Jonas Valanciunas’ record-breaking career-night propels Pelicans to comfortable win against Clippers
Jonas Valanciunas will remember Monday night for his lifetime.
The Lithuanian big man had a game for the ages, setting and breaking multiple records in the process, and helping the Pelicans to a comfortable 123-104 win over the Clippers.
Coming into this contest, Valanciunas was averaging career-highs across the board with 18.5 points, 12.3 rebounds and 2.4 assists while making a 3-pointer a game on 46.0 percent efficiency. However, in this game, he went bonkers.
Here’s a look at the records the Pelicans set, tied or broke with his performance at the STAPLES Center (soon to be named Crypto.com Arena):
39 – Career-high points tally
The 6-foot-11 big man’s previous career-high was 34 points but he breezed past that by erupting for 39 — 29 of which came in the first half alone.
The 39 points for the game and 29 points for a half are both career-highs. This is the Valanciunas’ 11th career game of scoring 30 or more and the first as a 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 first-half explosion had former teammate Ja Morant excited:
7 – Career-high 3-pointers
The center did most of his damage from beyond the arc, knocking down a career-high seven 3-pointers on just eight attempts for a ridiculous efficiency of 87.5 percent.
He knocked down all of those seven in the first half on perfect shooting. Here’s a look at this shot chart from the first half:
Valanciunas seems to have a liking for the Clippers’ defense this season. In two games so far, he’s knocked down 12 3-pointers on 17 attempts while he’s made 18 on 41 attempts in the other 21 games.
His 7-of-7 shooting in the first half put his name alongside some elite company:
From @ESPNStatsInfo: Jonas Valanciunas is the 1st player to go at least 7-7 on 3s in a half since Trevor Ariza did it on 3/1/14.
The only other players to go 7-7 on 3s in a half since 96-97: Ariza, Stephen Curry, Ben Gordon, Shawne Williams and Raef LaFrentz.
— Andrew Lopez (@_Andrew_Lopez) November 30, 2021
35-10-7: 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 these 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 final buzzer, 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 3-pointers made him only the fourth player in NBA history to record those numbers.
Jonas Valanciunas finished Monday with 39 points, 15 rebounds & 7 3-pointers.
He’s the 4th player in NBA history with 35 points, 15 rebounds & 7 3-pt FG in a game.
The others are James Harden (x3), Vince Carter & Aron Baynes. pic.twitter.com/SsrNswbEpT
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) November 30, 2021
Among players to record at least 39 points, 10 rebounds and seven 3-pointers, Valanciunas joins the group of Harden (x3) and Carter.