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Best of 2012: Top 20 Most Impressive Box Score Lines

June 7, 2012; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo (9) fouls Miami Heat small forward LeBron James (6) during the second half in game six of the Eastern Conference finals of the 2012 NBA playoffs at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

After 2011′s dreaded lockout, the 2012 season opened up with some very rusty basketball (just ask Lamar Odom). As the year 2012 finally comes to a close, we’re about a quarter of the way through a compelling and fantastic NBA season thus far, with storylines abundant on a nightly basis.

Here, we’re taking a look back at the most impressive Box Score Lines from the entire 2012 year as whole. That means looking back at the “play-into-shape” January, through the incredible playoffs and further into this current month and current NBA season. There exists a pretty insane collection of numbers. Check out the digits (in NO particular order):

* Denotes a playoff game.

  • JAMES HARDEN, Rockets (October 31st @ Detroit)
    37 points (14-25 FG, 4-10 3PT), 6 rebounds, 12 assists, 4 steals (44 minutes)

Opening night this season, James Harden arrived in Houston. Only days before the season, he was a member of the Oklahoma City Thunder. After a day or two of practice with his new teammates (including new backcourt partner Jeremy Lin), Harden dropped this gem on the Pistons at The Palace. Not only did he score 37 points, but dished out 12 assists, grabbed 6 boards and collected 4 steals. Quite an introduction.

  • KEVIN LOVE, Timberwolves (March 23rd @ Oklahoma City)
    51 points (16-27 FG, 7-11 3PT, 12-16 FT), 14 rebounds (49 minutes)

In March’s epic “Battle of the Kevins,” Love dueled with Durant to the bitter end. Unfortunately, he came out on the losing side of this 149-140 double overtime clinic, but not before he scored 51 points with tremendous shooting percetages and grabbing 14 rebounds.

  • KEVIN DURANT, Thunder (March 23rd vs. Minnesota)
    40 points (15-26 FG, 3-6 3PT, 7-7 FT), 17 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steals (52 minutes)

Not that Durant truly “outplayed” Love, but his numbers from this very same game were equally as good, perhaps even more well-rounded. The fact that Russell Westbrook also had 45 points in this game was the easily the reason that Durant didn’t have to shoulder the entire scoring load, but grabbing 17 rebounds was certainly a highlight of his incredible box score.

  • RAJON RONDO, Celtics (March 4th vs. New York)
    18 points, 17 rebounds, 20 assists (48 minutes)

In a 115-111 overtime victory against the Knicks, Rondo had one of the all-time triple doubles. This wasn’t your average “barely made it to 10″ type of triple doubles, Rondo simply obliterated every category. The 20 assists was impressive enough, but he also grabbed 17 rebounds, something astounding for a point guard that stands just 6’1.

  • SERGE IBAKA, Thunder (February 19th vs. Denver)
    14 points (6-7 FG), 15 rebounds, 11 blocks (41 minutes)

Serge Ibaka like to venture into triple double territory on his own terms… with blocked shots. On this night, a 124-118 overtime win over the Nuggets, Ibaka combined his shot blocking brilliance with efficient scoring and rebounding in bulk. Sadly, his box score was slightly overshadowed by Kevin Durant’s career high 51 points.

  • LARRY SANDERS, Bucks (November 30th @ Minnesota)
    10 points (5-7 FG), 12 rebounds, 10 blocks, (32 minutes)

Two views on this episode of the Larry Sanders Show. First, the fact that Larry Sanders (who casual fans may easily mistake for the Garry Shandling television character), came out of absolutely nowhere early in this season to become a shot blocking and defensive genius, is incredible. Second, he put up this triple double in only 32 minutes!

  • DERON WILLIAMS, Nets (March 4th @ Charlotte)
    57 points (16-29 FG, 4-11 3PT, 21-21 FT), 6 rebounds, 7 assists (38 minutes)

Mar, 04, 2012; Charlotte, NC, USA; Charlotte Bobcats guard Gerald Henderson (15) defends New Jersey Nets guard Deron Williams (8) in second half action at the Time Warner Cable Arena. The Nets defeated the Bobcats 101-104. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Chapman-USA TODAY Sports

Deron Williams certainly had some incredible highlights in this stat line. First, his 57 points was the season high for the entire league last year. Second, his 21-21 from the free throw line has hardly been matched. Finally, he scored ALL those points, grabbed 6 boards and dished out 7 dimes in only 38 minutes of action. Bobacats or not, that is impressive.

  • DWIGHT HOWARD, Magic (January 12th @ Golden State)
    45 points (12-21 FG, 21-39 FT), 23 rebounds, 3 assists, 4 steals, 2 blocks (44 minutes)

First of all, 39 free throw attempts! Are you kidding me? That number alone is worth a look at this game’s box score. Before #Dwightmare really began, Howard posted these 45 points, which tied his career high and the 23 rebounds wasn’t far off either. The other defensive stats were a bonus in a win over the Warriors.

  • LEBRON JAMES, Heat (June 7th @ Boston) *
    45 points (19-26 FG), 15 rebounds, 5 assists (45 minutes)

This game defined LeBron’s playoff run last season. Down 3-2 in the series to the Celtics, having lost 3 straight games and facing elimination, this stat line was directly indicative of LeBron James putting the Miami Heat on his shoulders and carrying them to the finals. His incredible 19-26 shooting should stand to be one of the defining marks of his eventual Hall of Fame career.

  • RAJON RONDO, Celtics (May 30th @ Miami) *
    44 points (16-24 FG, 10-12 FT), 8 rebounds, 10 assists (53 minutes)

Earlier in the same playoff series, it was Rajon Rondo’s incredible game that stole the show, despite the Celtics losing the game and going down 0-2 in the series. He played a ridiculous 53 minutes, scoring 44 points, easily a career high. He also dished out 10 assists and came within 2 rebounds of a triple double.

  • ZACH RANDOLPH, Grizzlies (December 4th vs. Phoenix)
    38 points (15-22 FG, 8-8 FT), 22 rebounds, 3 blocks (44 minutes)

Only a couple of weeks ago, and amidst this tremendous Grizzlies start, Zach Randolph truly dropped some statistical knowledge. Only missing 7 of his 22 field goal attempts on his way to scoring 38 points and grabbing a ridiculous 23 rebounds propelled the Grizzlies to a 108-98 win over the Phoenix Suns.

  • AL JEFFERSON, Jazz (April 16th vs. Dallas)
    28 points (14-25 FG), 26 rebounds, 2 blocks (54 minutes)

Al Jefferson is playing some great ball right now for the Jazz, but very late last season he put this gem up against the Mavs. For a big man, playing 54 minutes is almost unbelievable, making this feat that much more incredible. He hauled down 26 rebounds in a 123-121 win. The only odd factor about this box score is that Jefferson didn’t get to the free throw line once in 54 minutes.

  • JOAKIM NOAH, Bulls (December 7th @ Detroit)
    30 points (12-19 FG, 10-13 FT), 23 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 blocks (43 minutes)

For Joakim Noah, one of the best passing bigs in the game currently, 6 assists on the night were simply a bonus. The 30 points and 23 rebounds were outstanding in leading the Bulls to a 108-104 win over the Pistons in Detroit.

  • ERSAN ILYASOVA, Bucks (February 19th @ New Jersey)
    29 points (11-23 FG), 25 rebounds (36 minutes)

This line definitely comes from the “where the hell did this come from” bin. Before his lapse this season, Ilyasova was considered a potential rising star, with extraordinary rebounding prowess. On this night, he scored 29 points and grabbed 25 rebounds in only 36 minutes of game time. I’m sure the Bucks would gladly take half of this production right now.

  • BEN GORDON, Pistons (March 21st @ Denver)
    45 points (13-22 FG, 9-9 3PT, 10-11 FT), 8 assists (41 minutes)

March 21, 2012; Denver, CO, USA; Detroit Pistons shooting guard Ben Gordon (8) attempts a three-point shot as Denver Nuggets shooting guard Arron Afflalo (6) and center Timofey Mozgov (25) defend during the first quarter of the game at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

As a basketball fan, when you see the headline “Ben Gordon scores 45,” you know the box score is worth a look. What you’ll find is that including in those 45 points is a perfect 9 for 9 from behind the arc and perhaps the best long distance shooting performances of the season. The 8 assists help too.

  • TIM DUNCAN, Spurs (December 12th @ Utah)
    22 points (8-17 FG), 21 rebounds, 6 blocks (33 minutes)

Last week Duncan, at the ripe age of 36, put up this beast game in a 99-96 loss to the Jazz. Having an incredible season and proving doubters wrong, Duncan has produced numbers similar to this all season. This one in particluar though, a 20-20 with 6 blocked shots, highlights his value to this team and their current 19-6 record.

  • DEMAR DEROZAN, Raptors (November 12th vs. Utah)
    37 points (16-33 FG), 8 rebounds, 6 assists (60 minutes)

This game by DeMar DeRozan stands out to me for two reasons. One, I was at the arena when this triple overtime thriller took place and second, he played a league-high 60 minutes in this game. If you happen to look ahead, he played 40 minutes the very next night in Indiana. Unbelievable. He matched his career high with 37 points and filled in the rebounds and assists columns as well.

  • CHRIS PAUL, Clippers (April 22nd vs. New Orleans)
    33 points (8-18 FG, 17-19 FT), 13 assists, 8 steals, 2 turnovers (39 minutes)

Maybe he had a chip on his shoulder? Paul decimated his former team with this late-season bomb. 33 points is solid, 13 assists to 2 turnovers is also remarkable, but the 8 steals is what really catches your eye. There will be more Chris Paul games like this one, it’s just a matter of time.

  • ANDREW BYNUM, Lakers (April 11th @ San Antonio)
    16 points, 30 rebounds, 2 blocks (37 minutes)

The mere fact that Andrew Bynum ripped down 30 rebounds like a magnet in only 37 minutes is fascinating. The fact that he did it against an extremely formidable opponent in the Spurs is more impressive.

  • BEN UZOH, Raptors (April 26th vs. New Jersey)
    12 points (6-19 FG), 11 rebounds, 12 assists, 4 steals (46 minutes)

Ben who? Exactly. We’ve had one from the “where did this come from” bin, but this one definitely falls under the “WTF!?” category. Late last season, while the Raptors were going through the tanking process, Ben Uzoh, signed to a couple of 10-day contracts, dropped this on the Nets. The shooting was bad, but how he amassed a triple double will always be a great question.

mhallihan