One of the wonderful things about the NBA is that, on any given night, some random player can catch fire and add his name to the list of the league’s great tradition of anomalous performances. For instance, in the last decade alone, we’ve seen 50-point games come out of nowhere from guys like Andre Miller, Corey Brewer, Mo Williams, and various others who weren’t necessarily known for their offensive prowess.
It’s a good reminder that even those we would consider average or marginal NBA players are exponentially better at basketball than the vast populous of planet Earth. On Friday night in Phoenix, we were treated to the latest edition of those delightfully-random scoring outbursts, this time courtesy of Suns big man Aron Baynes.
In his team’s 127-117 win over the Blazers, Baynes finished with a stat line for the ages: 37 points, 16 rebounds, nine three-pointers, and two blocks. The 37 points also distinguish him among the long tradition of his fellow countryman, making it the highest-scoring mark ever by an Australian player in an NBA game. The previous record of 34 points was shared by Ben Simmons and Patty Mills.
Aron Baynes was ON FIRE tonight.
♨️ 37 PTS (career-high)
♨️ 16 REB
♨️ 9 3PM
♨️ W pic.twitter.com/FyfThGMBqd
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) March 7, 2020
You knew it was going to be a special night when Baynes started the game 5-of-5 from downtown and was taking step-back threes en route to 19 first-quarter points. It was just more lights-out play from there as Baynes led his team to the victory over a Blazers squad that is desperately vying for the last remaining playoff spot in the West.
Baynes’ box score also put him in exclusive company as the only other player besides James Harden to log at least 30 points, 15 rebounds, and eight three-pointers.
History made. pic.twitter.com/DfXS6vHXA9
— Phoenix Suns (@Suns) March 7, 2020
This is truly one for the record books. Baynes could retire a happy man after tonight, or just continue to fulfill his obvious destiny as one of the league’s — and his country’s — most prolific scorers.