The San Antonio Spurs outlasted the Oklahoma Metropolis Thunder 154-147 in double extra time in what may find yourself being the game of the season in the NBA. The Spurs did not miss a Three-pointer for almost the total game, the Thunder erased a 16-point deficit to drive extra time, LaMarcus Aldridge turned the latest member of the NBA’s 50-point membership, and Russell Westbrook did Russell Westbrook issues … once more. In case you missed any of the motion, we have you lined.
LaMarcus Aldridge goes off
LaMarcus Aldridge channels Tracy McGrady by throwing the ball off the backboard, then scoring earlier than the shot clock expires.
Coming into the evening, Aldridge’s profession excessive in factors was 45, set final March. No Spurs participant had scored greater than that in a game since Tony Parker posted 55 towards the Timberwolves in November 2008.
Aldridge blew each of these numbers away Thursday evening, going 20-for-33 from the area and 16-for-16 from the free throw line to end for a career-high 56 factors, the third most in Spurs historical past, behind David Robinson’s 71-point game in 1994 and George Gervin’s 63-point game in 1978. The distinction between these video games and Aldridge’s efficiency? In each Robinson’s and Gervin’s circumstances, their teammates have been attempting to get them as many factors as potential on the last day of the season to safe the scoring title — and in each circumstances, the Spurs succeeded. Aldridge’s 56 factors, whereas taking two overtimes to get to, got here in the regular circulate of San Antonio’s offense.
Not a nasty evening.. me and @aldridge_12 mixed for 56pts and a W.. @spurs #unreal!! #NBAVote pic.twitter.com/0Izh5x360G
— Quincy Pondexter (@QuincyPondexter) January 11, 2019
Aldridge is the ninth participant to rating not less than 50 in an NBA game this season, becoming a member of Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Blake Griffin, LeBron James, Derrick Rose, Klay Thompson, Kemba Walker and James Harden, who’s the solely participant with a number of 50-point video games in 2018-19.
The Spurs’ unlikely Three-point barrage
The Spurs begin the game 14-of-14 from downtown, which is the most made Three-pointers to begin a game by any crew over the final 20 years.
San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich has spoken out just lately towards the NBA’s development towards extra Three-point photographs. The Spurs entered the game averaging the fewest Three-point makes an attempt per game in the league, whereas taking pictures the highest share from the arc. Towards the Thunder, the Spurs took that effectiveness to ranges by no means earlier than seen in the NBA.
San Antonio went an ideal 10-for-10 on Three-pointers in the first half, and ended up making its first 14 Three-pointers in the game, earlier than a miss by Derrick White in the third quarter. In accordance to the Elias Sports activities Bureau, the Spurs’ 14 consecutive made 3s to begin the game have been the most by any crew to start a game over the final 20 seasons. San Antonio completed the game 16-for-19 from Three-point vary, making 84.2 %. That is the highest mark for any crew that has ever tried not less than 15 Three-pointers, surpassing the earlier file set by the Bulls in 2005 (14-for-17, 82.four %).
Amazingly, none of these 19 Three-point makes an attempt got here from Aldridge, who turned the first participant to rating not less than 56 factors with out trying a Three-pointer since Shaquille O’Neal lit up the LA Clippers for 61 factors on his birthday again in 2000.
Westbrook’s unbelievable triple-double
Russell Westbrook bats out Paul George’s missed shot, then dishes to Steven Adams for the massive jam.
Russell Westbrook averages a triple-double — and has for the previous two-plus seasons — so seeing him submit a triple-double is not significantly particular. However what Westbrook did Thursday evening definitely was. The previous MVP completed with 24 factors, 13 rebounds and 24 assists, the first participant in NBA historical past to submit these numbers in the similar game, in accordance to the Elias Sports activities Bureau. The one different participant to have a 24-point, 24-assist, 10-rebound game was Isiah Thomas, who did it for the Detroit Pistons in a double-OT game in 1985.
It was Westbrook’s second profession 20-10-20 game, placing him behind solely Magic Johnson and Oscar Robertson (each with Three) in that class, in accordance to Elias. Westbrook’s 24 assists have been a brand new profession excessive and the most by any NBA participant since Rajon Rondo had 25 for the New Orleans Pelicans on Dec. 27, 2017. They have been additionally the most by a Thunder participant since the crew moved to Oklahoma Metropolis, and one shy of the franchise file (when together with the Seattle years) set by present Indiana Pacers coach Nate McMillan in 1987.
Factors not at a premium
By the time the additional 10 minutes of basketball had been performed, the Thunder and Spurs had mixed for 301 factors, by far the most in a game this season — even with offense up throughout the board in the NBA. The final game to characteristic a mixed 300 factors — not together with the league’s annual All-Star Game, which appears to find yourself with every crew scoring almost 300 as of late — was Dec. 7, 2006, when the Suns beat the Nets 161-157 in double extra time.
For the Spurs, their 154 factors have been their most in a game since dropping 161 towards the Paul Westhead-coached Denver Nuggets in 1990. You do not have to go almost that far again to discover the final time OKC scored 147. The Thunder lit up the LeBron James-led Cleveland Cavaliers for 148 in regulation final January.
Popovich passes Sloan
Misplaced in the chaos of the two overtimes and the barrage of buckets was the undeniable fact that this was Gregg Popovich’s 1,222nd profession win as a head coach, shifting him previous Jerry Sloan for third place on the NBA’s all time checklist. Subsequent up on the checklist is Lenny Wilkens, who completed his Corridor of Fame profession with 1,332 wins. Don Nelson handed Wilkens for the all-time lead in 2010, ending with 1,335 wins. If Popovich retains teaching and retains successful at his profession fee, he’d doubtless cross each Wilkens and Nelson someday throughout the 2020-21 season.
New excessive water marks for Grant, White
Aldridge and Westbrook weren’t the solely gamers setting profession milestones. Thunder ahead Jerami Grant scored a profession excessive 25 factors, whereas Spurs guard Derrick White’s 23 have been the better of his younger profession.
The 2 additionally got here collectively — actually — for certainly one of the greatest spotlight performs from this game that wasn’t a basket, when White stuffed Grant at the rim, taking a blood-drawing elbow for his efforts.
Derrick White denies Jerami Grant from behind, however pays the value as an elbow to the face causes him to bleed.