NBA roundup: Zubac hits historic numbers in Clippers win, Nets offense clicks into gear
Los Angeles, California - Ivica Zubac was a man possessed in the Los Angeles Clippers' 114-100 victory over the Indiana Pacers on Sunday, putting up a stat-line only ever recorded by NBA great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
With star Clippers duo Kawhi Leonard (ankle) and Paul George (hamstring) both absent, Zubac carried his team on both ends, scoring a season-high 31 points on 14-of-17 shooting, while grabbing a career-high 29 rebounds and blocking three shots.
Abdul-Jabbar is the only other player to officially tally those numbers, although it is widely believed both Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain should also be on that list, having played before the NBA began recording blocks and steals in the 1973-74 season.
Zubac became the first Clipper ever with 25 points and 25 rebounds, and since the 1983-84 season, there have only been 24 instances of a player grabbing at least 29 rebounds in a game, joining Andre Drummond, Nikola Vucevic, and Kevin Love as the only active players to accomplish the feat.
He grabbed 12 offensive rebounds with his 17 defensive rebounds, raising his average to 10.8 for the season – the ninth-best figure in the league. He is also top 10 in blocked shots, averaging a career-high 1.8 per game.
For the Pacers, Tyrese Haliburton had 19 points and 11 assists to continue maintaining his career-high and league-leading average of 11.1 assists. He is two assists per game clear of second-placed Trae Young (9.1).
The win improves the Clippers' record to 12-9, leaving them fifth in the Western Conference standings.
Around the league: Nets show credentials, Warriors dominate
The Brooklyn Nets showed the mark of a potential contender as they pulled away in the fourth quarter to defeat the Portland Trail Blazers 111-97.
With offensive focal points Kevin Durant (31 points) and Kyrie Irving (22 points) combining to shoot 20-of-37 from the field (54%), their perimeter-oriented style was thriving.
Ben Simmons only attempted three shots and finished with two points, but he played exactly the role envisioned for him, posting team-highs in rebounds (12), assists (eight), and steals (three) to keep the ball moving and the offense functioning.
Seth Curry was spectacular off the bench, hitting 11-of-15 shots for a season-high 27 points, showing off his supreme chemistry with former Philadelphia 76ers teammate Simmons.
Meanwhile, Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green turned back the clock as they had full control over the Golden State Warriors' 137-114 road win against the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Curry continued his MVP-caliber season with 25 points (seven-of-17 shooting), 11 rebounds and eight assists, while his Splash Brother Klay Thompson contributed an efficient 21 points on eight-of-13 shooting, hitting five-of-eight from deep.
They were both set up by Green, who hit six of his seven shots for 19 points, while leading the game with 11 assists and two blocks.
The Warriors have now won five of their past six games to claw above .500 at 11-10.
Cover photo: Collage: USA TODAY Sports