Discover more from Statitudes
NBA Game Notes (Oct. 26, 2023)
Here are the NBA game notes for games that were played on October 26, 2023.
Dame’s Dazzling Debut
Damian Lillard dazzled in his debut with the Milwaukee Bucks, scoring a game-high 39 points in a tight 118-117 win over the Philadelphia 76ers. It’s the fourth-highest-scoring game in NBA history by a player in his debut with a new team:
50 — Kyrie Irving, Brooklyn Nets (Oct. 23, 2019)
47 — Kiki VanDeWeghe, Portland Trail Blazers (Oct. 27, 1984)
43 — Wilt Chamberlain, Philadelphia Warriors (Oct. 24, 1959)
39 — Damian Lillard, Milwaukee Bucks (Oct. 26, 2023)
Lillard shot 9-20 from the field — including 4-12 from 3-point range — and made all 17 of his free throws. Lillard set an NBA record for most free throws made without a miss in a season opener, breaking the mark of 15 shared by Dave Bing (1968) and Kawhi Leonard (2016).
Lillard did not commit a turnover in 37 minutes of action. Since the NBA began tracking turnovers in 1977-78, only three players have scored more points in a season opener without recording an error:
54 — Michael Jordan (Nov. 3, 1989)
50 — Kyrie Irving (Oct. 23, 2019)
40 — Adrian Dantley (Oct. 28, 1983)
Teammate Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 23 points and grabbed a game-high 13 rebounds. It’s the seventh straight season opener in which Antetokounmpo has recorded at least 20 points and 10 rebounds, tied for the second-longest such streak in NBA history behind Bob Pettit (9, 1955-1963).
Antetokounmpo converted a finger roll with 9:34 remaining in the fourth quarter, the 5,903rd basket of his career. That broke a tie with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the most field goals made in franchise history.
Antetokounmpo did not have an efficient night, shooting 10-22 from the field (including 0-3 on 3-pointers), missing six of his nine free throws, and committing a game-high seven turnovers (tied).
Philadelphia was led by guard Tyrese Maxey, who scored a team-high 31 points and dished out a game-high eight assists. At 22 years and 356 days old, Maxey is the second-youngest player in franchise history to score at least 30 points in a season opener, trailing only Allen Iverson (21 years, 147 days).
Kelly Oubre Jr. scored 27 points on 9-11 shooting from the field in his Sixers debut. Oubre Jr. made five 3-pointers, giving him an effective field goal percentage of 104.5%. The only player in NBA history to score more points in a season opener in which they recorded an effective field goal percentage greater than 100% is Trae Young with 37 in 2020.
Sixers center Joel Embiid had 24 points, seven rebounds, and six assists. Like Antetokounmpo, though, Embiid struggled with his efficiency, shooting 9-21 from the floor, missing five of his eight free throws, and committing a game-high seven turnovers (tied).
Tobias Harris was the fourth Sixer to record a 20-point game, scoring 20 points on 8-9 accuracy from the field. It’s just the second time in franchise history the Sixers have had four 20-point scorers in a season opener, the first occurrence coming on Oct. 20, 2021.
Statitudes is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.
Lakers Rally, Defeat Suns
The Los Angeles Lakers rallied from a 12-point deficit after three quarters to defeat the Phoenix Suns 100-95. The Lakers outscored the Suns 28-11 in the fourth quarter, opening the period with a 10-0 run.
Lakers center Anthony Davis scored a team-high 30 points and snagged a game-high 12 rebounds. Davis made 10 of his 17 shots from the field and nine of his 10 free throws, also contributing game highs of three steals (tied) and three blocks.
It’s the 139th time Davis has recorded at least 30 points and 10 rebounds in a game, the third-most such games among active players behind Giannis Antetokounmpo (157) and teammate LeBron James (145).
Speaking of James, he produced 21 points, nine assists (game high), eight rebounds, two steals, and two blocks. James now has 868 career games in which he’s recorded at least 20 points, five rebounds, and five assists, by far the most such games in NBA history. James is more than 200 games ahead of the next-closest player, Oscar Robertson.
Kevin Durant scored a game-high 39 points to lead the Suns, shooting 14-28 from the field and 10-13 from the free throw line. Durant also grabbed a team-high 11 rebounds, but committed a game-high eight turnovers.
Durant ended the game with 26,949 career points, passing Hakeem Olajuwon to take over 12th place on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. Elvin Hayes currently holds 11th place with 27,313 points.