by double-digits in the fourth quarter over the last five seasons (since 2011-12) prior to Wednesday.
Joe Johnson did not score a single point in 23 minutes of action in the Nets’ loss to the Grizzlies on Wednesday night. It marked the first time Johnson was held off the scoreboard since December 6, 2003. Johnson entered Wednesday’s action having scored in 937 consecutive games, which was the second longest current streak in the NBA behind LeBron James (961 straight games).
Will Barton scored 15 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter leading the Nuggets to a win over the Pistons on Wednesday night. It’s the fifth time that Barton has scored at least 15 points in the fourth quarter this season, which is the most such games for any player in the league.
Holiday leads the way off the bench
Jrue Holiday came off the bench and led the Pelicans with 21 points and nine assists in the team’s win over Utah on Wednesday. It’s the fourth time that Holiday has led his club outright in points and assists while coming off the bench this season. No other NBA player has done that more than twice in 2015-16.
Bulls rocked after a strong start
The Bulls led the Hawks after the first quarter, but were outscored 85-61 over the final three quarters and dropped a 113-90 decision in Chicago on Wednesday night. It marked the largest margin of defeat the Bulls have suffered in a home game in which they led entering the second quarter since October 31, 2001, when they were defeated by a 25-point margin by the Pacers at the United Center.
LeBron helps Cavs spoil Kobe’s final appearance in Cleveland
LeBron James scored 29 points and handed out 11 assists to help lead the Cavs to a win over the Lakers in Kobe Bryant‘s last game at Quicken Loans Arena. Bryant scored 17 points in his final appearance in Cleveland. It’s the 21st time that James and Bryant have played against each other during the regular season, and it marked the sixth time that James out-scored Bryant by double-digits in those games. Bryant has produced at least 10 more points than James only once in their head-to-head matchups.