Saturday, January 22

Jonas Valanciunas’ record-breaking career night propels the Pelicans to a comfortable win against the Clippers


Jonas Valanciunas will remember Monday night all his life.

The Lithuanian big man had an all-age game, setting and breaking multiple records in the process, and helping the Pelicans to a comfortable 123-104 victory over the Clippers.

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Going into this contest, Valanciunas was averaging his career highs across the board with 18.5 points, 12.3 rebounds and 2.4 assists, while hitting a triple per game with a 46.0 percent efficiency. However, in this game, he went crazy.

Here’s a look at the records the Pelicans set, tied, or broke with their performance at the STAPLES Center (soon to be called Crypto.com Arena):

39 – Highest point count of his career

The 6-foot-11 big man’s previous career record was 34 points, but he quickly surpassed it by erupting for 39, 29 of which came in the first half alone.

The game’s 39 points and the half’s 29 points are his career highs. This is the one of the Valanciunas 11th career game to score 30 or more and the first as Pelican.

Eight of his previous 10 30-point games came as a member of the Memphis Grizzlies, while the other came with the Toronto Raptors.

His explosion in the first half had his former teammate Ja Morant excited:

7 – High travel triples

The center did most of his damage from beyond the arc, knocking down seven 3s in just eight attempts for a ridiculous 87.5 percent efficiency.

He took down all those seven in the first half with a perfect shot. Here’s a look at this table of shots from the first half:

(NBA.com/stats)

Valanciunas seems to like the Clippers defense this season. In two games so far, he has hit 12 3-pointers in 17 attempts, while he has made 18 in 41 attempts in the other 21 games.

His 7-for-7 shot in the first half put his name alongside an elite company:

10-35-7: Joins Stephen Curry

With this performance, the Pelicans big man joins Stephen Curry as the only players this season to record at least 35 points, 10 rebounds and knock down seven 3-pointers.

Fun fact, both games were recorded against the Clippers. He also became the first player in franchise history to record those numbers.

39-15-7: Joins James Harden and Vince Carter

At the end, Valanciunas finished the game with 39 points, 15 rebounds, three assists and two steals in 32 minutes of play. That stat line along with his seven 3s made him the fourth player in NBA history to record those numbers.

Among the players who score at least 39 points, 10 rebounds and seven triples, Valanciunas joins the Harden’s group (x3) and Carter.




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