StaTuesday: Bucks’ Lopez splashing, blocking his way to NBA records

It’s hard to imagine a better or more appropriate nickname than the one for Milwaukee Bucks center Brook Lopez.

“Splash Mountain.” How apropos.

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Just look at the NBA leaderboards. The 7-foot center is second in the league in blocks with 143, behind just Indiana’s Myles Turner, who has 159.

But also scroll down the list of leaders in 3-point makes. You have the obvious ones like James Harden, Steph Curry, Paul George and Buddy Hield at the top, as well names such as Klay Thompson, Damian Lillard and J.J. Redick in the top 10. But right there at No. 12 is, yup, Lopez, with 153.

Lopez is averaging 2.4 3-pointers and 2.2 blocks per game this season — both of which would be career highs. If Lopez can keep those averages, he’d become the first NBA player in history to average 2+ 3-pointers and 2+ blocks per game in a season (note: the NBA introduced the 3-point shot in the 1979-80 season).

In 25 games this season, Lopez has hit at least two 3-pointers and blocked two or more shots. No one else in the NBA has 20 such games.

2+ 3-POINTERS, 2+ BLOCKS IN SAME GAME, 2018-19 SEASON

PLAYER TEAM NO
Brook Lopez Bucks 25
Karl-Anthony Towns Timberwolves 19
Kevin Durant Warriors 13
Joel Embiid 76ers 11
Anthony Davis Pelicans 10
Danny Green Raptors 10
Maxi Kleber Mavericks 10

Lopez’s 25 such games is the fourth-most in NBA history in a single season. He needs only three more in Milwaukee’s final 18 games to tie the record, set by Golden State’s Kevin Durant last season, and four to pass.

Having played in 64 games this season thus far, Lopez is putting up a 2+ 3-point makes, 2+ blocks game every 2.56 contests. If he can even come close to continuing that average production, the record will be his.

Lopez is also the only player in NBA history with two separate seasons with at least 20 occasions of 2 or more 3s and blocks in the same game.

2+ 3-POINTERS, 2+ BLOCKS IN SAME GAME, NBA HISTORY

PLAYER SEASON NO
Kevin Durant 2017-18 28
Rasheed Wallace 2005-06 28
Danny Granger 2008-09 27
Brook Lopez 2018-19 25
Kristaps Porzingis 2016-17 23
Rasheed Wallace 2006-07 22
Robert Horry 1995-96 21
Brook Lopez 2016-17 20
Vince Carter 2000-01 20

Earlier this season, Lopez set the NBA record for most consecutive games with a 3-pointer by a 7-footer, hitting at least one 3 in 36 straight from Nov. 24-Feb. 8.

On Saturday against Utah, Lopez recorded seven blocks. It was his third game with 6+ blocks this season (tied for most in the league).

It also marked just the 38th time in Milwaukee’s history that someone had at least seven blocks in a game and Lopez was just the 11th player to accomplish it.

Splash Mountain, indeed.