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Week 21 Rewind: 10 things to know from the past 7 days in the NBA

A trio of 50-point games, Popovich becomes winningest coach, a historic milestone for LeBron and more from Week 21 in the NBA.

Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant each dropped 50-point games for the Nets in Week 21.

1. LeBron reaches 30K-10K-10K milestone, 50-point game

On Sunday in Phoenix, LeBron James made NBA history, becoming the only player in the league’s 75-year history to accumulate 10,000 points, 10,000 rebounds and 10,000 assists. Whether we call it the triple-quintuple club or the 30K-10K-10K club, the club has only one member, a true one-of-one type player that impacts the game in all facets unlike any that have come before him.

Earlier in the week, LeBron added his second 50-point game of the season, as he caught fire and went NBA Jam mode against the Washington Wizards. LeBron is one of only three players with multiple 50-point games this season – along with Kevin Durant and Jayson Tatum – and he got his two 50 pieces in the span of eight days.

2. Kyrie and KD each get 50 for Brooklyn

Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant became the second set of teammates to each post a 50-point game this season, following the Boston duo of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. Looking back over the past five seasons, this has only happened six other times, with Irving and Durant being involved in one apiece – Irving in Brooklyn in 2019-20 and Durant in Golden State in 2018-19.

  • 2020-21: Denver’s Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic
  • 2019-20: Milwaukee’s Khris Middleton and Giannis Antetokounmpo; Houston’s James Harden and Eric Gordon; Brooklyn’s Kyrie Irving and Caris LeVert
  • 2018-19: Golden State’s Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry
  • 2017-18: Portland’s Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum

Irving struck first this week, scoring 50 points on just 19 shots to lead the Nets to a 132-121 win over Charlotte. Irving shot 15-for-19 from the field, 9-for-12 from 3-point range and 11-for-13 from the free-throw line for a true shooting percentage of 101.1%!

With Irving unable to play against the Knicks on Sunday, it was Durant’s turn to carry the scoring load for the Nets as he finished with a season-high 53 points to lead Brooklyn to a 110-107 win. Durant scored in double figures each quarter: 16 in the first, 11 in the second and 13 apiece in the third and fourth as New York had no answer for him from tip off to buzzer.

3. Popovich becomes all-time leader in coaching wins

With San Antonio’s 104-102 win over Utah on Friday, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich won his 1,336th game, passing Don Nelson for the most coaching victories in NBA history.

Popovich is in his 26th season as coach of the Spurs – taking over the coaching reigns on Dec. 10, 1996 – and has put together one of the greatest coaching careers of all time. Under Popovich, the Spurs own five NBA titles, made the playoff for a league record 22 straight seasons and won at least 50 games for a league record 18 straight seasons.

There was a huge outpouring of congratulations from current and former Spurs as well as current and former competitors – all a sign of the respect and admiration for Popovich and this accomplishment across the league.

Be sure to check out this video tribute that the Spurs put together, highlighting the 199 players that have played for Popovich on his road to 1,336 career wins.

4. Celtics retire KG’s No. 5

On Sunday, Kevin Garnett was back in Boston as his No. 5 joined the pantheon of legendary Celtics to have their number retired by the franchise. Garnett may have played only six seasons in Boston, but the impact he had on the team – and the championship he helped deliver in 2008 – has his No. 5 honored alongside Bill Russell’s No. 6, Larry Bird’s 33, Paul Pierce’s 34 and many more.

The Boston Big Three of Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen reunited on the TD Garden floor, as Garnett and Allen ended a public feud that dates back to Allen’s decision to leave the Celtics and sign with the Miami Heat.

5. Vintage Klay in 38-point performance

Since he made his return to the court on Jan. 9 after missing more than two years with a pair of devastating leg injuries, Klay Thompson has shown flashes of vintage Klay, pre-injury Klay, drop 37 points in a quarter Klay. But along with those flashes have been some struggles as the sharpshooter continues to chip away at the rust that comes from missing so much time.

On Saturday against the Bucks, Klay went off for a season-high 38 points on 15-for-24 shooting from the field and 8-for-14 from 3-point range to lead the Warriors to a 122-109 win over the defending champs.

It was the third straight win for the Warriors, who find themselves in a battle with Memphis for the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference. The three-game win streak follows a stretch that saw the Warriors drop five straight and nine of 11 games. That Warriors snapped that streak March 8 against the Clippers after getting a surprise pregame visit from Jackie Moon (thanks to Warriors coach Steve Kerr for setting it up).

Klay famously dressed up as Will Ferrell’s character from the movie Semi-Pro back in 2018 and this time it was Ferrell that showed up on the Chase Center court in full Flint Tropics uniform to warm up with Klay and lighten the mood for the struggling squad.

6. Welcome returns

This week two players returned to the court following extended absences – Dillon Brooks for Memphis (out since Jan. 8 with an ankle injury) and Alex Caruso for Chicago (out since Jan. 21 with a broken wrist)  – and we have two more set to make their returns on Monday night to open Week 22 in Milwaukee’s Brook Lopez and Golden State’s Draymond Green.

Brooks finished with 15 points and four assists in 26 minutes in his first action in over two months as the Grizzlies defeated the Thunder on Sunday.

Caruso had 11 points, four assists and four steals in 29 minutes for the Bulls in his first action in over six weeks as Chicago defeated Cleveland. Both players don’t just deliver stats but change the energy of a game when they’re out on the court and are welcome returns for these two playoff bound teams.

7. Suns first to clinch playoff berth

While he didn’t miss the extended times like the players above, Devin Booker returned to the Suns lineup on March 9 against Miami after missing 10 days (and four games) due to health and safety protocols. Booker finished with 23 points, nine assists and eight rebounds to not only lead the Suns to a 111-90 win in a clash of the two conference leaders, but also clinch a playoff berth for the Suns.

Booker followed up that performance against Miami with 22 in a loss to Toronto before dropping 30 as the Suns trounced the Lakers on Sunday night to help Phoenix improve to 54-14 on the season. They hold a 7.5 game lead over any other team in the league with less than a month remaining in the regular season.

8. Sixers-Nets meet for first time since blockbuster trade

The Philadelphia 76ers hosted the Brooklyn Nets on March 10 in one of the most highly anticipated games of the season following the blockbuster trade between the teams that sent Ben Simmons to Brooklyn and brought James Harden to Philadelphia.

With Simmons in attendance (and hearing the boos) on the Nets’  bench, Brooklyn jumped on the Sixers from the opening tip and never looked back. The Nets led 40-23 after the first quarter, led by as many as 36 points, and cruised to a 129-100 win

Kevin Durant (25), Kyrie Irving (22) and former Sixer Seth Curry (24) combined for 71 points for the Nets, while the Sixers got 27 points and 12 boards from Joel Embiid, but just 11 points on 3-for-17 shooting from Harden.

All three of Harden’s buckets came from beyond the arc as he surpassed Reggie Miller for third place on the NBA’s all-time made 3-pointers list. As he was with Curry, Miller was in the building on the TNT call when Harden passed him and offered his congratulations.

9. Week 21s stats leaders

For games played between March 7 to March 13, with a minimum of two games played.

  • Points: Giannis Antetokounmpo at 37.7 ppg over three games (MIL 2-1); Kyrie Irving (36.0 ppg, BKN 2-0) and Joel Embiid (35.0 ppg, PHI 2-1) round out the top three of the week. Embiid (17.3 fta) and Giannis (16.0 fat) each averaged over 15 free throws per game.


  • Rebounds: Joel Embiid at 14.0 rpg over three games (PHI 2-1); Nikola Jokic (13.8 rpg, DEN 2-2), Deandre Ayton (13.0 rpg, PHX 3-1) and Rudy Gobert (13.0 rpg, UTA 1-2) also averaged over a dozen boards this week.


  • Assists: Darius Garland at 10.0 apg over three games (CLE 1-2); Trae Young (9.8 apg, ATL 2-2), Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (9.7 apg, OKC 0-3) and Tyrese Haliburton (9.7 apg, IND 1-2) round out the top three (with a tie for third).


  • Steals: Dejounte Murray (SAS 2-1) and Terry Rozier (CHA 1-2) shared the lead at 3.3 spg over three games; Seth Curry (3.0 spg, PHI 2-0) was the only other player with three steals or more this week.


  • Blocks: Jaren Jackson Jr. at 3.0 bpg over three games (MEM 3-0); Mitchell Robinson (2.8 bpg, NYK 2-2) and Rudy Gobert (2.7 bpg, UTA 1-2) round out the top three for the week.


  • 3-Pointers Made: Kyrie Irving at 7.0 3pg over two games (BKN 2-0); Malik Beasley (5.5 3pg, MIN 3-1) and Jordan Poole (5.3 3pg, GSW 3-1) were the only other player to average five or more this week.

10. Top plays of the week

Check out the top plays of the week!