By Jon Hartzell, for NBA.com
Look near the benches after an NBA game, and you’ll see the floor littered with stat sheets. These white pieces of paper usually show pretty unremarkable lines and instead are used to assess the team as a whole. But on some nights, individual stat lines stand out from the rest and allow us to see who is truly outstanding.
Here are the top 10 stat lines of the 2013-14 regular season:
10. Terrence Ross, Toronto Raptors
VIDEO: Terrence Ross drops 51 points in a loss to the Clippers
January 25, 2014 vs. Los Angeles Clippers – 51 points (16-for-29 FG, 10-for-17 3PT FGA) and nine rebounds
No one expected Terrence Ross to score 51 points. No one expected him to score 40. Or 30. Going in to this game against the Clippers, the second-year guard’s career high was 26 points. He shattered this mark, connecting on 10 of 17 3-pointers, which is the second-most 3-pointers made in a 50-point game in NBA history (Stephen Curry – 11, 2013). Unfortunately for the sold-out Toronto crowd, the Raptors lost to the Clippers 126-118 despite the career night from Ross.
9. Timofey Mozgov, Denver Nuggets
VIDEO: Denver’s Timofey Mozgov nabs a 20-20 game against the Warriors
April 10, 2014 vs. Golden State Warriors – 23 points (10-for-15 FG), 29 rebounds and three assists
Speaking of the unexpected … how about Timofey Mozgov? Prior to this game, Mozgov collected more than 15 rebounds just twice during his four-year career and scored more than 20 points only five times. He did both on this Thursday night to became just the third player to collect 23-plus points and rebounds and shoot 60 percent or better since 1985-86, joining distinguished big men Dikembe Mutombo and Charles Oakley. Mozgov’s career-night led the short-handed Nuggets to a 100-99 victory at Oracle Arena.
8. Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder
VIDEO: Kevin Durant erupts for 51 points against the Raptors
March 21, 2014 vs. Toronto Raptors – 51 points (15-for-32 FG, 7-for-12 3PT FGA), 12 rebounds and seven assists
Kevin Durant‘s fourth-career 50-point game came during a double-overtime thriller in Toronto. Durant rallied the Thunder (who lost Russell Westbrook to injury during the third quarter) and hit a go-ahead 3-pointer with 1.7 seconds left in double-OT. This stat line marked his 34th straight game with 25 or more points and placed him in company with Michael Jordan and Larry Bird as the only players to collect 50-plus points, 12-plus rebounds and seven-plus assists in a game since 1985-86 (Jordan, of course, did it twice). Durant scored 38 of those 51 points in the second half of OKC’s 119-118 win.
7. Kevin Love, Minnesota Timberwolves
VIDEO: A red-hot Kevin Love drops in 45 points against the Clippers
December 22, 2013 vs. Los Angeles Clippers – 45 points (15-for-23 FG, 13-for-15 FT), 19 rebounds and six assists
High-point, high-rebound games are nothing new for Kevin Love. The rebound machine has notched a game with 30 or more points and 15 or more rebounds 27 times in his career. This game is unique, though. His 45 points are the second-most he’s ever scored and he did it while shooting 65.2 percent. When you add in the 19 rebounds and six assists, this stat line becomes remarkable. Love is just the fourth player in the past 40 seasons to record 45-plus points, 19-plus rebounds and six-plus assists in a game and the first since Hakeem Olajuwon in 1996. However, the Timberwolves lost 120-116 in L.A.
6. Corey Brewer, Minnesota Timberwolves
VIDEO: Corey Brewer has 51 points as the Wolves hold off the Rockets
April 11, 2014 vs. Houston Rockets – 51 points (19-for-30 FG, 2-for-6 3PT FGA) and six steals
Kevin Love wasn’t the only player in Minnesota putting up monster stat lines. Corey Brewer joined the party near the end of the season with an exceptional all-around game that saw him collect 51 points and six steals. Brewer certainly benefited from the lackluster defense of James Harden to score his 51 points. But no player in the NBA is bad enough on defense to allow 50-plus points simply because of their deficiencies. Scoring outbursts like that require impressive offensive displays, no matter the defender, and Brewer provided one. He joins Jordan, Allen Iverson and Rick Barry as the only players to gather 50-plus points and six-plus steals in a game since steals became an official statistic in 1973-74. The Timberwolves defeated the Rockets 112-110.
5. Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder
VIDEO: Kevin Durant crosses the 30-point plateau for the 10th straight game
January 25, 2014 vs. Philadelphia 76ers – 32 points (12-for-17 FG, 7-for-7 FT), 14 rebounds, 10 assists and two steals
The lone triple-double on this list was a special one for Durant. He was the first player since 1985-86 to collect 30-plus points, 14-plus rebounds, 10-plus assists and two-plus steals while shooting 70 percent or better. He did it against the hapless Sixers, yes. But this game marked Durant’s return from a shoulder injury and extended his streak of 30 or more points to 10 games. He continued this run for six more days before it was snapped against Brooklyn at 12 games. This streak is the fourth longest run of 30 or more points in NBA history and the longest since Tracy McGrady powered through 14 games in 2003. (Wilt Chamberlain‘s 65-game streak appears to be safe.) The Thunder defeated the Sixers 103-91.
4. LeBron James, Miami Heat
VIDEO: LeBron James torches the Bobcats (and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist) for 61 points
March 3, 2014 vs. Charlotte Bobcats – 61 points (22-for-33 FG, 8-for-10 3PT FGA), seven rebounds, four assists
LeBron James, the best basketball player in the world, arguably played the best game of his career on an early-March night in Miami against Charlotte. And he wore a mask. James collected 61 points against a defensively strong Bobcats (now Hornets) squad to set a career and Heat-franchise scoring record. He set career highs for points in a quarter (25) and FGs in a game (22) and tied his career-high for 3-pointers (8). His field goal percentage (66.7) was the highest in a 60-point game since Shaquille O’Neal scored 60 points on 68.6 percent shooting in 2000. Think Miami will miss this guy? The Heat defeated the Bobcats 124-107.
3. Carmelo Anthony, New York Knicks
VIDEO: Carmelo Anthony nets 62 points in a romp of the Bobcats
January 24, 2014 vs. Charlotte Bobcats – 62 points (23-for-35 FG, 6-for-11 3PT FGA) and 13 rebounds
This is what happens when Carmelo Anthony is efficient. The talented scorer set a career-high, New York Knicks-high and Madison Square Garden-high with 62 points on an incredible 65.7 percent overall and 100 percent from the free-throw line. Anthony had 56 points after three quarters and added 13 rebounds just for kicks to join Jordan, Shaq, David Robinson and Karl Malone as the only players to collect 60-plus points and 13-plus rebounds since 1985-86. He also scored the most points without a turnover since turnovers were first recorded in 1977-78. Oh, and New York won 125-96.
2. Anthony Davis, New Orleans Pelicans
VIDEO: Anthony Davis puts up a 40-point, 21-rebound performance against the Celtics
March 16, 2014 vs. Boston Celtics – 40 points (14-for-22 FG, 12-for-12 FT), 21 rebounds and three blocks
Look at that stat line and remember, Anthony Davis is just 21. Granted, this game went into overtime, so Davis played a full 48 minutes. But Davis became the youngest player since O’Neal to record a 40-point, 20-rebound game and the fourth-youngest in history to accomplish the feat. Add in his 12-for-12 shooting from the free-throw line and three blocks and you have a stat line that has rarely been seen in NBA history. For good measure, the Pelicans won 121-120.
1. Chris Paul, Los Angeles Clippers
VIDEO: Chris Paul dominates the Warriors with an epic performance
October 31, 2013 vs. Golden State Warriors – 42 points (12-for-20 FG, 16-for-17 FT), 15 assists and six steals
Apparently, no one told Chris Paul to save his best for last. The All-Star point guard erupted for this historic stat line on Halloween, during the Clippers’ second game of the season. He’s the first player to record at least 40 points, 15 assists and 5 steals in a game since steals were first recorded in 1973-74 and joins James and Iverson as the only players to collect 40 points and 15 assists in the past 20 seasons. This remarkable night for a remarkable player should go down as the best stat line of the 2013-14 season. (And, the Clippers won, 126-115.)