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If you dig, NBA full of fun facts

Thirty-one notes, one for every NBA team and another to ring in the New Year.

• Kobe Bryant is fifth in Lakers’ history with 632 blocked shots through 19-plus seasons. He’s behind Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (2,694), Shaquille O’Neal (1,278) and Vlade Divac (834). The player fourth all-time may surprise you. Eldon Campbell had 1,022 blocks in eight years in L.A. without ever leading the NBA.

• The Hornets are the only NBA team that has four Naismith College Player of the Year winners in the organization. They include players Frank Kaminsky and Tyler Hansbrough, associate head coach Patrick Ewing and owner Michael Jordan.

• Isaiah Thomas, the tireless 5-foot-9 guard for the Celtics, is averaging 20.8 points and 6.8 assists per game this season. Boston hasn’t had a player that productive in both categories since Larry Bird averaged 24.3 points and 7.5 assists in 1989-90.

• The Bulls have led the NBA in attendance for the past six seasons, selling out for the 223rd consecutive game Wednesday against the Clippers. The Blackhawks have led the NHL in attendance for eight straight seasons and have sold out 290 straight.

• You might know that Golden State had won 15 straight regular-season home games to start the season and 33 in a row going back to 2014-15. You may not know San Antonio opened the season with 19 consecutive home wins, pushing its streak to 28 straight including last season.

• James Harden had made 303 free throws in his first 34 games, 19 more than any other player had attempted this season. Toronto’s DeMar DeRozan was second in attempts before Thursday. FYI: Veteran Jason Terry’s third-grade gym teacher was former NBA guard Slick Watts, who made bald beautiful in the 1970s.

• Detroit center Andre Drummond had recorded 20 points and 20 rebounds in the same game five times before the Pistons played the Timberwolves. Dwight Howard had the only other 20-20 game this season. Not bad for Drummond, whose mother drove him to practice his rookie year because he didn’t have a driver’s license.

• Milwaukee is the only team to have seven players score in double figures in four games, but they won only twice in that situation. Charlotte, Memphis, Oklahoma City and Orlando were the only other teams that had seven players in double figures more than once this season.

• With Brandon Knight moving to point guard for injured Eric Bledsoe, rookie shooting guard Devin Booker should become more productive for the Suns. The only players who scored more than 14 points in five games at his age (19 years, 57 days) were Kobe Bryant, Tracy McGrady, Dwight Howard and Kevin Durant.

• The Nets’ victory over the Heat on Monday night marked the first game they won this season when posting a worse shooting percentage than their opponent. They were 0-18 in that situation before overcoming a 14-point deficit in the second half. It was their biggest comeback win since Jan. 2, 2014, when they trailed the Thunder by 15.

• Toronto is the only NBA team leading its division that has won as many games on the road as they have at home. The Raptors are 10-5 in Air Canada Centre and 10-8 away from home.

• Al Horford (30), Kent Baszmore (26), Paul Millsap (22) and Jeff Teague (22) combined for 100 points Tuesday in the Hawks’ 121-115 win over the Rockets. The last time four Atlanta players combined for 100 points was April 11, 2008, when Horford (19), Joe Johnson (34), Josh Smith (24) and Mike Bibby (24) had 101.

• Since the beginning of 2014-15, only three players posted 15 games in which they had four steals or more. Two should be expected – San Antonio’s Kawhi Leonard (21 times) and OKC’s Russell Westbrook (19). The other is Philadelphia big man Nerlens Noel, who had four steals 16 times over that stretch.

• Miami center Hassan Whiteside had 125 blocked shots, two more than the Heat’s opponents combined, through 31 games. The only players that had more blocks than their opponents since the NBA began keeping the stats in 1973-74 (post-Bill Russell era): Mark Eaton in 1984-85 and Hakeem Olajuwon in 1992-93.

• Stephen Curry has made a three-pointer in 103 regular-season games and 89 road games, currently the longest active streak. He already has made eight or more threes in a game six times, matching an NBA record. He scored 21 points or more in a quarter five times. In seven games, he sat out the fourth quarter.

• Oklahoma City had an 8-6 record Nov. 23, when Kevin Durant returned from a six-game absence with a calf injury. Going into Thursday night, the Thunder were 14-4 after he returned. Durant had scored 20 points or more in all 18 games, the longest current streak in the NBA.

• Keep an eye on Portland guard Allen Crabbe, who has averaged 17.4 points since being inserted into the starting lineup. He had 26 points in a blowout win over Cleveland last weekend. He averaged 2.2 points per game as a rookie and 3.3 points last season before earning more minutes this year.

•Here’s a Nuggets nugget: Five days before Christmas, guard Will Barton had 32 points, 10 rebounds and six assists off the bench. Only six reserves in NBA history matched that stat line: Kevin McHale, Clyde Drexler, Detlef Schrempf, George McGinnis and Campy Russell.

• Hard to fathom, but the Jazz have had only two players (Deron Williams in 2010-11 and Carlos Boozer in 2006-07) that have averaged 20 points per game since Karl Malone retired after the 2003-04 season. Former Butler star Gordon Hayward is leading Utah in scoring this year at 18.9 points per game.

• Kawhi Leonard led the league in three-point percentage among players who played at least 30 games and taken 125 attempts before Thursday night. Quick, who is second on that list? Why, it was Kings veteran Omri Casspi, who was shooting 47.6 percent from long range on 126 attempts.

• Playing for six teams over his first five-plus seasons, Wizards swingman Garrett Temple never had 20 points in a game before hitting the mark in three straight games before Christmas. It’s an NBA first for players who failed to score 20 points in his first 250 games or more.

• St. Bonaventure fans would be happy to know Andrew Nicholson is averaging eight points per game this season, the most in his four-year career. Note to SBU alumni association: He’s making $2.38 million this season, boosting his career earnings to $6.82 million.

• Strange but true, Mavericks guards Deron Williams, Raymond Felton and J.J. Barea were born on the same day, June 26, 1984. Williams (Illinois) and Felton (North Carolina) met for the 2005 NCAA title, won by the Tar Heels. Three months later, they were selected two picks apart in the draft.

• Since the Grizzlies won four straight after losing four straight in November, they haven’t won or lost more than two consecutive games.

• The Timberwolves’ grisly record aside, they made the right choice when selecting Karl-Anthony Towns with the first pick overall. The 20-year-old is averaging 16.2 points and 9.4 rebounds per game. If he wins rookie of the year, nobody will be happier than his mentor, Kevin Garnett.

• You also don’t hear the Knicks complaining about their first-round pick, 7-foot-3 forward Kristaps Porzingis. Also 20 years old, he’s a budding star and cult hero in New York. He’s in the top three rookies in scoring (13.2), rebounds (8.0), free-throw percentage (86.1) and blocks (67).

•Cleveland will take a 12-game winning streak against the Magic when the two teams meet Saturday. The Cavs haven’t dominated a team like that since they beat the 76ers in 12 straight games in the 1990s. You should know the streak began before LeBron James returned to his kingdom.

• Never mind the high-flying dunks. Blake Griffin leads players 6-foot-10 or taller with five assists per game this season. Among players that size or taller who played 400 career games, he’s fourth in career assists per game (4.0) behind Wilt Chamberlain (4.4), Bill Russell (4.3) and Chris Webber (4.2).

• As if the Pelicans’ 3-15 road record wasn’t troubling enough, they visit the Mavericks on Saturday for the first half of a home-and-home series. New Orleans has a 2-22 record in Dallas, has lost six straight in American Airlines Arena and has beaten the Mavs twice in the past 13 games overall.

• His broken leg behind him, Paul George is having a career year with the Pacers. He’s averaging 24.1 points and 7.1 rebounds per game and is second in the NBA behind Curry in three-pointers. And he’s been better on the road than at home.

• Larry Nance Jr. (Lakers), Glen Rice Jr. (Wizards) and Tiago Spittler (Hawks) were born on New Year’s Day.


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