Two high N.B.A. groups battling into double extra time. Memorable particular person performances. And factors, factors, factors. Thursday night time’s sport between the San Antonio Spurs and the Oklahoma City Thunder set a handful of data, but it surely was the Spurs who gained, 154-147.
LaMarcus Aldridge had his finest night time. Although he has averaged 20 factors or extra recurrently, and ceaselessly winds up in the 30s and 40s, Aldridge had by no means scored 50 factors in an N.B.A. sport till Thursday. And at halftime, it didn’t appear to be Thursday could be the night time, both; Aldridge had solely 14 factors. But a robust second half took him to 43, and he the two overtimes gave him the additional minutes he wanted to 56, a brand new profession excessive.
He tallied the 56 with six layups, three dunks, 11 midrange photographs, and 16 free throws. Notably, the 6-foot-11 Aldridge tried no 3-pointers, which have powered most of the current record-setting offensive performances in the trendy N.B.A. (That was not stunning; Aldridge is simply 2 for 14 on the yr from distance.) Still, in padding his scoring in 1s and 2s, Aldridge turned the first participant to attain 50 factors with out trying a 3-pointer since Jermaine O’Neal had 55 for the Indiana Pacers in 2005.
It was the most factors by a Spurs participant since George Gervin scored 63 in 1978, and the most in opposition to the Thunder franchise since Tom Chambers of the Suns poured in 60 in opposition to the staff — then nonetheless the Seattle SuperSonics — in 1990.
It wasn’t simply the area objectives. Aldridge was 16 of 16 on free throws, rating second this season for perfection from the line. (James Harden had a 19-of-19 efficiency in opposition to the Detroit Pistons in November.) He additionally pitched in on protection, blocking 4 Thunder photographs.
“Well, he’s been a beast all year long,” Spurs Coach Gregg Popovich instructed ESPN after the sport. “He anchors us on both ends of the floor.”
As one would possibly count on, Aldridge took quite a lot of photographs in posting his massive quantity. His 33 makes an attempt have been the most for a Spurs participant since Tony Parker took 36 photographs in a sport in 2008.
The different Spurs couldn’t miss from 3. While Aldridge stayed principally down low, his teammates fired away from behind the 3-point line with virtually superhuman accuracy: making 16 of 19 makes an attempt. Their proportion, .842, was the highest ever for a staff that took no less than 10 3-pointers in a sport, surpassing a 14-of-17 (.824) efficiency by the Chicago Bulls in 2005. It was a balanced assault, too, with Marco Belinelli going 5 for 5, Davis Bertans 4 for 4 and Bryn Forbes 3 for 3.
The Thunder challenged some data of their very own. Russell Westbrook had 24 assists in the loss, the second-highest whole of the century, trailing solely Rajon Rondo’s 25 for the Pelicans final season. That was a part of a triple-double: Westbrook additionally had 24 factors and 13 rebounds. That specific mixture of no less than 20 factors, 10 rebounds and 20 assists is a rarity: It has been performed solely 12 occasions in the N.B.A. since 1960, and just one different time this century, in 2016 — by Westbrook.
The scoreboard took a pounding. The mixed 301 factors in the sport was the most since 2006, when the Suns and Nets mixed to place up 318 in a double-overtime sport. The Spurs’ 154 factors have been the most that they had scored in a sport since 1990.
Both groups will take pleasure in a day without work Friday, then swimsuit up once more on Saturday … in a rematch in Oklahoma City. Based on Thursday’s performances, that immediately has grow to be one in every of the most anticipated regular-season video games in years.