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About Last Night: Westbrook makes more triple-double history

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Russell Westbrook moved into a tie for third place on the NBA list for triple-doubles with 23 points, 19 rebounds and 15 assists and led the Thunder past the Cavs 100-83.

Westbrook’s triple-double was his third this season — all in the last four games — and the 107th of his career, matching Jason Kidd and trailing only Oscar Robertson (181) and Magic Johnson (138). Kidd took 1,247 games to reach 107, while Westbrook needed only 760.

Westbrook addressed the media after the game and spoke more from the heart.

“I am extremely blessed and humbled to be able to go out and play and compete in the NBA,” Westbrook said. “Just to be named with Jason Kidd and Magic and Oscar and those guys, I could have never dreamt about being able to even sit here talking to you guys. I take everything in and never take anything for granted.”

This particular Westbrook triple-double was unique. It’s rare to see a triple-double that includes at least 15 points, 15 rebounds and 15 assists. Westbrook has pulled it off four times in his career, but only six other players in the past 35 years have accomplished the feat.
 

To cap the historic night, Westbrook delivered one more clutch assist:

 

Doncic puts on show vs. Rockets

Rookie sensation Luka Doncic created a personal highlight mixtape in the first half of the Mavs’ 128-108 victory over the Rockets.

Doncic’s first points of the game came on a difficult 3-point attempt. Doncic took James Harden one-on-one and drilled a fallaway corner 3. Nothing but net.

Later in the first quarter, Doncic took advantage of a defensive lapse by the Rockets and attacked the rim with a monster slam.

Doncic ended the first half by pulling up for a 39-foot buzzer-beater to give Dallas an 18-point lead.

Doncic sat out the fourth quarter and finished with 20 points, six rebounds, three 3-pointers made, two assists and one steal.

 

Lillard catches fire in third quarter

Trailing by 11 points early in the third quarter, it looked like the Blazers were headed for a fourth consecutive loss.

That’s when Damian Lillard took over, scoring 23 points in the quarter on 7-of-9 shooting from distance. Lillard set a franchise record with 10 3-pointers on his way to 41 points, and the Blazers held off the Magic 115-112.
 

Lillard, who did not realize he was at 10 3-pointers, surpassed the previous Portland record of nine 3s that he shared with Nicolas Batum.

“I honestly didn’t know I had made 10. If I would have known that I would have went for it,” Lillard said, adding with a smile, “What is it? Fourteen? Oh, I could have got that, too.”

 

Stat of the night

James Harden posted his first triple-double of the season and also added six steals to join Magic Johnson as the only players in NBA history with at least 25 points, 17 assists, 11 rebounds and six steals in a single game since steals became an official statistic in 1973-74. Johnson did it on March 29, 1981.



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About Last Night: Legendary Lakers

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Triple-doubles are rare enough. Even rarer is the air in which two teammates accomplish the feat on the same night.

That’s what happened in Charlotte on Saturday, where LeBron James (24 points, 12 rebounds, 11 assists) and Lonzo Ball (16 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists) each logged a triple-double in L.A.’s 128-100 rout over the Hornets.

The Laker duo becomes just the eighth set of teammates in NBA history to earn triple-doubles in the same game. Jason Kidd and Vince Carter were the most recent teammates to accomplish the feat, having done so on April 7, 2007. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Magic Johnson did it for the Lakers in 1982.

The complete list – 

Lakers vs. Hornets, Dec. 2018: LeBron James (24 points, 12 rebounds, 11 assists), Lonzo Ball (16 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists). 

Nets vs. Wizards, April 2007: Vince Carter (46 points, 16 rebounds, 10 assists), Jason Kidd (10 points, 16 rebounds, 18 assists).

Clippers vs. Bulls, Jan. 1989: Michael Jordan (41 points, 10 rebounds, 11 assists), Scottie Pippen (15 points, 10 rebounds, 12 assists))

Celtics vs. 76ers, March 1987: Larry Bird 17 points, 13 rebounds, 12 assists), Robert Parrish (14 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists).

Lakers vs. Pistons, Dec. 1982: Magic Johnson (26 points, 16 rebounds, 12 assists), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 19 points, 10 rebounds, 10 blocks).

SuperSonics vs. Rockets, March 1969: Lenny Wilkens (36 points, 14 rebounds, 14 assists), Art Harris (14 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists).

Pistons vs. Knicks. March 1964: Ray Scott (23 points, 20 rebounds, 11 assists), Donnie Butcher (19 points, 15 rebounds, 15 assists).

Royals vs. Warriors, Jan. 1962: Oscar Robertson (28 points, 14 rebounds, 16 assists), Bucky Buckhorn (19 points, 10 rebounds, 12 assists)

 

Harden heating up

 

James Harden posted yet another triple-double on Saturday.

Speaking of triple-doubles, James Harden had himself one in Houston’s 105-97 win over Memphis. The reigning Kia MVP finished with 32 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists, marking the seventh time in his career he had logged triple-doubles in back-to-back games.

Houston’s all-time record when Harden rings up all those double figures: 31-7.

 

Rising Suns

Devin Booker is back and maybe, just maybe, better times are ahead for the woebegone Phoenix Suns. The fourth-year guard led Phoenix to a 107-99 win over Minnesota, amassing 28 points, seven rebounds and seven assists.

The victory gave Phoenix its first consecutive wins of the season — and their first such streak since Dec. 29, 2017.

Oh yeah, and it looks like they’ll be trading Trevor Ariza after all.

 

Get yourself a friend like…

Kyle Kuzma, who made sure LeBron didn’t resume play without addressing a flaw in his otherwise flawless beard.

 

Bulls Finnish strong

No Zach LaVine. Down 21 on the road. Normally those two factors would have made a Bulls loss a foregone conclusion.

Not this time. Lauri Markkanen spearheaded Chicago’s second-half comeback in which he and Kris Dunn (29 second-half points combined) nearly outscored the entire Spurs team (31) after halftime. In the end, it was the Bulls who wound up as unlikely victors at the Alamo.

Markkanen finished with 23 points, his second 20-point performance in nine days — with the Bulls winning both of those games.

 

A cappella only, please

Sorry, Lance, but no air guitars allowed while celebrating.

 

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Grizzlies GM Wallace dubs failed trade ‘unfathomable’

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Chris Wallace has been in the NBA since 1986. He’s seen and done a lot as a front office executive.

On Saturday, the Grizzlies’ general manager told reporters he hadn’t seen anything quite like the three-team trade between Memphis, Phoenix and Washington that ultimately fell through.

“What happened last night was unfathomable. I’ve never experienced this before,” Wallace told reporters.

The Grizzlies, Suns and Wizards had a deal in place that would have sent swingman Trevor Ariza to Washington, Kelly Oubre to Memphis and Austin Rivers to Phoenix. When reports differed as to whether the Suns were acquiring Dillon or MarShon Brooks from Memphis, however, the deal fell apart. Phoenix insisted on Dillon Brooks, while Memphis maintained it had intended to deal MarShon Brooks all along.

Neither team was willing to yield on its stated preference, leaving Phoenix and Washington to agree on a two-team trade the following day. Both Brooks, meanwhile, remain with the Grizzlies.

“That forced me to do something I’ve never done in 30-plus years working in this league with seven teams, is to drag two players out of a locker room and tell them they’ve been traded and then eventually have to come back and tell them, ‘Oh, no, you haven’t been traded,'” Wallace said.

“We ask a lot of these guys and we try to communicate with them at all times,” Wallace added. “We do not want them to know about trades from another party; we want to be the ones that tell them. We were forced to come in at that time and say something. That put us in a very difficult situation.”

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James, Ball earn triple-doubles in same game

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The meshing of LeBron James with the young Lakers now includes a significant milestone.

James and second-year guard Lonzo Ball each finished with a triple-double during the Lakers’ 128-100 rout at Charlotte on Saturday. The four-time Kia MVP finished with 24 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists before sitting out the fourth quarter. Ball amassed 16 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists before exiting with 6:54 remaining.

The Laker duo becomes just the eighth set of teammates in NBA history to earn triple-doubles in the same game. Jason Kidd and Vince Carter are the most recent teammates to accomplish the feat, having done so on April 7, 2007. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Magic Johnson did it for the Lakers in 1982.

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