NBA Box Score Breakdown for January 10
Notable performances from around the NBA on Tuesday, January 10, 2012:
Kobe Bryant (48 pts, 18-31 FG, 12-13 FT, 3 stl) — Kobe poured in an NBA season-high 48 points (he also held the previous high with 39 on January 6 vs GSW) in leading the Lakers to a 99-83 win over Phoenix. Bryant has 26+ points in each of his last five games and is averaging 36.0 PPG over that span. As ESPN Stats & Info points out,”Kobe Bryant got his 108th career 40-pt game, more than twice as many as LeBron James, 2nd on the active list.”
Lakers team note: Since their opening day loss to the Bulls at home, the Lakers are a perfect 7-0 at Staples Center, but also 0-3 on the road. The second unit performed very well for the Lakers as Steve Blake (+33) and Luke Walton (+32) led the way in plus/minus, while starters Andrew Bynum (-18) and Derek Fisher (-17) struggled.
Chris Paul (11 pts, 3 ast, 31 min) — Despite playing over 30 minutes, Paul recorded his lowest assist total as a Clipper and failed to score at least 12 points for the third time since coming to LA. He’s averaging just 12.8 PPG after averaging 15.8 last year in New Orleans. Since the ’08-’09 campaign when he averaged 22.8 PPG, Paul’s scoring average (and FG attempts per game) has declined each season. Paul’s last game with such a low assist total was on December 12, 2010 against the 76ers, when he totaled just 3 assists but scored 25 points in a losing effort. Tuesday night was the first time in Paul’s seven-year career that he was held to 11 points or less and 3 assists or less in a game in which he played at least 30 minutes.
Trail Blazers team note: All five Blazers’ starters scored in double digits (led by Gerald Wallace with 20) and all finished in the positive in plus/minus (led by Wesley Matthews +16).
Kyrie Irving (20 pts, 5 ast) — The Cavs’ rookie point guard and #1 overall pick scored 20+ points for the fourth time in nine games. He continues to be a steady source of assists, having posted between 4 and 7 in every game thus far.
Anderson Varejao (12 pts, 11 reb (7 offensive), 0 stl) — Varejao was a force on the offensive glass and finished the night as the Cavs’ plus/minus leader at +3. For only the second time this season he failed to record a steal, but is still averaging a healthy 1.7 SPG.
Al Jefferson (30 pts, 12 reb, 2 blk, 13-17 FG) — The eight-year veteran center posted his best game of the young season in terms of points, rebounds, and FG%. In his first season in Utah a year ago, Jefferson scored 30+ on nine occasions, including a stretch from February 15 – March 23 when he did so eight times in 17 games.
Marc Gasol (20 pts, 14 reb, 4 blk) — Gasol has now grabbed double digit rebounds in all six contests in the month of January. He’s been a shot blocking force lately as well, recording 13 in his last three games. Gasol has improved his BPG each season as a pro, from 1.1 as a rookie in ’08-’09 to 2.6 through the first nine games of ’11-’12. His current rebounding rate of 10.8 per game will also be a career best if he can maintain it.
Team note: A big part of Oklahoma City’s edge in this game came at the free throw line, where OKC (26-32, 81.3%) attempted 12 more free throws and converted on a higher percentage than MEM (12-20, 60%). Rudy Gay (1-5 FT) was the primary culprit in pulling down Memphis’ percentage.
Tim Duncan (20 pts, 8 reb, 7 ast, 3 blk, 9-12 FG) — Duncan provided the Spurs with a vintage performance in his team-leading 36 minutes of action. He set or tied season highs in points, assists, blocks, and minutes. The last time Duncan went for at least 20/8/7/3 was January 21, 2011 vs the Knicks, when he had a monster line of 21 points, 16 rebounds, 8 assists, and 5 blocks.
Stephen Jackson (34 pts, 8 ast, 3 3PM, 12-17 FG) — Clearly it was turn-back-the-clock night at the Bradley Center on Tuesday. The 12th-year swingman blew past his previous season highs in points (18) and assists (5) while shooting better than 50% from the floor for the first time as a Buck. Jackson, who hasn’t been a big assist contributor in some time, last went for 34+ & 8+ as a member of the run and gun Warriors on February 10, 2009. In that game, a 144-127 shootout win over the Knicks, he totaled 35 & 10.
Brandon Jennings (15 pts, 11 ast, 1 3PM, 1 TO, 7-13 FG) — Jennings’ performance against the Spurs was uncharacteristically polished and mistake-free. He shot .371 and .390 from the field in his first two pro seasons, but made more than half his shots last night while attempting (and making) just one three pointer (he averaged 6.4 3PA in the Bucks’ first seven games this year). Jennings’ 11 assists were also easily a season high and exceeded his high from 2010-11 (10, achieved four times). It was just the eighth time in 154 career games that Jennings has dished out double digit assists.
Kyle Lowry (6 pts, 11 reb, 8 ast, 2 stl, 2 blk) — Lowry, who missed two games with a minor foot injury, saw 41 minutes of action and continued to fill the box score, despite an off night scoring the ball. Houston won the battle of the boards 57-44, and Lowry was one of three Rockets to record double figure rebounds (Jordan Hill with 12 and Samuel Dalembert with 10 were the others). Lowry has now pulled down 6 or more rebounds in five of the seven games he’s played and is averaging 6.9 RPG, an unexpected source of fantasy goodness coming from a point guard.
Delonte West (6 pts, 10 ast, 5 stl) — West, who started in place of an injured Jason Kidd (DTD, back), made the most of the opportunity. Always a good per minute producer in steals, West came up with 5, while also contributing 10 assists, his best total since April 9, 2010 as a member of the Cavs. He should be a very useful plug-in in daily leagues as long as Kidd is out.
Mavericks team note: Dallas, which led by 21 points after 3 quarters, had one of the most extreme ranges of player plus/minus figures you’ll come across. Dirk Nowitski led the way at +42, while Brian Cardinal somehow managed a -28 in just 20 minutes of action, in a game his team won by 14 points.
John Wall (8 pts, 9 ast, 3 blk, 2 TO) — Wall continued to struggle shooting the ball (3-12 FG), but cleaned up his ball handling, dishing 9 assists against just 2 turnovers (he entered the night averaging 3.9 TO per game). Wall blocked 3 shots and his defensive stats (1.6 SPG, 1.2 BPG) have been a bright spot for what’s otherwise been a very disappointing start to his sophomore campaign.
Wizards team note: Washington finally got their first win behind a very balanced scoring effort, as all five starters, and eight players overall, scored between 8 and 15 points. They were beneficiaries of a sloppy Toronto performance, as the Raptors shot less than 40% from the field (30-76), just 20% (4-20) from three point land, and turned the ball over 22 times.
Looking for the other three games from last night? They were covered here: