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NBA Game Notes (Dec. 21, 2022)
Here are the NBA game notes for games that were played on December 21, 2022.
Nets Thrash Reeling Warriors
The Nets scored 91 first-half points on their way to a 143-113 thrashing of the reeling Warriors. It’s the third-highest first-half point total in NBA history:
107 — Phoenix Suns (Nov. 10, 1990)
92 — Golden State Warriors (Oct. 29, 2018)
91 — Brooklyn Nets (Dec. 21, 2022)
90 — Denver Nuggets (Nov., 7, 1990)
90 — Houston Rockets (Nov. 16, 2017)
The Nets led the Warriors by 40 points at halftime, the largest halftime lead in franchise history (ABA seasons included). It’s the second-largest halftime deficit in Warriors history. On Feb. 15, 1961, the Philadelphia Warriors trailed the St. Louis Hawks 78-36 at halftime of an eventual 135-98 loss.
The Warriors — who lost to the Knicks by 36 points on Tuesday night — are just the second defending champion in NBA history to suffer consecutive 30-point losses, joining the 1998-99 Bulls (April 1 & 2, 1999).
The Nets have won 11 of their last 12 games, including their last seven in a row. They have moved into fourth place in the Eastern Conference with a 20-12 record, just 2.5 games back of the first-place Bucks.
The Nets shot 54-84 from the field (64.3%), including 21-33 from 3-point range (63.6%). That’s an effective field goal percentage of 76.7%, the highest such figure in franchise history and the seventh-highest such figure in NBA history.
Kevin Durant led a balanced attack with 23 points, seven rebounds, five assists, and four steals. It’s the 16th time Durant has tallied at least 20 points, five rebounds, and five assists in a game this season. Only Luka Doncic (26) has recorded more such games.
Durant is averaging 30.1 PPG, 6.6 RPG, and 5.3 APG this season, shooting 56.4% from the field, 36.1% from 3-point range, and 92.6% from the free throw line.
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Sabonis Does it Again
The Kings’ Domantas Sabonis continued his brilliant run, compiling 13 points, 21 rebounds, and 12 assists in a 134-120 win over the Lakers. Sabonis now has 20 career triple-doubles, making him the 30th player in NBA history to reach that mark, and just the fourth listed 7-footer to do so:
78 — Wilt Chamberlain
30 — Giannis Antetokounmpo
21 — Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
20 — Domantas Sabonis
Sabonis has recorded 77 rebounds and 33 assists over his last four games. The last NBA player to match or exceed both of those totals over a four-game span was Bill Russell in January 1969.
Over his last 10 games, Sabonis is averaging 20.3 PPG, 15.1 RPG, and 7.1 APG, shooting 69.7% from the field. He’s recorded a double-double in nine straight games, and leads the NBA with 22 double-doubles this season.
The Lakers’ LeBron James scored a game-high 31 points in the loss, also contributing 11 assists and six rebounds. James shot 11-21 from the field (52.4%) and made nine of his 10 free throws (90.0%).
The 37-year-old James has scored at least 30 points in each of his last five games. He’s the oldest player in NBA history to record five straight 30-point games.
Cavs Overcome Giannis
The Cavaliers overcame a 45-point, 14-rebound effort from Giannis Antetokounmpo to defeat the Bucks 114-106. The Cavaliers have won five consecutive games and are just one game behind the first-place Bucks in the Eastern Conference.
Donovan Mitchell recorded team highs of 36 points and six assists for the Cavaliers. Mitchell has made at least one 3-pointer in each of his 29 games this season, the longest such streak to start a season in franchise history.
Teammate Darius Garland scored 23 points. It’s the 10th time Mitchell and Garland have each scored at least 20 points in the same game this season, tying them with Luka Doncic & Spencer Dinwiddie and Trae Young & Dejounte Murray for the most such games by a backcourt duo.
Antetokounmpo — who made 17 of his 27 field goal attempts (63.0%) — has recorded at least 40 points and 10 rebounds with 60% shooting from the field in back-to-back games for the third time in his career. Only two other active players have done so even once: Joel Embiid (Jan. 19 & 21, 2022) and Anthony Davis (Dec. 2 & 4, 2022).
Antetokounmpo has recorded 19 career 40-point, 10-rebound games with 60% shooting from the field, the third-most such games since the ABA-NBA merger:
34 — Shaquille O’Neal
20 — Karl Malone
19 — Giannis Antetokounmpo
17 — Patrick Ewing
16 — Joel Embiid
Career High for Siakam
Pascal Siakam scored a career-high 52 points as the Raptors snapped the Knicks’ eight-game winning streak with a 113-106 victory. Siakam also contributed nine rebounds and seven assists, shooting 17-25 from the field (68.0%) and 16-18 from the free throw line (88.9%).
Siakam tied DeMar DeRozan for the second-highest scoring game in franchise history:
54 — Fred VanVleet (Feb. 2, 2021)
52 — Pascal Siakam (Dec. 21, 2022)
52 — DeMar DeRozan (Jan. 1, 2018)
51 — Terrence Ross (Jan. 25, 2014)
51 — Vince Carter (Feb. 27, 2000)
Siakam and DeRozan are the only Raptors to record at least 50 points, five rebounds, and five assists in a game, and Siakam became the first player in franchise history to make at least 15 field goals and 15 free throws in a game.
Teammate Fred VanVleet scored 28 points and recorded three steals. VanVleet is averaging 27.4 PPG over his last five games, missing just one of his 28 free throws in that span (96.4%).
The Knicks’ Julius Randle had 30 points and 13 rebounds in the loss, making 13 of his 17 shots from the field (76.5%). The last Knick to record a 30-point, 10-rebound game with at least 75% shooting from the field was David Lee on Feb. 20, 2010.
Pacers Down Slumping Celts
Tyrese Haliburton had team highs of 33 points and eight assists as the Pacers held on to defeat the slumping Celtics 117-112. The Celtics have lost three consecutive games, all at home.
Haliburton has season totals of 318 assists and 86 3-pointers made. He’s the third player in NBA history to record at least 300 assists and 75 3-pointers made through his first 30 games of a season (a total of four instances):
Steve Nash, 2006-07
James Harden, 2016-17
Tyrese Haliburton, 2022-23
Haliburton has committed 81 turnovers, the fewest in that group by 30 (Nash has the second-fewest with 111).
The Celtics’ Jayson Tatum led all scorers with 41 points, shooting 13-25 from the field (52.0%) and 11-13 from the free throw line (84.6%). It’s Tatum’s fifth 40-point game this season, tying him for the NBA lead with Giannis Antetokounmpo, Luka Doncic, and Devin Booker.
Banchero Lifts Magic
Rookie Paolo Banchero had 23 points and 13 rebounds to lift the Magic to a 116-110 win over the Rockets. It’s the 20th time in 26 career games Banchero has scored at least 20 points. Excluding NBL/ABA veterans, only six players in NBA history have recorded 20 such games faster than Banchero:
20 — Wilt Chamberlain, 1959-60
21 — Elvin Hayes, 1968-69
24 — Michael Jordan, 1984-85
25 — Oscar Robertson, 1960-61
25 — Walt Bellamy, 1961-62
25 — Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, 1969-70
Banchero has recorded six 20-point, 10-rebound games this season. The only other rookie to record even one such game is Walker Kessler (Dec. 2, 2022).
Teammate Franz Wagner scored a team-high 25 points, shooting 9-15 from the field with four 3-pointers made. It’s the 11th time Banchero and Wagner have each scored at least 20 points in the same game this season. No other duo made up of first or second-year players has recorded more than four such games.
The Rockets’ Kevin Porter Jr. scored a game-high 31 points in the loss, adding six rebounds, five assists, and three steals. He shot 12-19 from the field (63.2%), including 5-9 from 3-point range (55.6%).