Saturday, March 24, 2012
Durant + Westbrook > Love + Barea
By ESPN Stats & Information
Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant and guard Russell Westbrook have set a new standard of dynamic-duo performance in the NBA.
In an epic double-overtime matchup with the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday, the two each surpassed the 40-point mark.
This was the second time this season that both scored at least 40 points in the same NBA game. The Elias Sports Bureau noted that no pair of teammates had done that previously in NBA history.
Timberwolves forward Kevin Love and guard J.J. Barea formed their own statistically special tandem. Love broke Kevin Garnett’s single-game record for points in a game with 51 and Barea recorded his first career triple-double, the NBA’s first by a player born in Latin America.
Only one other time in NBA history has a team had one player score 50 points and another record a triple-double in a losing effort. Elias uncovered that Wilt Chamberlain supplied the scoring and Guy Rodgers had the triple-double for the 1962-63 Warriors.
The Thunder have now won 11 straight games against the Timberwolves.
Heat turn it up on defense
The Miami Heat allowed a season-low 73 points against the Pistons. They held Detroit to only 52 points in half court, 29 fewer than in their previous meeting on Jan. 25.
The Heat had some early offensive success inside. Miami scored 34 points in the paint in the first half, matching its most in a first half for the season.
Dwyane Wade finished with a game-high 24 points and was 7-for-10 from inside 10 feet for the game.
Honorable Mention: Feats of the Night
Steve Nash had his 10th game this season with at least 15 assists for the Phoenix Suns on Friday. Rajon Rondo had his fourth such game. Nash and Rondo rank 1-2 in the NBA in 15-assist games in 2011-12.
Atlanta Hawks forward Josh Smith (30 points, 12 rebounds) joined Love, Durant and LeBron James as the only players in the NBA this season with consecutive games with at least 30 points and 10 rebounds.
Plus/Minus Note of the Night
Phoenix Suns center Channing Frye was a plus-15 in a 113-111 win over the Indiana Pacers. No one else on the Suns was better than a plus-5.
Frye was 5-for-7 from the field in the win. He was 5-for-17 and a minus-15 in his two games prior to this one.