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NBA Game Notes (Jan. 5, 2023)
Here are the NBA game notes for games that were played on January 5, 2023.
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Lauri Markkanen scored a career-high 49 points as the Jazz handled the Rockets 131-114. Markkanen’s effort is the highest-scoring game in the regular season* by a Jazz player since Karl Malone went for 56 points on April 7, 1998.
* Donovan Mitchell had a 57-point game and a 51-point game in the 2020 NBA Playoffs, while Malone recorded a 50-point game in the 2000 NBA Playoffs.
Markkanen shot 15-27 from the field (55.6%) — including 6-15 from 3-point range — and made all 13 of his free throws. He’s just the second player in franchise history to make at least 15 field goals, 10 free throws, and five 3-pointers in a regular season game, joining Donovan Mitchell (March 2, 2019). Mitchell also had one such game in the postseason (Aug. 17, 2020).
At the midway point of the season for the Jazz, Markkanen is averaging a career-high 24.5 PPG, shooting 52.9% from the field, 42.0% from 3-point range, and 87.7% from the free throw line. All three of those shooting percentages are career bests.
Markkanen is one of 43 qualified players averaging at least 20 PPG this season. He owns the third-highest true shooting percentage in that group:
68.6% — Nikola Jokic
68.0% — Kevin Durant
67.3% — Lauri Markkanen
65.2% — Zion Williamson
63.8% — Joel Embiid
Celtics Cool Off Mavs
The Celtics’ Jayson Tatum recorded his second career triple-double, producing 29 points, 14 rebounds, and 10 assists in a 124-95 rout of the Mavericks. The loss ended the Mavericks’ seven-game winning streak.
Tatum struggled from the field, hitting just eight of his 22 shots (36.4%), but made 11 of his 12 free throws. Tatum shot poorly from the field in his first career triple-double as well, making just three of his 17 attempts (17.6%).
Mavericks’ superstar Luka Doncic also had trouble locating the rim, making only seven of 23 shots from the field (30.4%). Doncic is shooting just 17-49 from the field (34.7%) over his last two games, including 1-15 from 3-point range (6.7%).
Doncic appeared in his 300th NBA game last night. He has career totals of 8,186 points, 2,573 rebounds, and 2,415 assists. The only other player in NBA history to record at least 8,000 points, 2,000 rebounds, and 2,000 assists through his first 300 games is Oscar Robertson. Robertson actually exceeded 9,000 points, 3,000 rebounds, and 3,000 assists through his first 300 games!
Nuggets Rout Clippers
The Nuggets took a 34-point lead into the locker room on their way to an easy 122-91 win over the Clippers. That matched the largest halftime lead in franchise history, ABA seasons included.
The Clippers scored just 15 and 17 points in the first and second quarters, respectively. They are the only team this season to score 17 or fewer points in each of the first two quarters of a game. It’s the second time they’ve done so, the first coming on Nov. 15, 2022 versus the Mavericks.
The Nuggets’ Nikola Jokic had a light night, recording 12 points, nine assists, and six rebounds in just 24 minutes played. Jokic — who shot 4-8 from the field — has recorded at least 10 points, five rebounds, and five assists while shooting 50% from the field in each of his last 22 games, the longest such streak in NBA history. The only other active player to record a streak of more than 10 such games in a row is Giannis Antetokounmpo (11, March 1, 2019–March 24, 2019).
As a team, the Nuggets shot 45-89 from the field (50.6%) with 14 3-pointers made, an effective field goal percentage of 58.4%. The Nuggets have recorded an effective field goal percentage of at least 50% in each of their last 23 games, the longest such streak in franchise history.
Grizzlies Strike Early
The Grizzlies cruised to a 22-point halftime lead, then held off a second-half rally to defeat the Magic 123-115. The Grizzlies have won five straight games and are tied with the Nuggets for the top spot in the Western Conference with a record of 25-13.
The Grizzlies’ Jaren Jackson Jr. tallied 31 points, 10 rebounds, and three blocks, shooting 12-14 from the field (85.7%). It was Jackson Jr.’s first career 30-point, 10-rebound game.
Jackson Jr. is one of only three active players to record at least 30 points, 10 rebounds, and three blocks in a game while shooting 85% from the field:
Rudy Gobert (March 22, 2017)
Giannis Antetokounmpo (April 2, 2021)
Jaren Jackson Jr. (Jan. 5, 2023)
Teammate Ja Morant had 32 points, six assists, and five rebounds, shooting 13-21 from the field (61.9%). It’s the 28th time Morant has recorded at least 30 points, five rebounds, and five assists in a game, a whopping 19 more such games than any other player in franchise history.
Tyus Jones came off the bench to produce 12 points, eight assists, and two steals for the Grizzlies. Jones did not commit a turnover or personal foul, the 41st time he’s dished out at least five assists with zero turnovers and zero personal fouls. Since the NBA began tracking individual turnovers in 1977-78, no other player has recorded more than 26 such games.
Magic rookie Paolo Banchero recorded team highs of 30 points and nine rebounds. Banchero shot 10-20 from the field and made eight of his nine free throws.
Banchero has attempted 255 free throws in 32 games this season. Since the ABA-NBA merger, only three rookies have reached 250 free throw attempts in fewer games played:
24 — David Robinson, 1989-90
27 — Shaquille O’Neal, 1992-93
31 — Blake Griffin, 2010-11