Ivica Zubac just put on a historic display, dropping 31 points to go with 3 blocks and a career-high 39 rebounds as the Los Angeles Clippers put away the Indiana Pacers, 114-100, in L.A. on Sunday afternoon.
His performance means he’s the first player to record a stat line with those numbers as a minimum since Kareem Abdul-Jabbar recorded 37 points, 30 rebounds and 5 blocks for the Los Angeles Lakers against the New Jersey Nets back in 1978.
Ivica Zubac's final official stat line tonight was 31 points, 29 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 blocks. Zubac is the first player to do that in an NBA game since Kareem Abdul-Jabbar on Feb. 3, 1978.— (@FlyByKnite) November 27, 2022
It comes on the day that the Croatian saw his home nation record a 4-1 win over Canada in the World Cup, which Zu told Bally Sports’ Jaime Maggio inspired him to help his team get the win on Sunday afternoon. Yet he still left the court a little frustrated, after fouling out with 2 minutes left of the game, missing the opportunity to keep adding to his career-high rebounding numbers and even try to beat his career-high 32 points from last season against the Denver Nuggets.
However, when Zubac looks back on tonight he’ll find it hard not to smile about what he was able to achieve. His teammates have reportedly been pushing him to find the next level, seeing that he is capable of such performances, and he’ll want to use it as a base to keep boosting his team — especially with Kawhi Leonard and Paul George still sidelined.
With 20 games played, Zu is eyeing career-high averages in both rebounds (10.8) and blocks (1.8), which sees him rank top 10 in the NBA in both of those metrics. There’s no reason to believe he can’t continue to improve those averages, too, as his influence on the team grows with seemingly every passing game.
At the age of just 25, Zubac could be a cornerstone of the franchise for many more years to come. While he won’t forget this night in a hurry, it will hopefully be one of many when one of the nicest guys in basketball comes to hang up those size 19s…
Do I have any fans that wear size 19 shoes ?— Ivica Zubac (@ivicazubac) April 14, 2017