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NBA Game Notes (Jan. 18, 2023)
Here are the NBA game notes for games that were played on January 18, 2023.
Nikola Jokic recorded his 90th career triple-double, racking up 31 points, 11 rebounds, and 13 assists as the Denver Nuggets edged the Minnesota Timberwolves 122-118. The Nuggets have won eight straight games and 18 of their last 21 games overall, including their last 15 in a row at home. They lead the Western Conference with a record of 32-13 and are just one game behind the Boston Celtics for the best record in the NBA.
Jokic is the sixth player in NBA history to reach 90 career triple-doubles:
198 — Russell Westbrook
181 — Oscar Robertson
138 — Magic Johnson
107 — Jason Kidd
105 — LeBron James
90 — Nikola Jokic
Jokic is both the second-youngest (27 years, 333 days) and the second-fastest (568 games) player in NBA history to reach that mark.
With his seventh assist of the game, Jokic passed Alex English to become the franchise’s all-time leader in assists (ABA seasons included):
3,686 — Nikola Jokic
3,679 — Alex English
3,566 — Fat Lever
2,978 — Andre Miller
2,745 — Ty Lawson
Jokic — who shot 12-20 from the field (60.0%) last night — has recorded a triple-double with a field goal percentage of at least 60% in each of his last three games. He’s just the third player in NBA history to record at least three such games in a row (a total of four instances):
6 — Wilt Chamberlain (March 10-18, 1968)
3 — Chamberlain (Dec. 16-21, 1966)
3 — Giannis Antetokounmpo (March 11-15, 2021)
3 — Nikola Jokic (Jan. 15-18, 2023)
Jokic has recorded five triple-doubles in his last six games, the one miss being by a single assist. He’s averaging 24.5 PPG, 12.8 RPG, and 12.0 APG over that span, shooting 70.7% from the field and 89.3% from the free throw line.
Jokic has recorded at least 10 points, five rebounds, and five assists while shooting 50% from the field in each of his last 28 games, by far the longest such streak in NBA history. Chamberlain ranks second with a streak of 13 such games in a row in February 1967.
A Brief Interlude
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Kings Down King
Despite the absence of double-double machine Domantas Sabonis due to illness, the Sacramento Kings downed the Los Angeles Lakers 116-111. The Kings have won five straight games and now sit in third place in the Western Conference standings with a record of 25-18.
Kings point guard De’Aaron Fox scored a team-high 31 points and dished out six assists, shooting 13-23 from the field (56.5%). Fox is averaging 24.0 PPG on 50.7% shooting from the field this season. Both of those figures would be career bests.
The Lakers’ LeBron James tallied 32 points, nine assists, and eight rebounds in the loss. James made his 8,000th career free throw in the fourth quarter, becoming the fourth player in NBA history to reach that mark:
9,787 — Karl Malone
8,531 — Moses Malone
8,378 — Kobe Bryant
8,001 — LeBron James
Over his last two games, James has compiled 80 points, 16 rebounds, and 18 assists while committing just one turnover. Since the NBA began tracking individual turnovers in 1977-78, the only other player to record at least 80 points, 15 rebounds, and 15 assists with one or fewer turnovers over a two-game span is Nikola Jokic (Feb. 6 & 8, 2021).
James has averaged 36.4 PPG, 9.5 RPG, and 8.6 APG in his eight games as a 38-year-old, shooting 54.0% from the field. No other player in NBA history has averaged more than 32 PPG over any eight-game span after turning 38 years old.
Backcourt Leads Hawks
Dejounte Murray scored 30 points on 12-18 shooting from the field as the Atlanta Hawks outgunned the Dallas Mavericks 130-122. The Mavericks have allowed at least 130 points in three straight games for the first time in franchise history.
Murray’s backcourt mate, Trae Young, tallied 18 points, 12 assists, and three steals. It was Young’s 20th points-assists double-double of the season, tied with Nikola Jokic for the second-most such games in the NBA (Tyrese Haliburton, 22). Young has 147 career games with at least 10 points and 10 assists, 35 more such games than any other player in franchise history (Doc Rivers, 112).
The Mavericks’ Luka Doncic had 30 points and eight assists in the loss. Doncic has recorded 110 career games with at least 30 points and five assists, a whopping 50 more such games than any other player in franchise history (Mark Aguirre, 60).
Mavericks forward Christian Wood produced 22 points, nine rebounds, and two blocks, shooting 9-17 from the field. Since becoming a full-time starter on December 17, Wood has averaged 20.3 PPG, 9.4 RPG, and 2.4 BPG in 16 games, shooting 51.6% from the field and 81.4% from the free throw line.
Rockets Loss Stings
Despite a 41-point performance by Jalen Green, the Houston Rockets fell to the Charlotte Hornets 122-117. The Rockets have lost 12 consecutive games, snapping a tie with the San Antonio Spurs for the longest losing streak in the NBA this season.
Green also contributed seven assists and five rebounds, shooting 16-24 from the field (66.7%) in his second career 40-point game. Green became the seventh player in NBA history to record multiple 40-point games before his 21st birthday:
8 — LeBron James
5 — Anthony Edwards
4 — Kevin Durant
4 — Luka Doncic
3 — John Drew
2 — Kyrie Irving
2 — Jalen Green
Rockets center Alperen Sengun compiled 24 points, 12 rebounds, and six assists, making 10 of his 16 shots from the field (62.5%). The 20-year-old Sengun is the youngest player in NBA history to record back-to-back 20-point, 10-rebound, 5-assist games with a field goal percentage of at least 60%.
Terry Rozier led the Hornets with 26 points, while rookie center Mark Williams came off the bench to match his career high with 17 points in just 19 minutes of playing time. Williams made eight of his 10 shots from the field, grabbed six rebounds, and blocked five shots.
Williams is the only rookie over the last 40 NBA seasons to record at least 15 points and five blocks in a game with fewer than 20 minutes played. He’s just the third player in that span to record such a game, rookie or otherwise:
Josh Smith (Nov. 14, 2007)
Hassan Whiteside (April 6, 2022)
Mark Williams (Jan. 18, 2023)
Some other notes from around the NBA:
The New York Knicks’ Jalen Brunson scored 32 points in a loss to the Washington Wizards, his eighth consecutive 25-point game. The last Knicks guard to record at least eight such games in a row was Dick Barnett, who had a 12-game streak in 1965. Brunson is averaging 30.8 PPG, 5.2 RPG, and 5.7 APG over his last 10 games. Only four other players in franchise history have averaged at least 30 PPG, 5 RPG, and 5 APG over a 10-game span: Richie Guerin, Walt Frazier, Bernard King, and Julius Randle.
Speaking of Randle, he produced 14 points and 15 rebounds, recording his 12th straight double-double. It’s the longest double-double streak by a Knick since David Lee’s 24-game streak in 2009. Randle is averaging 27.4 PPG and 14.5 RPG over those 12 games, albeit with subpar shooting splits (42.8/33.3/69.2).
The Oklahoma City Thunder’s Josh Giddey tallied 16 points, 11 assists, and six rebounds in a 126-106 blowout win over the Indiana Pacers, shooting 8-12 from the field (66.7%). Over his last five games, Giddey is averaging 21.4 PPG, 8.8 RPG, and 8.8 APG, shooting 55.4% from the field and 92.3% from the free throw line. The only other player in NBA history to average at least 20 PPG, 8 RPG, and 8 APG with a field goal percentage of 55% over a five-game span before their 21st birthday is Magic Johnson.
Utah Jazz forward Lauri Markkanen scored a game-high 34 points and grabbed 12 rebounds in a 126-103 rout of the LA Clippers. Markkanen shot 11-20 from the field — including 6-8 from 3-point range — and made all six of his free throws. He’s averaging 24.8 PPG with a true shooting percentage of 66.5% this season. The latter figure ranks third among all players averaging at least 20 PPG, trailing only Nikola Jokic (69.8%) and Kevin Durant (67.3%).
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