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NBA Game Notes (Dec. 30, 2022)
Here are the NBA game notes for games that were played on December 30, 2022.
LeBron James celebrated his 38th birthday with a bang, scoring a season-high 47 points and adding 10 rebounds and nine assists to lead the Lakers to a 130-121 win over the Hawks. It's tied for the fourth-highest point total in NBA history by a player on his birthday:
61 — Shaquille O’Neal (March 6, 2000)
53 — Dominique Wilkins (Jan. 12, 1987)
48 — LeBron James (Dec. 30, 2009)
47 — James (Dec. 31, 2022)
47 — Stephen Curry (March 14, 2022)
James is the only player in NBA history with two career 40-point games on his birthday.
James became just the fourth player in NBA history age 38 years or older to record a 45-point game:
Michael Jordan (3 times)
James shot 18-27 from the field — including 4-6 from 3-point range — and made seven of his nine free throws. James has scored at least 25 points on 50% shooting from the field in each of his last 10 games, the longest such streak of his career and the longest in NBA history by a player age 34 years or older. He’s averaging 33.6 PPG, 7.0 RPG, and 7.1 APG over that span, shooting 57.8% from the field and 82.8% from the free throw line.
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Giannis Antetokounmpo had another dominant performance, compiling 43 points, 20 rebounds, and five assists as the Bucks knocked off the Timberwolves 123-114. Antetokounmpo — who had 45 points, 22 rebounds, and seven assists in his last outing — is just the third player in NBA history to record at least 40 points, 20 rebounds, and five assists in consecutive games:
Elgin Baylor (4 in a row)
Wilt Chamberlain (2 in a row, 5 times)
Antetokounmpo is averaging 37.2 PPG, 15.6 RPG, and 5.2 APG over his last five games. It’s the second time he’s averaged at least 35 PPG, 15 RPG, and 5 APG over a five-game span. Antetokounmpo is the only player since the ABA-NBA merger to record two such non-overlapping spans. The only other player in that period with even one such span is Nikola Jokic.
Antetokounmpo shot 14-23 from the field (60.9%) and made 14 of his 21 free throws. It’s the 20th time he’s recorded a 40-point, 10-rebound game with a field goal percentage of at least 60%. He’s the sixth player in NBA history to record at least 20 such games:
74 — Wilt Chamberlain
45 — Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
34 — Shaquille O’Neal
33 — Bob McAdoo
20 — Giannis Antetokounmpo
20 — Karl Malone
McCollum Set Franchise Record
CJ McCollum set a franchise single-game record with 11 3-pointers made as the Pelicans handled the Sixers 127-116. It was the Pelicans’ fifth straight win after dropping four games in a row. They are now tied with the Nuggets atop the Western Conference standings with a record of 23-12.
McCollum scored a season-high 42 points, the most he’s ever scored as a Pelican. He shot 13-20 from the field with the aforementioned 11 3-pointers made, an effective field goal percentage of 92.5%. That’s the highest such figure in franchise history by a player in a 40-point game:
92.5% — CJ McCollum (Dec. 30, 2022)
88.9% — Anthony Davis (Feb. 14, 2018)
79.5% — Peja Stojakovic (Nov. 14, 2006)
78.0% — Chris Paul (Dec. 26, 2007)
77.3% — Davis (Feb. 10, 2017)
Teammate Zion Williamson scored 36 points on 13-19 shooting from the field (68.4%). McCollum and Williamson are just the fourth duo in the last 25 seasons to each score at least 35 points with a field goal percentage of 65% in the same game:
Joe Johnson & Al Harrington, Hawks (Dec. 16, 2005)
Monta Ellis & Dirk Nowitzki, Mavericks (Nov. 20, 2013)
Jrue Holiday & E'Twaun Moore, Pelicans (Dec. 11, 2017)
CJ McCollum & Zion Williamson, Pelicans (Dec. 30, 2022)
The Sixers’ James Harden had 20 points and 10 assists in the loss, his fourth straight 20-point, 10-assist game. That’s the second-longest such streak in franchise history. The record of five such games in a row is held by Wilt Chamberlain (March 15, 1968–March 20, 1968).
Joel Embiid led the Sixers with 37 points, adding eight rebounds and five assists. He made 14 of his 22 field goal attempts (63.6%) and eight of his 10 free throws. Embiid has recorded four straight games in which he’s scored at least 35 points on 50% shooting from the field, the third time he’s recorded four such games in a row. The only player in franchise history with a longer such streak is Wilt Chamberlain (5, Feb. 13, 1965–Feb. 22, 1965).
Sabonis Perfect From Field
Domantas Sabonis continued his amazing run, scoring 28 points without missing a shot from the field (12-12) as the Kings held off the Jazz 126-125. Sabonis also contributed 11 rebounds and eight assists.
It’s the second time Sabonis has made at last 12 field goals in a game without a miss. He and Karl Malone (twice) are the only players since the ABA-NBA merger to record multiple such games.
Over his last 12 games — all double-doubles — Sabonis is averaging 21.5 PPG, 15.2 RPG, and 7.3 APG, shooting 66.9% from the field. He’s tied with Nikola Jokic for the most double-doubles in the NBA this season with 25.
Sabonis is one of only three players over the last 50 NBA seasons to average at least 20 PPG, 15 RPG, and 7 APG over a 12-game, single-season span:
Kevin Garnett (Feb. 28, 2003–March 21, 2003)
Nikola Jokic (Dec. 23, 2021–Jan. 16, 2022)
Domantas Sabonis (Dec. 4, 2022–Dec. 30, 2022)
Teammate Kevin Huerter scored a season-high 30 points on 12-18 shooting from the field (66.7%), including 6-10 from 3-point range. Huerter made a clutch 3-pointer with 9.2 seconds remaining in the game that proved to be the game winner.
Another Triple-Double for Jokic
The Nuggets’ Nikola Jokic recorded his eighth triple-double of the season, producing 19 points, 12 rebounds, and 12 assists in a 124-119 win over the Heat. Jokic is tied with Luka Doncic for the NBA lead in triple-doubles, and is tied with Domantas Sabonis for league leadership in double-doubles with 25.
Jokic — who shot 8-15 from the field — has recorded at least 10 points, five rebounds, and five assists with 50% shooting from the field in each of his last 19 games, the longest such streak in NBA history.
Jokic has shot at least 50% from the field in each of his last 26 games, the longest such streak in franchise history. Teammate Aaron Gordon has an active streak of 24 such games in a row.