Monday, December 31, 2012
Vucevic cleans glass but can't slow LeBron
By ESPN Stats & Information
The fireworks started early on New Year’s Eve in Orlando, as the Miami Heat slipped past the Orlando Magic 112-110 in overtime.
The stat line of the night belonged to Nikola Vucevic, who finished with 20 points and 29 rebounds. He became the third different player in Magic history to grab at least 25 rebounds in a game. Dwight Howard (four times) and Shaquille O’Neal (twice) are the others.
With two rebounds in overtime, Vucevic was able to set the Magic franchise record for rebounds in a game. The previous mark was 28, which Shaq did against the Nets in 1993.
Vucevic’s 20-20 game is the first for an Orlando player other than Howard since 1998. Howard had the last 41 such games for the Magic. Horace Grant (one game in 1998) and O’Neal (15 games from 1992 to 1994) are the other players with a 20-20 game in franchise history.
He is only the fourth NBA player in the last 20 years with at least 20 points and 29 rebounds in the same game. Vucevic joins Kevin Love, Dikembe Mutombo (twice) and Charles Barkley.
LeBron James scored 36 points and dished out 11 assists to lead the Heat to the win. With the double-double against the Magic, he is one of only nine players with at least 15 double-doubles this season.
James has scored at least 20 points in each of the Heat’s 29 games so far this season. Since the ABA/NBA merger in 1976, that’s the second-longest such streak to start a season. Only George Gervin, with 45 straight games to start the 1981-82 campaign, has a longer streak.
LeBron, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh all finished with at least 20 points in the win. This is the 27th regular season game where all three passed that threshold, but only the sixth time in the last two seasons. The Heat are 22-5 when all three score 20 points.