Rondo assists in stealing the show

January, 6, 2011
1/06/11
5:37
AM ET
The teams with the NBA’s two best records met Wednesday as the San Antonio Spurs visited the Boston Celtics. Despite Manu Ginobili scoring 24 points, including 20 in the fourth quarter (career high for fourth quarter), the Spurs lost their second straight game. The Spurs have now lost consecutive games for the first time this season. They had been the only team all season that hadn't lost two games in a row.

One reason for the Celtics victory was that they shot 61.3 percent from the field, the highest the Spurs have allowed all season. Many of those makes came from the perimeter as Boston made 28 field goals (on 49 attempts) from outside 15 feet (highest total this season). Rajon Rondo assisted on 17 of those 28 makes.

Rajon Rondo
Rondo
Speaking of Rondo, he finished with 22 assists, 12 points, 10 rebounds and six steals. It’s Rondo’s sixth career triple-double (second this season) and his 22 assists were two shy of matching the NBA record he shares with Isiah Thomas for most assists in a triple-double.

The Elias Sports Bureau says that Rondo was also the first NBA player to hand out as many as 20 assists, grab 10 or more rebounds and record at least six steals in one game since the NBA began keeping track of steals in 1973–74.

Rondo joined Larry Bird (four times) as the only Celtics players to register a triple-double against San Antonio and he joined Magic Johnson (Oct. 26, 1980) as the only NBA player to post a triple-double with as many as six steals against the Spurs.

Elsewhere in the league, two young power forwards put together monster games of their own.

Blake Griffin had 22 points and 18 rebounds for his 22nd consecutive double-double, tying the franchise record for consecutive double-doubles. It's Griffin's 11th straight 20-point, 10-rebound game, most by a rookie since Kareem Abdul-Jabbar also had 11 straight in the 1969-70 season. Griffin is the fourth rookie in NBA history to have 22 straight double-doubles, and the first since Elvin Hayes in 1968-69.

His Western Conference colleague Kevin Love also recorded his 22nd consecutive double-double (35 points, 15 rebounds) for his fifth 30-point, 15-rebound game of the season (most in the NBA).

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Wednesday marked the first time that two different NBA players had streaks of at least 22 straight games with double-doubles in the same season since 1976–77, when both Bill Walton (34 games) and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (24) did it. Not bad company considering both Walton and Abdul-Jabbar are members of the Hall of Fame.

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