1. Embiid and Tatum go for 50
There have been six 50+ point games in the NBA so far this season and two of them came in the past week as Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid scored 50 against Orlando on Wednesday and Boston’s Jayson Tatum dropped 51 at Washington on Sunday.
Embiid tied his career-high with 50 points on 17-23 (73.9%) shooting from the field and 15-17 (88.2%) from the free throw line to go with 12 rebounds and three blocks in just 27 minutes in the Sixers’ 123-110 win over the Magic.
Tatum posted his third career game with at least 50 points as he finished with 51 on 18-28 (64.3%) shooting from the field, 9-for-14 (64.3%) from 3-point range and a perfect 6-for-6 from the free throw line. He added 10 rebounds, seven assists and finished with a plus-30 in Boston’s 116-87 win over the Wizards. The Celtics are the only team this season with multiple players to score 50 or more in a game as Tatum joins Jaylen Brown, who had a career-high 50 in a win over Orlando on Jan. 2.
Jayson Tatum is only the second @celtics player to record 45+ PTS, 10+ REB, and 5+ AST in a game. Larry Bird is the only other Celtic to ever accomplish this, he did it 9 times. https://t.co/X576bLqve5
— NBA History (@NBAHistory) January 24, 2022
2. Curry hits first game-winning buzzer-beater
At this point, there aren’t many shots Stephen Curry has not hit during his career, but Friday night saw him knock down his first career game-winner at the buzzer in Golden State’s 105-103 win over Houston.
This was Curry’s eighth career game-winning shot – and the video of those eight clutch buckets is waiting below – but this was the first that came with 0.0 remaining on the clock. Curry only shot 6-21 on the night as he finished with 22 points and 12 assists, but came through when it mattered most.
— NBA (@NBA) January 22, 2022
3. Suggs headlines a week of monster dunks
Magic rookie Jalen Suggs brought the house down as he split a pair of Bulls defenders, got into the lane and rose up for an explosive dunk during Orlando’s 114-95 win over Chicago. The Terrance Ross reaction is priceless.
Here are a few more must-see dunks from the past week:
- Russell Westbrook on Rudy Gobert
- Scottie Barnes on the fast break
- Issac Okoro from Darius Garland from Kevin Love (secondary assist)
- Miles Bridges with the windmill
- Gary Payton II vs. the Pacers
- Jarrett Allen vs. all of OKC
4. Jokic headlines this week’s 10 triple-doubles
Week 14 saw 10 triple-doubles across the league, including two apiece from Denver’s Nikola Jokic (11) and San Antonio’s Dejounte Murray (9) – who rank first and tied for second on the season, respectively. Jimmy Butler also had two of his three triple-doubles on the season in the past seven days.
Jokic capped off an epic triple-double (49 points, 14 rebounds, 10 assists) with the game-winning assist to Aaron Gordon, who knocked down a corner 3-pointer off a beautiful cross-court pass from Jokic with 1.7 seconds remaining in overtime as the Nuggets beat the Clippers 130-127.
What do you do if you’re the Clippers? The clock is winding down and the player with 49 points in the game already has it on the wing beyond the 3-point line. They sent a double-team to force the ball out of Jokic’s hands, but that left them at the peril of the best passing big man in the game, who looked over the double-team, saw Gordon open in the corner and delivered the perfect pass for the game-winner.
With his 49-PT, 14 REB and 10 AST triple-double tonight, Nikola Jokic is now the third center since 1970-71 to record a 45+ PT triple-double.
The other two are Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1975), and Alvan Adams (1977). pic.twitter.com/IZAUYSvgij
— NBA History (@NBAHistory) January 20, 2022
5. LeBron’s trio of reverse alley-oops
Notice to all future Lakers’ opponents, keep an eye on LeBron James cutting along the baseline. In each of Los Angeles’ past three games, LeBron has thrown down a reverse dunk alley-oop. Two of the assists came from Malik Monk, while the other came from Russell Westbrook.
- Lakers vs. Nuggets on Wednesday (from Monk)
- Lakers vs. Magic on Friday (from Monk)
- Lakers vs. Heat on Sunday (from Westbrook)
6. Milestone Watch: LeBron hits 10k rebounds
On Wednesday, LeBron James reached another career milestone as he grabbed his 10,000th career rebound in the Lakers’ 111-104 loss to the Pacers. LeBron became the 42nd player in NBA history to reach 10,000 rebounds and only the third active player to do so, joining current Lakers’ teammate Dwight Howard and Deandre Jordan.
LeBron James is first player in NBA history with 30K PTS, 10K REB and 9K AST 👑 pic.twitter.com/znmO1Vx4nL
— NBA (@NBA) January 20, 2022
LeBron is the only player in NBA history to reach at least 30,000 career points, 10,000 career rebounds and 9,000 career assists. In fact, of the 42 players with 10,000 rebounds, no other player than LeBron has reached 6,000 career assists. At the close of Week 14, LeBron needs just 83 more dimes to become the league’s first player to reach 30K-10K-10K in points, rebounds and assists. Now that is a triple-double!
This week, LeBron also took the overall lead in fan voting for the 2022 All-Star Game as he looks to be a captain for the fifth straight year since the format changed in 2018. Fan voting closed on Jan. 22 and the starters will be announced on Jan. 27.
7. Steven Adams carries Tony Bradley away from Ja Morant
There are plenty of strong players in the NBA. Then there is Steven Adams. Chicago’s Tony Bradley and Memphis’ Ja Morant got tangled up after a foul, and when it came time to separate the players, Adams took matters into his own hands – or should I say arms – as he literally picked up Bradley and moved him back away from Morant. Elevate Adams’ teammate rating in 2K immediately.
8. Jose Alvarado shines at MSG
Pelicans rookie and Brooklyn native Jose Alvarado had the best game of his young career on Thursday night at Madison Square Garden has he posted 13 points on 6-9 shooting to go with four rebounds and four steals in New Orleans’ 102-91 win.
Alvarado played a career-high 20 minutes while his friends and family watched from the stands – thanks in part to teammates Brandon Ingram and Josh Hart purchasing 20 teams to make sure Alvarado’s biggest fans were in the house. Alvarado’s postgame interview and postgame tweet about what that night meant to him are so pure.
9. Weekly stats leaders
For games played Monday, Jan. 17 – Sunday, Jan. 23, with a minimum of two games played.
- Points: Joel Embiid: 40.0 ppg over four games (PHI 2-2); Jokic 2nd at 36.3 ppg over three games (DEN 2-1)
- Rebounds: Jusuf Nurkic: 16.0 rpg over four games (POR 3-1), Blazers staying in play-in field with no Dame
- Assists: Chris Paul: 13.0 apg over three games (PHX 3-0); Darius Garland 2nd at 11.7 apg over three games (CLE 2-1)
- Steals: Jose Alvarado: 3.0 spg over two gages (NOP 1-1)
- Blocks: Jaren Jackson Jr. (MEM 2-2) and Jakob Poeltl (SAS 1-3): 3.3 bpg over four games each
- 3-pointers: Terence Davis (SAC 0-2) and Trae Young (ATL 4-0): 5.0 3pg this week.
10. Plays of the week