Since the 1985-86 season, only three other players in the NBA have recorded a game with at least 30 points, 25 rebounds, two steals and two blocks. Last night, facing Western Conference rival Houston, LaMarcus Aldridge joined that group with a dominating game against the frontcourt of Dwight Howard and Terrence Jones in Portland’s 111-104 victory at home.
If you take out the defensive elements, Aldridge became the 16th player since 1085-86 to record at least 30 points and 25 rebounds in a single game. Inclusion on both lists is impressive, and that’s exactly what Aldridge was last night in Portland’s victory.
But he had help, too. Robin Lopez — one of Neil Olshey‘s canny signings this offseason — had 16 points (7/9), 10 rebounds and two blocks. Wesley Matthews had 18 and Nicolas Batum had 16 points, six dimes and six boards.
You might have noted Damian Lillard‘s exclusion, so far. That’s because last season’s ROY struggled mightily from the field, shooting 1-of-10, with only six dimes, against the suffocating defense of Patrick Beverley. Dwight Howard led Houston with 32 points, 17 rebounds and two blocks. James Harden poured in another 25 points and dished seven dimes for Houston, but the night belonged to Aldridge.
Despite corralling a career-high 25 rebounds, Aldridge again lived in the mid-range — particularly on the left side of the floor. Check out his shooting chart from last night:
The Blazers have attempted more mid-range shots than any other team in the league, per NBA.com, but despite all the attempts, they’re shooting the fourth-best rate in the league (43 percent) and Aldridge is a big reason why. He leads all forwards — even Dirk Nowitzki — in mid-range attempts, and he’s shooting them with more accuracy than players like Kevin Durant and Carmelo Anthony (though Dirk is the only player besides Aldridge with over 200 attempts so far this season, and he’s shooting almost 3 percent higher on them too; that’s why Dirk will be in the Hall of Fame).
Aldridge was also the primary reason the Blazers won last night to move to 19-4, the top record out West. The Rockets fell to 15-8 with the loss.
What do you think of Aldridge’s big night?
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