Pelicans' Rondo tallies 25 assists for highest total in 21 years

Reuters
Jason Kidd was the last player to achieve 25 assists back in 1996. The record for most assists in a single NBA game is held by Scott Skiles, who tallied 30 in 1990.
Reuters
Reuters

New Orleans Pelicans players congratulates guard Rajon Rondo as he leaves the court after setting a franchise record with 25 assists in the NBA game against the Brooklyn Nets at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans, Louisiana, on December 27, 2017. The hosts won 128-113.

New Orleans point guard Rajon Rondo dished out an NBA season-high 25 assists on Wednesday against the Brooklyn Nets to become the first player to reach the total in 21 years.

Rondo delivered the 25 assists in just 30 minutes to help the Pelicans top the Nets 128-113.

Jason Kidd, now head coach of the Milwaukee Bucks, was the last player to achieve 25 assists back in 1996. The record for most assists in a single NBA game is held by Scott Skiles, who tallied 30 in 1990.

Rondo, who joined the Pelicans on a one-year deal in the offseason, put his passing skills on full display in helping four New Orleans players score more than 20 points on Wednesday.

The 31-year-old Rondo had a previous career-best of 24 assists.

Anthony Davis scored 33 points, and DeMarcus Cousins had 27 points and 14 rebounds for the Pelicans, AFP reported.

"We had (48) baskets with 40 assists, so that speaks for itself," Rondo said. "It wasn't just me. It was our team, a collective effort. The ball was hopping and we were making plays for each other."

Teammates raved about Rondo, Davis saying, "To get 25 is pretty incredible," and Cousins saying, "We looked like the Harlem Globetrotters at one point."

Jrue Holiday added 23 points and E'Twaun Moore had 20 for the Pelicans, who won their third consecutive game. The visiting Nets, losers in seven of their last eight starts, were led by Caris LeVert's 22 points.

Meanwhile, Oklahoma City's win streak reached six games as Paul George scored 33 points on 11-of-17 shooting and Russell Westbrook added 30 points and 13 assists in the Thunder's 124-107 home triumph.

"We took the shots that were good for us," Thunder coach Billy Donovan said. "When you're trying to play and figure all that out, it just takes time. They've been eager from day one to keep getting better."

Carmelo Anthony and Steven Adams each added 18 points for the Thunder (20-15) while CJ Miles led Toronto (23-10) with 20 points and Jonas Valanciunas added 16.

In Sacramento, California, Vince Carter came off the bench to score 24 points and fellow reserve Willie Cauley-Stein added 17 points and 9 rebounds to power the Kings over the Cleveland Cavaliers 109-95.

LeBron James compiled a triple double in a losing cause with 16 points, 14 assists and 10 rebounds while Kevin Love scored a team-high 23 points as every Cavalier who played also scored.

Elsewhere, it was: Warriors 126, Jazz 101; Timberwolves 128, Nuggets 125 (in OT); Grizzlies 109, Lakers 99; Hawks 113, Wizards 99; Celtics 102, Hornets 91; Bulls 92, Knicks 87; and Mavericks 98, Pacers 94.

Reuters

Sacramento Kings guard Vince Carter shoots the ball over Cleveland Cavaliers forward Jae Crowder during the second half of their NBA game at Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, California, on December 27, 2017. The Kings won 109-95.

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