The NBA closed out January in the only way it possibly could, with two separate players eclipsing the 40-point plateau. One was a usual suspect who lit it up from beyond the arc, while the other was an interior force who made his case for being an All-Star snub.
Here’s everything that you need to know about last night’s action.
1. Kevin Durant finally failed to score 30 points. Instead, he went 10-of-12 from the field for 26 points against the Eastern Conference’s hottest team during a 120-95 Oklahoma City Thunder victory over the Brooklyn Nets. Serge Ibaka added 25 points on 12-of-12 shooting as OKC shot an out-of-this-world 63.6 percent from the field as a team.
This led to Brooklyn grabbing 17 team rebounds—the lowest mark in NBA history.
2. Durant may have ended his streak of 12 consecutive 30-point games, but he also became the first player since Michael Jordan in March of 1987 to score score at least 550 points and dish out 90 assists in the same month.
3. Kevin Garnett failed to score a single point for the Brooklyn Nets. It’s the first time that KG’s gone scoreless in since his rookie year in 1995-96.
4. Stephen Curry erupted for 44 points as the Golden State Warriors defeated the Utah Jazz 95-90. Andrew Bogut stepped up with 16 points and 17 rebounds for his second consecutive games with at least 17 boards.
The 44-point outburst set a new season-high in scoring for Curry.
5. The Dallas Mavericks took down the Sacramento Kings 107-103 behind Dirk Nowitzki’s 34 points on 11-of-19 shooting from the field and 11-of-11 from the free throw line. Rudy Gay countered with 35 points, 12 rebounds, six assists and a steal on 10-of-16 shooting from the field and 15-of-17 from the charity stripe.
Gay is the first Kings player since Chris Webber on January 15, 2005 to rip off at least 35, 10 and five in the same game.
6. Nowitzki, recently named an All-Star reserve, has recorded at least 30 points in back-to-back games. It was the first time Dirk has scored at least 30 in consecutive outings since April 18, 2012.
7. Al Jefferson dominated on the heels of his All-Star snub, leading the Charlotte Bobcats to a 110-100 win over the Los Angeles Lakers. Jefferson erupted for 40 points, 18 rebounds, four assists and three steals on 18-of-32 shooting.
Jefferson is the second player this season to put up 40 points and 15 rebounds. Kevin Love of the Minnesota Timberwolves was the other.
8. The Lakers have lost 12 games in one month for the first time since February of 1964.
9. DeMar DeRozan scored 19 points and Terrence Ross finished with 18 as the Toronto Raptors defeated the Denver Nuggets 100-90. John Salmons added a season-high nine assists as the Raptors improved to 25-21.
Randy Foye dished out a career-high 16 assists for Denver, but it wasn’t enough to prevent Toronto from matching its 2013-14 road win total of 13.
10. Seven separate players scored in double-figures for the Atlanta Hawks as they defeated the Philadelphia 76ers 125-99. Elton Brand and Mike Scott combined for 36 points and 17 rebounds coming off of the bench as the Hawks improved to three games above .500.
Kyle Korver was 3-of-4 from beyond the arc to extend his NBA-record streak to 114 consecutive games with at least one 3-point field goal made.
- Thus far in 2013-14, 69 players have grabbed more rebounds in one game than the Brooklyn Nets had against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
- The Dallas Mavericks have defeated the Sacramento Kings in 19 straight home games, which is the second-longest active streak in the NBA.
- Zach Randolph out-dueled Kevin Love as the Memphis Grizzlies defeated the Minnesota Timberwolves 94-90. Z-Bo had 26 points and 12 rebounds, and Love had 28 points and 16 boards.
- Arron Afflalo scored 21 points and the Orlando Magic defeated the Milwaukee Bucks 113-102. Unfortunately, this was a battle of No. 1 pick contenders, and not postseason teams.