On a day where the world celebrates relationships, the NBA celebrated two special couples of their own. Only two games made up the NBA schedule on the final day before the All-Star Break. The Clippers and Lakers showed us how to share and take at the same time in a meeting of L.A. rivals, and Thunder and Heat reminded us that old flames can still make our heart flutter.
Welcome to a Valentine’s day edition of Five Fast Facts.
- LeBron James became the first player to score at least 30 points in seven straight games heading into the All-Star Break since Wilt Chamberlain did so in the 1962-63 season, as the Heat defeated the Thunder 110-100 in a rematch of last seasons NBA Finals.
- James matched his season-high with 39 points, but he failed to shoot 60 percent from the field (14-24, 58.3), snapping his streak of games with 30 points AND shooting 60 percent from the floor at six.
- The Heat extended their win streak to a season-best 7 games. In the loss, Kevin Durant missed his first seven shots and still scored 40 points for a league-leading sixth time. The last player to score at least 40 points after missing his first seven shots in a game was Allen Iverson on April 15, 2003. Iverson scored 42 against the Bulls after starting the game 0-7 from the floor.
- Blake Griffin scored the first 10 points of game and the Clippers were up 15-0 en route to a 125-101 rout of the Lakers. The Clippers are 3-0 this season vs the Lakers. This is only the 2nd time since moving to LA in 1984-85 that the Clippers will win the season series from the Lakers. The other instance occurred in 1992-93, going 3-2 against the Lakers. While watching the game from home, Memphis Grizzlies’ guard Tony Allen had the tweet of the night watching DeAndre Jordan shoot a free-throw.
- The Lakers (25-29) enter the All-Star break with a losing record for the first time since the 1993-94 season. Entering this season, the Lakers were .500 or better at the All-Star break in each of the last 17 seasons (excluding the 1998-999 season when there was no All-Star game), which WAS the longest active such streak in the NBA. That now belongs to the Spurs, with 15 straight seasons at .500 or better entering the All-Star break.
Stat Mann is the nom de guerre of our research statistician, who spends a lot of time watching basketball in central Connecticut. Someone would be angry if they discovered he was moonlighting here.