Davis reaches rare heights against Pistons
Anthony Davis scored 59 points and grabbed 20 rebounds in the Pelicans’ 111-106 win at Detroit. Only three other players in NBA history scored that many points in a game of 20 or more rebounds: Shaquille O’Neal in March 2000, Elgin Baylor twice, and Wilt Chamberlain 33 times, including 17 such games in the 1961-62 season.
Incidentally, that was only the second game in Davis’ four seasons in the NBA in which he had as many as 20 rebounds. His career high of 21 was set in an overtime game against the Celtics in March 2014.
Kevin Durant scored 26 points and Russell Westbrook scored 20, but it didn’t matter as the Cavaliers made a statement with a 115-92 victory at Oklahoma City. That was the largest margin of victory against the Thunder in a game in which both Durant and Westbrook scored at least 20 points. There have been 243 such games and OKC has a 164-79 record (90-26 at home).
It will come as no surprise that LeBron James was the key to victory for Cleveland, shooting 11-for-22 from the field and assisting on 11 field goals. Since James returned to the team last season, the Cavs are undefeated in games in which he had at least 10 field goals and 10 assists (5-0). His teams have a 60-12 record in such games over his 13 seasons in the NBA.
Suns make NBA history, completing seven games at home without a win
The Spurs completed a four-game sweep of their season series over the Suns with a 118-111 victory at Phoenix. But of greater historical significance, that was the final game of a home stand on which the Suns went 0-7. Only one other team in NBA history was winless on a home stand of seven or more games: the San Francisco Warriors in February 1965, the month after the Warriors traded Wilt Chamberlain to Philadelphia.
Pacers centers make big contribution to victory at Orlando
Monta Ellis (21 points) and Paul George (20) were the Pacers’ high scorers in a 105-102 win at Orlando. But don’t overlook the role of Indiana’s centers. Ian Mahinmi, who scored 14 points, was the Pacers’ first starting center to shoot 6-for-6 (or better) from the field since Roy Hibbert went 7-for-7 against Memphis in 2008.
Jordan Hill, who spelled Mahinmi, contributed 13 points and 10 rebounds in 16 minutes. The last Pacers sub with a double-double in such little playing time was Lou Amundson at New Orleans four years ago.
They came for Kobe’s final game at United Center, but the fans saw a Bulls-Lakers game like only one other in the Windy City. Bryant scored 22 points as Chicago defeated LA, 126-115, with five other players scoring at least 20 points: Julius Randle (22) and Jordan Clarkson (20) for the visitors; Derrick Rose (24), E’Twaun Moore (24), and Pau Gasol (21) for the home team. That only other Lakers visit to Chicago to produce three 20-point scorers for each team in a 48-minute contest was played in January 1967 at the International Amphitheatre, the Bulls’ home arena during their first season in the NBA. The high scorers were Elgin Baylor (34), Walt Hazzard (25), and Jerry West (22) for the Lakers; Guy Rodgers (39), Don Kojis (22), and Jerry Sloan (20) for the Bulls.
For the record, there was also one such overtime game between the Lakers and Bulls at the United Center in 1996.
Isaiah Thomas scored 22 points and had 12 assists in the Celtics’ 121-101 road win over the Nuggets on Sunday. It was Boston’s second-largest margin of victory at Denver during the Nuggets’ 40 seasons in the NBA. The Celtics’ only other win by 20 or more points at Denver was a 114-76 rout in February 2009. For the first time since 2001-02, Boston has won consecutive games at the Pepsi Center.
Hornets sharpen their shooting against Nets
Charlotte shot 51 percent from the field in a 104-96 win at Brooklyn. The Hornets came into the game shooting 43 percent for the season, which ranked next-to-last in the NBA, ahead of only the Lakers (41%). Sunday’s game was the first in either of the last two seasons in which all five of Charlotte’s starters made at least half of their field-goal attempts.
The Nets surely played a role as well. The opposing team has shot at least 50 percent from the field in 10 of Brooklyn’s last 19 games.
Raptors manage another low-scoring win
The Raptors defeated the Grizzlies, 98-85, improving their record to 10-8 in games in which they scored fewer than 100 points. Only one other team has a winning record when scoring fewer than 100 points this season: San Antonio (11-7). In fact, Toronto has split its last 76 games scoring in double-digits, going 38-38 since Nov. 22, 2013.
Mavs erupt against Sixers
The Mavericks routed the 76ers, 129-103, posting their highest point total of the 2015-16 season. Dallas is one of four teams whose highest point total in a 48-minute game this season was accomplished against Philadelphia. The others were Toronto (119), Atlanta (127), and the Clippers (130).