Walker with 81 points over last two games at United Center
Kemba Walker scored 47 points, but it was not quite enough for the Hornets, as they fell to the Bulls, 123-120, at the United Center. In his last game in Chicago, on January 2 earlier this year, Walker scored 34 points in a Hornets’ loss. Walker is the fourth visiting player to score at least 80 points over a two-game span against the Bulls in Chicago, joining Oscar Robertson (two overlapping spans, 1967 to 1968), Wilt Chamberlain (two overlapping spans, 1967 to 1968, including a 68-point game), and Jerry Stackhouse (in 2001).
Jordan hits the mark in 20/20 game
DeAndre Jordan had 20 points, 22 rebounds, and shot 10-for-12 (83.3%) from the floor in the Clippers’ loss to the Cavaliers on Friday. That is the third game in which Jordan had at least 20 points and 20 rebounds and made 80 percent of his field goal attempts. Over the last 40 years, only two other players had that many games of this type: Dwight Howard (five) and Charles Barkley (three).
James leads the way
LeBron James scored 39 points, including 16 in the fourth quarter, and grabbed 14 rebounds in the Cavs’ overtime win over the Clippers on Friday. That marked the second time James had that many points and rebounds in a regular season game, having previously done so on April 2 earlier this year in a double-overtime win over the Pacers. James has reached each of those marks in five playoff games, including three times in the NBA Finals (twice in 2015 Finals and once in 2016 Finals).
Spurs pick themselves up by their bootstraps after first quarter struggles
The Spurs found themselves down by 17 points at the end of the first quarter on Friday, scoring just 15 points to the Thunder’s 32. San Antonio was able to dig itself out of the hole, outscoring Oklahoma City by 20 points over the next three quarters on the way to a 104-101 win. Since Gregg Popovich took over as head coach of the Spurs, it was the fifth regular season game in which his team won after trailing by at least 15 points at the end of the first quarter (they also won two playoff games in this fashion under Popovich). Prior to Friday night’s win, the Spurs had done this two other times since the calendar turned to 2017 (in back-to-back games in March); no other team has multiple wins of this type since January 1.
Nowitzki passes Olajuwon in field goals made
Dirk Nowitzki went 6-for-12 from the floor in the Mavs’ 111-87 loss to the Timberwolves. With his second field goal made on the night, Nowitzki passed Hakeem Olajuwon (10,749 field goals) for eighth place in field goals made in a NBA career. Nowitzki will have to make 223 more field goals to surpass the player who is now directly ahead of him, Elvin Hayes (10,976).
Kuzma is first Lakers rookie since Magic with a 30-point/10-rebound game
Kyle Kuzma scored 30 points and had 10 rebounds in the Lakers’ loss to the Suns, 122-113. Kuzma is the first rookie with at least 30 points and 10 rebounds in a game this season, and he is the first Lakers rookie to do so since Magic Johnson had three such games in the 1979-80 season.
Pacers climb back in second half
The Pacers trailed by 22 points halfway through the third quarter, but were able to storm back to a 107-100 victory over the Pistons on Friday night. Indiana is the second team this season to win a game after facing a deficit of at least 20 points in the second half. On November 13, the Cavaliers did so against the Knicks at Madison Square Garden, after trailing by 23 points near the end of the third quarter.
Another 15 rebounds for Drummond
Andre Drummond grabbed 15 rebounds in the Pistons’ 107-100 loss to the Pacers on Friday. Drummond has 236 rebounds in 15 games this season. Over the last 20 years, there have been only two other instances of a player with that many rebounds over his first 15 games of a season: Dwight Howard in the 2011-12 season (242 rebounds) and Drummond in 2015-16 (267).
DeRozan extends streak with a big game against the Knicks
DeMar DeRozan scored 22 points, 16 of which came in the second half, in the Raptors’ 107-84 rout of the Knicks in Toronto. DeRozan has scored more than 20 points in each of his last 10 games versus New York, his longest such streak against a particular team in his NBA career. Two other active players have a current streak of this type of 10 or more games against the Knicks: Carmelo Anthony (13 straight games, including one game this season against his former team) and James Harden (12).
Nuggets’ offense on fire in win over Pelicans
After scoring 82 points in their last game (a loss to the Blazers on Monday), the Nuggets put 146 points on the board in a rout of the Pelicans on Friday night. It has been over nine years since the last time a team increased its point total from one game to the next by at least 64 points. On April 13, 2008, the Bulls lost to the Magic, 104-84. Then the next day, Chicago scored 151 points in a victory over the Bucks, with Luol Deng leading the team with 32 points.
Whiteside and company come out on top
Hassan Whiteside led the Heat with 22 points and 16 rebounds, as Miami was able to withstand a second-half comeback effort from the Wizards, winning by a 91-88 final score. That was Whiteside’s 29th game with at least 20 points and 15 rebounds, all coming as a member of the Heat. Only two others had at least 15 such games for the franchise: Rony Seikaly (38) and Alonzo Mourning (32).
First things first
The Nets wasted no time on Friday, scoring 39 first-quarter points while making 15 of 23 field goal attempts (65.2%) in the opening quarter, on their way to a win over the Jazz. That was the most points in a quarter for Brooklyn this season (previous high was 37, done twice) as well as the highest field goal percentage in a quarter for the team this season (previous high was 64.3% in the fourth quarter on November 6 at Phoenix).
Nothing gets by Bobrovsky
Sergei Bobrovsky recorded his second shutout of the season with a 2–0 victory against the Rangers in Columbus. It was the 150th regular-season win for Bobrovsky since the Flyers traded him to the Blue Jackets in June 2012. “Bob” ranks sixth in the NHL in goaltender wins over the last six seasons, behind Braden Holtby (187), Henrik Lundqvist (161), Tuukka Rask (160), Corey Crawford (158) and Marc-Andre Fleury (152).
Werenski wins it
Zach Werenski scored the first goal in the Blue Jackets’ 2–0 victory over the Rangers on Friday, after scoring in overtime for Columbus in its 2–1 win at Montreal on Tuesday. Werenski is the second defenseman in Blue Jackets history to score the winning goal in each of two consecutive team games in one season. The first was Nikita Nikitin, in victories at Colorado and Phoenix in 2012 (March 1–3). The only NHL defenseman besides Werenski to score back-to-back game-winning goals this season is the Kings’ Drew Doughty (Oct. 14–15).
Tatar tallies another goal versus Sabres
Tomas Tatar’s goal midway through the third period snapped a 1–1 tie and sent the Red Wings on their way to a 3–1 win over the Sabres in Detroit. Tatar has scored nine goals versus Buffalo in his NHL career (his highest total against any team) and they have all come in the last four seasons. He is tied with Marcus Johansson for the most goals against the Sabres since the start of the 2014–15 season.