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NBA Game Notes (Jan. 24, 2023)
Here are the NBA game notes for games that were played on January 24, 2023.
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40 Versus 30
LeBron James became the first player to record a 40-point game versus all 30 active NBA franchises, scoring 46 points in the Los Angeles Lakers’ 133-115 loss to the LA Clippers. James had been tied with three other players who had recorded a 40-point game versus 29 franchises:
30 — LeBron James
29 — Kobe Bryant (did not score 40 versus the Lakers, of course)
29 — Kevin Durant (Charlotte Hornets, high of 38)
29 — James Harden (Houston Rockets, high of 29)
James shot 16-29 from the field — including 9-14 from 3-point range — and made all five of his free throws. James became the first player in NBA history age 35 years or older to make nine 3-pointers in a game. His nine 3-pointers made are also a career high, eclipsing the eight he made in three previous games.
James also contributed eight rebounds and seven assists. It’s the fifth time he’s recorded at least 45 points, five rebounds, and five assists in a game since his 35th birthday, two more such games than all other players in NBA history combined (Jamal Crawford, Michael Jordan, and Larry Bird each have one).
Russell Westbrook came off the bench for the Lakers to score 17 points, becoming the 28th player in NBA history to reach 24,000 career points. Westbrook, James, and Oscar Robertson are the only members of that group to also record at least 7,000 rebounds and 7,000 assists.
The Clippers’ Kawhi Leonard continued his stellar play, scoring 25 points on 11-16 shooting from the field and grabbing nine rebounds. It’s the fifth straight game in which Leonard has scored at least 25 points with a field goal percentage of 50%, the second-longest such streak of his career.
Over his last eight games, Leonard is averaging 29.3 PPG and 7.0 RPG with shooting percentages of 55.6% from the field, 47.2% from 3-point range, and 92.5% from the free throw line. He has scored at least 24 points in each of those games.
Teammate Paul George scored a team-high 27 points and matched Leonard’s nine rebounds. Here’s how the Clippers have fared when Leonard and George do or do not play:
Both play — 12-7 (.632), 113.2 PPG
Leonard plays — 4-2 (.667), 111.3 PPG
George plays — 8-7 (.533), 108.9 PPG
Neither plays — 2-8 (.200), 105.8 PPG
Joker in the Pack
Nikola Jokic recorded his fourth straight triple-double, compiling 25 points, 11 rebounds, and 10 assists as the Denver Nuggets edged the New Orleans Pelicans 99-98. Jokic’s 8-foot floater with 16.9 seconds remaining provided the game-winning margin.
Jokic leads the NBA with 15 triple-doubles this season, five more than any other player. It’s the third time Jokic has recorded at least 15 triple-doubles in a season, breaking a tie with Wilt Chamberlain for the most such seasons in NBA history by a non-guard. The only other players to record at least three such seasons are Oscar Robertson (5), Russell Westbrook (5), and Magic Johnson (3).
Jokic made 11 of his 15 shots from the field (73.3%), the 19th time he’s recorded a triple-double with a field goal percentage of at least 70%. The only player in NBA history with more such games is Chamberlain (27).
Jokic has recorded a triple-double while shooting at least 60% from the field in each of his last four games. The only other player in NBA history to record at least four such games in a row is Chamberlain (6, March 1968).
Over his last seven games, Jokic is averaging 24.6 PPG, 12.6 RPG, and 11.7 APG, shooting 71.1% from the field and 86.7% from the free throw line. He’s recorded six triple-doubles in that span, narrowly missing a seventh by just one assist.
Jokic has recorded at least 10 points, five rebounds, and five assists while shooting 50% from the field in each of his last 29 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.
The Nuggets have won 20 of their last 24 games. They lead the Western Conference by 2.5 games with a record of 34-14, just a half-game behind the Boston Celtics for the best record in the NBA.
Some other notes from around the NBA:
Luka Doncic tallied 41 points, 15 rebounds, and six assists, but it wasn’t enough as the Dallas Mavericks fell to the Washington Wizards 127-126. Doncic leads the NBA with 10 40-point games this season. It was his seventh 40-point double-double, tying Giannis Antetokounmpo for the league lead.
The New York Knicks’ Julius Randle recorded his 30th double-double of the season, producing game highs of 36 points and 13 rebounds in a 105-103 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers. Randle has recorded 20 double-doubles in his last 22 games, averaging 27.5 PPG and 13.6 RPG over that span.
The Boston Celtics’ Jayson Tatum had 31 points, 14 rebounds, and seven assists in a 98-95 loss to the Miami Heat. Tatum has 26 30-point games this season, good for third in the NBA behind Luka Doncic (33) and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (27). Both teams were missing key players, as Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart, and Al Horfod sat out for the Celtics, while Jimmy Butler did not play for the Heat.
The Indiana Pacers rallied from a 21-point deficit to pull out a 116-110 win over the Chicago Bulls, snapping a seven-game losing skid. The Pacers’ Bennedict Mathurin scored 26 points, his league-leading 18th 20-point game coming off the bench this season. Since the NBA began tracking starters in 1970-71, only two rookies have recorded more such games: Ben Gordon (24, 2004-05) and Jeff Ruland (19, 1981-82). DeMar DeRozan scored a game-high 33 points for the Bulls, becoming the 39th player in NBA history to reach 21,000 career points.
The Phoenix Suns routed the Charlotte Hornets 128-97, their fourth consecutive win after dropping 12 of their previous 14 games. The Suns’ Chris Paul scored 14 points, dished out 11 assists, and did not commit a turnover. It’s the 43rd time he’s recorded a points-assists double-double with zero turnovers, the most such games since the NBA began tracking individual turnovers in 1977-78.
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