Spurs and Thunder scored 300 points, which is like A LOT
We have that and more in Friday’s NBA newsletter. The Spurs beat the Thunder 154 to 147 in double overtime on Thursday. That’s like a lot of points. In fact, it’s the most combined points scored since 2006. LaMarcus Aldridge played out of his gourd, scoring 56 points on 20-33 shooting (16-16 FT) -- he dropped 56 without a single three-point attempt, which seems impossible in this age. In fact, it was the highest individual point total for someone without a three-point attempt since Shaq scored 61 on twos and freebies in 2000. LMA had gaudy stats, but so did Russell Westbrook. He put up a video game line: 24 points, 13 rebounds, 24 assists. It was the first 24-24 game since Magic in 1990, and only the fourth 24-assist game in the league since 1996. Both teams shot better than 50 percent from the floor, and the Spurs hit 16-19 on threes. That is so unreal. That means that on the 19 possessions that ended with Spurs’ three-pointers, they scored an average of 2.5 points per possession. And that assumes none of the three misses resulted in Spurs’ offensive rebounds. If you need a bucket on Friday, look for one in San Antonio. The Spurs and Thunder hoarded them all. Scores Celtics 99, Heat 115Clippers 100, Nuggets 121Thunder 147, Spurs 156 (2OT)Pistons 102, Kings 112 Schedule Here’s the weekend national TV schedule with just a few good League Pass options. Check the full schedule here. All times Eastern. Friday:Pacers at Knicks, 7:30, ESPNMavericks at Timberwolves, 8, League PassLakers at Jazz, 10, ESPN Saturday:Pelicans at Timberwolves, 8, League PassSpurs at Thunder (they want to do this again?!), 8, NBA TV Sunday:Warriors at Mavericks, 7, League PassBlazers at Nuggets, 8, League PassCavaliers at Lakers, 9:30, NBA TV Links Mike Prada breaks down the Bucks’ counterintuitive but successful defensive gameplan against James Harden and the Rockets. The case that the Bucks are hecka loaded. Kudos to the Bright Side of the Sun community for sending thousands of kids to an NBA game this week. Brian Phillips on Westbrook fandom. Pump it straight into my veins. Zach Lowe writes that it may not matter that Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid don’t fit perfectly together. Kawhi Leonard is becoming a better passer ... how does that change his game? I wrote something nice about the Celtics and they lost by 16 to a .500 team. Thanks for nothing, Boston. Anyways, here’s an optimistic take on Jayson Tatum finding his groove. Great story from Chris Herring on Marco Belinelli’s unorthodox shooting stroke. A compelling case that Kiss Cam should be abolished. Introducing cult hero Kyle Kuzma, who had 41 points and no assists the other night. New Westbrook shoe. Jonathan Tjarks talks up the Nets’ Rodions Kurucs. James Jones says the Suns are well-positioned in free agency. We’ll see. I think franchisee reputations hold some teams back in this way, and few franchisees have worse reps than Robert Sarver. And finally: ouch. Find joy this weekend and be excellent to each other.