Wizards’ Thomas Bryant has perfect night, goes 14-of-14 from the field for 31 points

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WASHINGTON — Thomas Bryant‘s perfect night was something the NBA hadn’t seen in nearly a quarter-century.

Bryant’s 14 for 14 effort from the floor in Washington’s triple-overtime 149-146 win over Phoenix on Saturday night was the first such game in the NBA since Gary Payton had the same shooting numbers in Seattle’s win over Cleveland on Jan. 4, 1995.

“It’s amazing,” Bryant said. “I had no idea throughout the game and I had no idea after the game until people started telling me about it.”

They will be telling him about this one for a long time.

Bryant became the fifth player to have a 14-for-14 game or better, joining Payton, Bailey Howell, Billy McKinney and Wilt Chamberlain. Howell was 14 for 14 for the Baltimore Bullets – the Wizards’ franchise – against San Francisco on Jan. 3, 1965, and McKinney was 14 for 14 for Kansas City against Boston on Dec. 27, 1978.

Chamberlain had four such games – he was 15 for 15 against the Los Angeles Lakers on Jan. 20, 1967, an NBA-record 18 for 18 against Baltimore on Feb. 24, 1967 and 16 for 16 against Baltimore again on March 19, 1967, recording all of those for Philadelphia. He was 14 for 14 for the Lakers against Detroit on March 11, 1969.

Bryant scored 31 points on Saturday, more than he had posted in any other two NBA games of his career. He easily exceeded his previous career-highs for points (was 16), field goals (was five) and field goals attempted (was eight).

Bryant was 3 for 3 in the first quarter, 1 for 1 in the second quarter, 2 for 2 in the third quarter, didn’t take any shots in the fourth quarter, 4 for 4 in the first overtime, 3 for 3 in the second overtime and 1 for 1 in the third overtime.

The previous high for shots made without a miss in a game this season was 12, by Indiana’s Domantas Sabonis against New York on Oct. 31.

“I had no idea,” Bryant said. “I was just in the flow of the game. I just let the game come to me. Then as soon as I felt that I was in a rhythm, I just went out and took it.”

Bryant was also 3 for 3 from the foul line – adding to his perfect night. Of the others to go 14 for 14 from the field or better in a game, only Payton also didn’t miss from the foul line, as well.

“MVP, by far, by far,” Wizards guard Bradley Beal, who had a triple-double with 40 points, 11 rebounds and 15 assists, said when seeing Bryant’s stat line from the night`. “That’s my boy. He plays his tail off every minute.”

Going back to Washington’s game against Houston on Wednesday, Bryant is 19 for 20 from the field and has made his last 16 shot attempts.

The Wizards play at Indiana on Sunday.

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Patty Mills hits game-winner in Spurs’ NBA-record fourth straight OT game (video)

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Spurs coach Gregg Popovich pioneered resting players.

But San Antonio has played an NBA-record four straight overtime games, meaning the Spurs have had to play an extra 25 minutes.

Popovich, via ESPN:

“It’s awful,” said Spurs coach Gregg Popovich

At least Patty Mills spared San Antonio a sixth overtime period in these four games. After DeMar DeRozan missed a free throw, Mills hit the game-winner in a 121-119 victory over the Suns yesterday.

And at least the Spurs are mostly winning these longer games. In this span, San Antonio beat the Rockets in double overtime, beat the Kings, lost to the Cavaliers and now beat the Suns. I’d also argue the Cleveland result was worth it.

 

Report: Luka Doncic might return to Mavericks within a couple weeks

Luka Doncic
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Luka Doncic sprained his ankle during the Mavericks’ loss to the Heat yesterday.

Whether this timeline constitutes good news or bad news depends on your perspective.

Tim MacMahon of ESPN:

Doncic’s injury is a blow not just to Dallas, but the NBA. He’s one of the league’s brightest stars. In the next eight days, the Mavericks make their only appearances of the season in Milwaukee, Philadelphia and Toronto.

Though Doncic has played like an MVP candidate, the Mavericks also boast considerable depth. They’ve outscored opponents by 8.0 points per 100 possessions without Doncic.

Those non-Doncic lineups will be thrust into more difficult situations now. That net rating will likely drop, especially against a tough upcoming schedule. Dallas might have been in line for some losses, even with Doncic. So, don’t overreact to that.

But the Mavericks can remain at least competitive without their best player.

Bucks’ Eric Bledsoe out two weeks due to right fibula avulsion fracture

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The Milwaukee Bucks keep right on rolling, they won their 18th straight on Saturday night, cruising past the Cleveland Cavaliers. Now they’re going to have to keep this winning streak going without point guard Eric Bledsoe.

Bledsoe will miss at least two weeks with a right fibula avulsion fracture, the team announced Saturday. The injury happened Friday night in a win against Memphis.

An avulsion fracture is where a strain to ligament pulls a little bit of bone off where the two connect. It sounds worse than it is medically, and while it hurts rest is usually the only treatment needed.

Bledsoe is averaging 15 points and 5.7 assists per game for the Bucks, shooting 34.4 percent from three, playing solid defense, and providing another ball handler and shot creator next to Giannis Antetokounmpo. Milwaukee has been +4.1 points per 100 possessions this season with Bledsoe on the court.

George Hill, who has had a strong season for Milwaukee off the bench, will step into the starting role for now.

The injury comes at a rough time as the Buck hit a tougher part of the schedule this week, facing Dallas (which may be without Luka Doncic) and the Lakers on Thursday.

Hornets’ rookie P.J. Washington out weeks with fractured little finger

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In what has been a disappointing rookie class so far, Charlotte appears to have a steal drafting P.J. Washington at No. 12. The power forward out of Kentucky has started every game for the Hornets this season and is loving the spacing in the NBA game, scoring efficiently in the paint while shooting 40.6 percent from beyond the arc on 3.4 attempts per game, plus is averaging 5.3 rebounds a game.

Now the Hornets are going to be without him, likely for a couple of weeks, due to a fractured fifth finger on his right hand (pinkie). He suffered it in the fourth quarter against Chicago Friday night.

While the Hornets officially only list him as out for Sunday against the Pacers, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reports he’s going to be out through Christmas, which would mean at least five games.

Usually this would mean more minutes for Marvin Williams, but he is out with a sore right knee. Most likely, coach James Borego slides an undersized Miles Bridges over to the four — which had been the preseason plan until Washington surprised everyone — but he has a variety of small-ball players who likely will get a little run there.

The 12-16 Hornets are hanging around the playoff picture, just 1.5 games out of the eight seed (Orlando).