Blazers F Batum's 5x5 is the first since 2006
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — While Trail Blazers rookie Damian Lillard has gabbed much of the attention, forward Nicolas Batum has impressed the stat watchers.
Batum had the first 5x5 since 2006 on Sunday in a 95-94 Portland victory over New Orleans. A 5x5 is a game when a player has at least five points, rebounds, assists, steals and blocked shots in one game. No one had reached the benchmark since 2006.
The 6-foot-8 French forward's final line looked like this: 11 points, five rebounds, a career-best 10 assists, five steals and a career-high five blocked shots.
After the game, he posted to Twitter from Portland's famous Voodoo Doughnut shop: "Yes I deserve it!"
What makes the feat even more impressive is that Batum has been dealing with a sore back that has hampered him for several games. He sat out of Portland's 92-74 victory over Toronto on Dec. 10 and his back is still bothering him.
"A little bit," he said. "I can't really jump and move like I want to."
Batum's 5x5 game was the first since Andrei Kirilenko had one with Utah on Jan. 3, 2006. The NBA didn't tally steals and blocks before 1972 but since then the mark has been hit 15 times. Hakeem Olajuwon has the most 5x5s of any player with six, while Kirilenko has three.
Batum also became the first player with at least 10 assists, five steals and five blocks in a single game since Jamaal Tinsley on Nov. 16, 2001. It was his first double-double with points and assists.
"It was big for me," he said. "I've never had 10 in the NBA yet."
The weight of Batum's accomplishment didn't really hit until later, because the finish against the Hornets was so frantic. Damian Lillard hit a game-winning 3-pointer with 0.3 seconds left. New Orleans made an alley-oop layup but didn't even try for the game-tying 3 as time ran out, apparently out of confusion about the Trent Tucker rule.
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