No showing from Texas-Ex and San Antonio Spurs power forward LaMarcus Aldridge has ever been as impressive as the one he put forth on Thursday night, as Aldridge dropped a career-high 56 points in a 154-147 double-overtime win over the Oklahoma City Thunder.
“I was just complaining about two weeks ago that I feel that it should have happened in my career,” Aldridge said of his first career 50-point game, per ESPN’s Michael C. Wright. “My teammates were very unselfish tonight. They were looking for me. I’ll put [the ball] in my little trophy case at the house. First 50-point game for me. I definitely want to have that ball to add to the collection.”
In addition to connecting on 20-of-33 attempts from the field, 16 of Aldridge’s 56 points came courtesy of a perfect 16-of-16 effort from the charity stripe, and collectively, 26 of Aldridge’s points came throughout the fourth quarter and the two overtime periods. Furthermore, he filled out the stat sheet with nine rebounds, four blocks, and four assists.
Now one of only two players to score at least 56 points this season, as Aldridge’s latest effort joins Charlotte Hornets point guard Kemba Walker’s 60 point-explosion against the Philadelphia 76ers in November, the 33-year-old former Longhorn has been a catalyst for the Spurs throughout what’s become 14 wins in 18 games.
Throughout that successful stretch, Aldridge is averaging 24 points per game, helping to spearhead a Spurs squad that’s now headlining the Southwest Division and sits at sixth in the Western Conference with a record of 25-18.
“Well, he’s been a beast all year long,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said, via ESPN. “He anchors us on both ends of the floor. He’s been fantastic, and obviously he had a great night.”
Bolstered by his recent stretch, Aldridge leads the Spurs with a player efficiency rating of 22.08 — a top 25 effort league-wide.