Sunday’s slate of games was fairly uninspiring, with no marquee matchups to speak of; even the two games that went into overtime and double overtime ended up being won by the team that was expected to do so.
But the players that shined the brightest might say otherwise, and the ones we’ve chosen as our Three Stars of the Night all happen to be guards who carried their respective teams to victory.
Third Star: Rajon Rondo — 15 points, 16 assists, 9 rebounds, 37th straight game with 10+ assists
As usual, Rondo did it all for the Celtics.
This one was especially important, not only because Boston held off a scrappy Orlando team in overtime for the victory, but because this was Rondo’s 37th consecutive game with 10 or more assists, which tied John Stockton for second most all-time. Next up is Magic Johnson and the record, which stands at 46 and which Rondo will undoubtedly surpass — one way or another.
Second Star: Tony Parker — 32 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists in double-OT win over the Raptors
The Spurs shouldn’t need double overtime to dispose of the Toronto Raptors. San Antonio — even without Kawhi Leonard and Stephen Jackson who are out due to injury — is far better from an execution standpoint, and the Raptors have had a series of heartbreaking losses this season because of their simple inability to do exactly what the Spurs do best.
Despite the extra sessions required, Parker made sure the result was the one we all predicted. 11 of his 32 points came in the two overtime sessions, and his ability to get into the paint to get some easy looks when everything for Toronto offensively seemed to be a struggle helped make the difference.
First Star: Jrue Holiday — Career-high 33 points, 13 assists
This is the type of game the Sixers needed to win — at home, against a team where the matchup was fairly even.
Holiday made sure Philadelphia got that W, playing big all night long, but especially down the stretch of a close game. This one was a low-turnover contest with both teams shooting a relatively high percentage, and all that was needed to come out with the win was for someone on either team to step up with a superstar performance.
That was Holiday in this one, and we’ll let his shot chart tell the rest of the story.