Wednesday, February 8, 2012
Pierce heads impressive night of stat feats
By Mark Simon, ESPN Stats & Information
It wasn’t the best of days as far as shooting the basketball, but it was a milestone effort for Boston Celtics forward Paul Pierce.
On a night in which he went 6-for-18 from the field and 2-for-10 from 3-point range, Pierce passed Larry Bird into second place on the Celtics' all-time scoring list in a win over the Charlotte Bobcats. Pierce now has 21,797 career points, trailing only John Havlicek on the team's all-time scoring list.
The best thing Pierce could say about his individual performance was that when he was on the floor, the Celtics outscored the Bobcats by 26 points in his 37 minutes.
That was due partly to his nine assists and eight rebounds, a plateau combination he hit for the second time this season.
Pierce is in a little bit of a shooting funk, but he's made up for it with his ballhandling and his ability to get to the free throw line. He has 34 assists and nine turnovers in his last five games.
Take the Timberwolves Seriously
The Minnesota Timberwolves are emerging as one of the surprise stories in the NBA this season. Recently, the player to emerge with Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio has been center Nikola Pekovic.
The Timberwolves improved to 13-12 with a win over the Sacramento Kings on Tuesday. It's the first time they've surpassed the .500 mark at least 25 games into a season since 2006-07. No players on that team are on this one.
Rubio, who tied a career high with 14 assists in this win, has gotten most of the headlines, with the Timberwolves now 10-5 when he starts.
But Pekovic, who scored 23 points and had 10 rebounds in 37 minutes in Tuesday’s victory, is averaging 18.5 points and 10.5 rebounds in his last four games, three of which are Timberwolves wins.
Pekovic was able to use his post-up game to his advantage on Tuesday, scoring six of his nine hoops on post-up plays. He entered the day averaging only one post-up basket per 26 minutes this season.
Rubio now has 13 games with at least 10 assists this season. That ties Steve Nash for the most 10-assist games in the NBA this season.
The Timberwolves won despite matching their season low for points in a game, with 86. They were averaging 105.6 points in their previous five games.
Dwyane Wade was 7-for-10 from inside five feet in the Miami Heat’s win Tuesday night, scoring 14 of his game-high 26 points on those shots.
Wade had struggled in his six games since returning from an ankle injury, making 55 percent of his shots inside five feet, averaging four baskets per game. Prior to the injury, he was a 67 percent shooter from in-close.
Statistical Feats of the Night
Three players put up impressive statistical tallies in defeat.
Monta Ellis scored a career-high 48 points for the Golden State Warriors in a loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder. Had he scored two more points, he would have had the 131st game of at least 50 points in franchise history. Of those, 105 were by Wilt Chamberlain.
Ellis’ teammate, David Lee, recorded his second career triple-double (the first came against the Warriors). Lee was the fifth player to record a triple-double this season. The others are Kemba Walker, Rajon Rondo, Kyle Lowry, and Andre Iguodala
Also, Derrick Brown of the Charlotte Bobcats went 10-for-10 from the field in the loss to the Celtics.
That's the most field goals made without a miss in a single game by a Bobcats player in franchise history.
Jake Voskuhl held the previous Bobcats record for most field goals made without a miss in a single game. He was 6-for-6 against the Washington Wizards on April 3, 2007.
The last player in the NBA to go at least 10-for-10 from the field was Pau Gasol on November 21, 2010, when he went 10-for-10 in a win against the Warriors.
Plus-Minus Note of the Night
Udonis Haslem tied a career-high by finishing with a plus-27 in the Miami Heat’s win over the Cleveland Cavaliers.
All four Heat reserves finished with a positive plus-minus in a game in which Miami didn’t pull away until the fourth quarter, when it outscored the Cavaliers by 10. Haslem played 11 minutes in the final period. Mike Miller (plus-25) played all 12.