Sunday, December 3, 2023

TJ McConnell’s Triple-Double: How Crazy Was It?

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The perfect shot was a quirk. The dimes were more than you would expect from a backup guard. But it was the thefts, the thefts that made TJ McConnell’s triple-double on Wednesday night shocking.

McConnell had nine interceptions in the first half and 10 for the game, to go with 16 points (8 for 8 rushing) and 13 assists in the Pacers’ 114-111 win over the Cavaliers.

To show just how mind-boggling this feat was, here are some historical notes:

  • First-half thefts set an NBA record. McConnell failed to tie the steal record in a game (11) by one.
  • The points-assists-steals combo was the 11th since the NBA made steals an official statistic in 1973, and the first for a player off the bench.
  • The last player with such a triple-double was the Hawks’ Mookie Blaylock in April 1998.

“I was just playing with our defensive principles and trying to help lead the team, I wasn’t doing my best to do steals,” McConnell said, according to the Associated Press.

AFTER: Five things you didn’t know about Wilt Chamberlain’s 100 point game

McConnell came on Wednesday with 1.7 steals per game in 24.8 minutes.

“You will always get the effort from him on both sides. He has that look in his eyes every night,” Pacers coach Nick Bjorkgren said, according to the AP.


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