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NBA Game Notes (Dec. 26, 2022)
Here are the NBA game notes for games that were played on December 26, 2022.
Nets Win Ninth in a Row
The Nets overcame a huge performance from Darius Garland to upend the Cavaliers 125-117. The Nets have won nine consecutive games, their longest winning streak since the 2005-06 season, when they were known as the New Jersey Nets.
Garland scored a game-high 46 points, shooting 14-20 from the field — including 5-7 from 3-point range — and 13-15 from the free throw line. He also dished out eight assists and committed just one turnover.
Since the NBA began tracking individual turnovers in 1977-78, Garland is the third-youngest player to record a 45-point, 5-assist game with one or fewer turnovers (age in years-days):
21-015 — LeBron James (Jan. 14, 2006)
21-284 — Isiah Thomas (Feb. 8, 1983)
22-334 — Darius Garland (Dec. 26, 2022)
23-058 — Jayson Tatum (April 30, 2021)
23-326 — Tatum (Jan. 23, 2022)
The Nets’ Kevin Durant had 32 points, nine rebounds, and five assists. He shot 10-18 from the field — including 5-8 from 3-point range — and made seven of his eight free throws.
Durant moved past Tim Duncan and into 15th place on the NBA’s all-time scoring list with 26,516 points. He needs 153 points to surpass Dominique Wilkins and take over 14th place.
Teammate Kyrie Irving matched Durant’s team-high 32 points. He shot 11-19 from the field (57.9%), including 7-11 from 3-point range (63.6%). In the 16 games he’s played since returning from his suspension, Irving is averaging 25.6 PPG with shooting percentages of 50.7% from the field, 40.3% from 3-point range, and 90.3% from the free throw line. The Nets have won 13 of those games.
It’s the fourth time Durant and Irving have each scored at least 30 points on 50% shooting from the field this season, the most such games by any duo. It’s also the most such games in a season by any duo in franchise history.
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Clippers Rally, Stun Pistons
The L.A. Clippers overcame a 14-point deficit with less than 3:00 remaining in the fourth quarter to stun the Pistons 142-131 in overtime. Prior to last night, teams had won just twice in 12,875 games when trailing by 14 or more points with 3:00 minutes remaining in the fourth quarter in the play-by-play era (i.e., since 1996-97).
The Clippers’ Paul George recorded game highs of 32 points and 11 assists. It’s just the second 30-point, 10-assist game of George’s career. The first came on Feb. 11, 2019, when he had 47 points and 10 assists for the Thunder in a win over the Trail Blazers.
Three Clippers came off the bench to score at least 15 points with an effective field goal percentage of 60%:
Luke Kennard — 18 PTS, 66.7 eFG%
John Wall — 16 PTS, 72.7 eFG%
Norman Powell — 16 PTS, 66.7 eFG%
They are the first bench trio in franchise history to achieve this feat.
The Pistons’ Jalen Duren had 15 points and 12 rebounds in the loss. Duren has grabbed 124 rebounds over his last 10 games, making him just the second teenager in NBA history to record at least 120 rebounds over a 10-game span (Dwight Howard).
Rockets Blast Bulls
Kevin Porter Jr. had 36 points, nine assists, and seven rebounds as the Rockets blasted the Bulls 133-118, snapping their five-game losing streak. Porter connected on 14 of his 22 shots from the field (63.6%), including 6-12 from 3-point range.
Teammate Alperen Sengun tallied 25 points, 11 rebounds, and six assists, shooting 10-12 from the field (83.3%). At 20 years and 154 days old, Sengun is the second-youngest player in NBA history to record at least 25 points, 10 rebounds, and five assists in a game while shooting 80% from the field. John Drew is the youngest to do so at 20 years and 47 days old.
Jalen Green scored 24 points for the Rockets on 9-15 shooting from the field (60.0%), including 6-10 from 3-point range. Porter Jr., Sengun, and Green are just the second trio in NBA history, all less than 23 years old, to each score at least 20 points on 60% shooting from the field in the same game. They join the Timberwolves’ Karl-Anthony Towns, Andrew Wiggins, and Zach LaVine, who did so on March 5, 2016.
The Bulls’ DeMar DeRozan compiled 31 points, nine assists, and five rebounds in the loss. He shot 11-18 from the field (61.1%) and made nine of his 10 free throws. It’s the 39th time DeRozan has attempted at least 10 shots from both the field and the free throw line with shooting percentages of 50% and 90%, respectively. The only active players with more such games are Kevin Durant (66) and James Harden (57).
Nurkic Leads Blazers
The Trail Blazers’ Jusuf Nurkic did a little bit of everything in a 124-113 win over the Hornets:
Nurkic’s five 3-pointers made are two more than his previous career high. He became the first player in franchise history to record at least 15 rebounds, five assists, and five 3-pointers made in a game. Nurkic is just the second player in NBA history to reach those marks with multiple steals and blocks, joining Dirk Nowitzki (Dec. 4, 2022).
Teammate Jerami Grant scored a game-high 32 points on 12-19 shooting from the field (63.2%), adding 10 rebounds and five assists. Nurkic and Grant are the first Trail Blazers duo to each record at least 25 points, 10 rebounds, and five assists in a game since Brian Grant and Arvydas Sabonis on Nov. 14, 1997.
The Hornets’ LaMelo Ball had 27 points, seven rebounds, and seven assists in the loss. Ball has recorded at least 20 points, five rebounds, and five assists in each of his last five games, the longest such streak in franchise history. In his seven games since returning from an ankle injury, Ball is averaging 25.6 PPG, 5.6 RPG, and 8.3 APG, shooting 41.3% from 3-point range.