All 30 NBA teams were in action on Sunday for the last day of the regular season, but as is often the case, there wasn’t actually all that much at stake. Most teams were already locked into their playoff seed or lottery position, which meant they could give their best players the day off.
There was still some drama to sort out, like slotting half of the Western Conference postseason field. In those games, we saw some big performances from the likes of LeBron James (36 points, six rebounds and six assists to help the Los Angeles Lakers get the No. 7 seed and Anthony Edwards (26 points, 13 rebounds, four assists, four steals and four blocks as the Minnesota Timberwolves overcame internal strife to finish No. 8). And even though the New Orleans Pelicans lost and dropped to No. 9, Brandon Ingram tallied 42 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists.
Meanwhile, the Golden State Warriors‘ entire team was on fire as they destroyed the Portland Trail Blazers, 157-101, to grab the No. 6 seed and final automatic playoff berth in the West. Their 55 first-quarter point set an NBA record, while their 27 made 3s were a new franchise high.
Stars like James, Edwards and Ingram have huge nights all the time, though, and the Warriors are constantly in headlines for incredible offensive displays.
On a day like Sunday, it’s worth celebrating the lesser-known players who took advantage of the unique circumstances and extra playing time to put up eye-popping stat lines. Here’s a closer look at some of the most impressive numbers of the day.
Payton Pritchard: 30 points, 14 rebounds, 11 assists, nine 3-pointers
The Celtics guard only appeared in 48 games this year due to injuries and the arrival of Malcolm Brogdon, and was open about wanting a trade to somewhere with more playing time. He was healthy on Sunday and showed what he can do in 46 minutes of action.
Pritchard finished with 30 points, 14 rebounds and 11 assists and nine 3-pointers to set career-highs in every single category. He also recorded the first triple-double of his career and became the ninth player in Celtics franchise history to have a 30-point triple-double. Not even Jayson Tatum or Jaylen Brown have done that.
Theo Pinson: 23 points, 13 rebounds, 12 assists, 0 turnovers
While the Mavericks had already been eliminated from playoff contention due to a disastrous final two months, their final game was still meaningful to players such as Pinson, who are always trying to prove they belong. Pinson did just that on Sunday with the finest performance of his career.
With 23 points, 13 rebounds and 12 assists, he became the first Maverick not named Luka Doncic to reach those numbers since 1999. He also recorded the 40th 20-point triple-double with zero turnovers in NBA history.
Kenny Lofton Jr.: 42 points, 14 rebounds
Lofton went undrafted last year but quickly earned a spot on with the Grizzlies on a two-way deal and went on to win the G League Rookie of the Year Award for his work with the Memphis Hustle. That was enough to convince the Grizzlies to hand the unique, undersized big man a standard contract earlier this month.
In Sunday’s regular season finale, he showed why the Grizzlies were eager to keep him around long-term. He finished with 42 points and 14 rebounds, setting career-highs in both categories, and shot 17 of 25 from the field. Another win for the Grizzlies’ scouting and player development teams.
A player scoring 24 points in this era isn’t usually noteworthy, but it is when they haven’t done so since 2009. The veteran forward has essentially been a glorified assistant coach for the past seven years, and is set to retire at the end of the season, so the Heat gave him a chance to have a proper send off.
He obliged by hitting two 3-pointers and throwing down an alley-oop en route to his best scoring game in over a decade. In fact, it was the first time he’d even reached double figures since 2015. It was a Miami lovefest for Haslem, with even Dwyane Wade sitting courtside rocking a UD 40 jersey.
Cam Thomas: 46 points
If there’s one thing Cam Thomas can do, it’s score the ball. Unfortunately, he doesn’t have much interest in the other aspects of the game, which is why he dropped out of Jacque Vaughn’s rotation despite having a three-game 40-point streak earlier in the season.
He was given plenty of minutes on Sunday, though, and showed once again that he’s a high-level scorer by dropping 46 points on 16 of 29 from the field. His 46 points were the third-most in NBA history by a player who scored zero points in his previous game.
Mac McClung: 20 points, nine rebounds, nine assists
The Slam Dunk Contest champion signed a two-way deal with the Sixers back in February, but spent most of his time in the G League with the Delaware Blue Coats. After helping the Blue Coats win the G League championship earlier this month, McClung finally got a chance with the Sixers.
He played 33 minutes off the bench on Sunday in their win over the Nets, and finished with 20 points, nine rebounds and nine assists to narrowly miss out on his first NBA triple-double. Still, it was a strong showing and proved he’s more than just a dunking machine.