The NBA: The Day Jack Taylor Became A Star

If you type “Jack Taylor” in Wikipedia’s search bar, you’ll find any of thirteen persons: two baseball pitchers, two footballers, a referee, a journalist, an entrepreneur, two actors, a musician, a swimmer, a weightlifter, and a cricketer.

None of those guys made the sports headlines yesterday. None of those guys helped his basketball team to a 179-104 victory in Division III of the US NCAA. None of those guys converted 52 of his 108 field goal attempts.

None of those guys scores ONE HUNDRED THIRTY EIGHT points in a 40-minute game – that’s almost four points per minute!

Good enough to impress no less than the player who holds the single-game scoring record among all currently active NBA players – Kobe Bryant.

"Really? Wow. That's impressive. That's crazy," Bryant said after receiving word of Taylor’s milestone. "I don't care what level you're at. Scoring 138 points is pretty insane."

Jack Taylor is the latest to breach the 100-point barrier
in organized basketball.
(image by Corey Hall/USA Today)
Of course, not everyone is as impressed. Some have criticized him as much as they’ve praised him, including this bit from David Steele of

“You and your coach have made a mockery of sportsmanship, Jack; you might have picked up on that by now. Not how you wanted to introduce yourself to the world. Then again, Kobe, Melo and the Durantula love you. Didn’t see that coming when you pulled on your jersey Tuesday night, I’ll bet.

Now, you get to weigh those conflicting reactions for the rest of today, the weekend, and probably your life. Enjoy the holidays, travel safe.

It’s horrifying, it’s dangerous, it’s not what the sport is all about, it appeals to our lowest, most basic, most primitive emotions. But holy … just show one more replay, just to see exactly how out of control it got.”

Mr. Steele does shift to more level-headed expression later in his article, but that particular excerpt reflects how supremely ironic this whole incident is.

A guy named Jack Taylor, who shares that exact same name with THIRTEEN other Wikipedia entries, distinguishes himself by scoring 138 points (and, yes, making ZERO assists). His individual feat overshadows the 75-point winning margin of his Grinnell College Pioneers over Faith Baptist Bible, 179-104. It overshadows the marathon 14-game NBA schedule that included FOUR overtime games yesterday. It overshadowed Roy Hibbert’s first ever triple-double performance (he still sucks by the way).

A guy so anonymous, with a name so ubiquitous, achieves something so momentous. A guy named Jack did something Kobe will perhaps never ever be able to do anymore (unless he decides to play Division III ball, too).

It’s not a big surprise, then, that Kobe had some final words of wisdom to offer Jack:

"Would people be celebrating me if I scored 138 points? You know how it is, some people would, some people wouldn't. They can all kiss my ass, and I'm sure [Taylor] feels the same way. If you score 138 points, you kind of have a license to tell people to eff off."

Someday soon, there will be a fourteenth Jack Taylor in Wikipedia –the same guy who now has the license to tell people to eff off.

Jack Taylor’s 138-point performance:

Game Recaps (courtesy of the Sports Network):
Charlotte 98, Toronto 97
Ramon Sessions put home the game-winning bucket with 28.3 seconds to play and the Charlotte Bobcats hung on for a 98-97 win over the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday at Time Warner Cable Arena. Sessions finished with 14 points and six assists. Kemba Walker scored a team-high 19 points to go with seven assists for the Bobcats, who have won five of six and are one victory shy of matching their total from all of last season. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist netted 14 points, while Ben Gordon contributed 13 points in the victory. Andrea Bargnani scored a game-high 25 points and Kyle Lowry put home 21 points for the Raptors, who have lost three of their last four. Jonas Valanciunas contributed 16 points and 10 boards in the setback.

Cleveland 92, Philadelphia 83
Jeremy Pargo scored a career-high 28 points and the Kyrie Irving-less Cleveland Cavaliers snapped a six-game skid with a 92-83 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday. Dion Waiters and Alonzo Gee added 16 and 14 points, respectively, for the Cavaliers, who avenged an 86-79 loss to the Sixers in Philadelphia on Sunday. C.J. Miles donated 13 points for Cleveland, which had lost six straight against the 76ers. Anderson Varejao tallied 10 points and 19 rebounds. Jason Richardson and Jrue Holiday had 16 points apiece for the Sixers, who had a three-game winning streak stopped. Evan Turner and Thaddeus Young each recorded a double-double.

Indiana 115, New Orleans 107 (OT)
Behind Paul George's nine 3-pointers and Roy Hibbert's first career triple-double, the Indiana Pacers outlasted the New Orleans Hornets in overtime, 115-107, on Wednesday. George was instrumental in the Pacers' fourth quarter comeback, connecting on three 3-pointers in the final minutes of regulation. He poured in 33 of his career-high 37 points in the second half and overtime. Hibbert, who finished with a career-high and franchise record 11 blocks, hauled in 11 rebounds and scored 10 points in registering his first triple-double before fouling out in OT for the Pacers, who have won three of their last four. George Hill and David West each chipped in 16 points in the victory. The Hornets, who led most of the first half and the fourth quarter, seemed to run out of gas by overtime in losing their fifth straight contest. Anthony Davis sat for a second straight game with an ankle injury, but in his absence, Robin Lopez finished with a double-double, scoring a season-high 21 points and pulling down 13 boards. Jason Smith added 18 points off the bench and Ryan Anderson contributed 17 for the Hornets.

Paul George is slowly emerging as the new leader for
the embattled Indiana Pacers.
(image by Darron Cummings/AP)

Orlando 90, Detroit 74
Andrew Nicholson scored a career-high 15 points and the Orlando Magic used a dominant third quarter to deliver a 90-74 victory over a poor-shooting Detroit Pistons team at the Amway Center. The Magic put together a 21-0 tear to begin the second half, turning a 3-point deficit into a comfortable lead before cruising towards only their second win in their last nine tries. That other triumph also came at the expense of the Pistons, a 110-106 decision over Detroit last Friday. Nicholson made good on 7-of-9 field goal attempts and Arron Afflalo added 12 points for Orlando, which also received a double-double from Glen Davis in the form of 11 points and a season-best 14 rebounds. Detroit shot a woeful 9.5 percent (2-for-21) in the fateful third quarter and 32.9 percent for the game en route to its 10th defeat in 12 games this season. Greg Monroe led all players with 19 points, but netted just four after halftime.

Atlanta 101, Washington 100 (OT)
The Washington Wizards were fingertips away from notching their first win of the season. But the Wizards' worst start in franchise history remains intact after the Atlanta Hawks prevailed in overtime, 101-100, at Philips Arena. Kyle Korver drained the last of his five 3-pointers to put Atlanta ahead with 1.9 seconds left in the extra session. Coming out of a timeout, Washington's Kevin Seraphin fired up a hook shot from the elbow that was short. Martell Webster secured the ball in mid-air and appeared to stun the Hawks with his putback. However, replays showed Webster still had possession when the backboard became illuminated. The Wizards became the 13th team in NBA history to lose their first 10 games. Josh Smith had a double-double of 25 points and 12 rebounds for the Hawks. Al Horford fell a rebound shy of a triple-double, finishing with 15 points and a career-high 10 assists, but he missed four critical free throws in overtime. Washington, though, bailed him out by its inability to rebound. Seraphin compiled 21 points and 10 boards for the Wizards, who have dropped nine in a row at Atlanta.

San Antonio 112, Boston 100
Tim Duncan posted 20 points and 15 rebounds to guide the San Antonio Spurs to a 112-100 win over the Boston Celtics. Tony Parker totaled 26 points on 12-of-17 shooting from the field, and added six assists. Tiago Splitter was also efficient, going 9-of-11 for 23 points off the bench, as the Spurs ended 58.4 percent from the floor. Rajon Rondo totaled 22 points and 15 assists for the Celtics, who also received 19 points from Paul Pierce and 16 from Brandon Bass.

Miami 113, Milwaukee 106 (OT)
LeBron James finished with 28 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists on Wednesday, as the Miami Heat held off the Milwaukee Bucks, 113-106, in overtime. Dwyane Wade returned from a two-game absence and matched James with 28 points, while Chris Bosh recorded a double-double with 24 points and 18 boards to help the Heat improve to 5-0 at home for the first time in club history. Brandon Jennings paced Milwaukee with 19 points, seven boards, six assists and five steals, while rookie John Henson donated a double-double with 17 points and 18 rebounds for the Bucks, who have lost two straight.

Oklahoma City 117, LA Clippers 111 (OT)
Kevin Durant struggled with his shot, but continued to attack and used the charity stripe to his advantage. Durant nailed 19-of-21 free-throw attempts and netted 35 points in the Oklahoma City Thunder's 117-111 overtime win over the Los Angeles Clippers. Durant was just 7-of-19 from the floor and turned the ball over six times, but snatched six rebounds, dished out five assists and tallied five steals for Oklahoma City, which has prevailed in eight of its last nine contests. Russell Westbrook registered 23 points and nine assists, while Serge Ibaka added 15 points and 12 boards in the victory. Oklahoma City was 34-of-39 from the foul line. Blake Griffin poured in 23 points, but Chris Paul recorded just nine points on 2-of-14 shooting for the Clippers, who had their six-game winning streak snapped. Paul had nine assists. The Clippers were gunning for their first seven-game victory stretch since an eight-game run from Nov. 30-Dec. 15, 1991.

Houston 93, Chicago 89
James Harden shook off a flu bug to score 28 points, while the Houston Rockets orchestrated a strong late finish to pull out a 93-89 win over the Chicago Bulls at the Toyota Center. Two nights after being limited to six points and 17 1/2 minutes by his sickness in a loss at Utah, Harden made good on 8-of-14 field goal attempts and added five steals while being on the court for over 42 minutes. His efforts, along with a critical 10-0 run down the stretch, enabled the Rockets to put an end to a three-game skid. Patrick Patterson chipped in 20 points and Chandler Parsons amassed 18 points and a career-best 13 rebounds for Houston, while Toney Douglas had 11 points and sank a clutch long-range jumper that gave Houston an 86-84 lead with 1:11 remaining.

Denver 101, Minnesota 94
Danilo Gallinari led five Denver players in double figures with 19 points, as the Nuggets spoiled Kevin Love's season debut by sneaking away with a 101-94 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves at Target Center on Wednesday. Gallinari shot 6-of-11 from the floor and grabbed six rebounds, while Andre Iguodala netted 18 to go with nine boards. Ty Lawson added 18 and nine assists for the Nuggets, who have won two straight on the heels of a three-game slide. Jordan Hamilton and Andre Miller donated 12 and 11 points, respectively, in the triumph. Love saw game action for the first time this season after breaking his right hand while working out in the preseason. The All-Star big man did not miss a beat, scoring a game-high 34 points to go with 14 rebounds for Minnesota, which lost for the fourth time in five tries. J.J. Barea netted 12 points and Nikola Pekovic scored 10 in defeat.

Dallas 114, New York 111
Vince Carter scored 14 of his season-high 25 points in the fourth quarter and the Dallas Mavericks held off a late surge by the New York Knicks to earn a 114-111 win at American Airlines Center. Carter drained 5-of-10 from behind the arc and O.J. Mayo scored a game-high 27 points for the Mavericks, who bounced back after losing to Golden State in overtime on Monday. Darren Collison added 19 points and seven assists in the win. In their second loss of the season, Carmelo Anthony paced the Knicks with 23 points, but missed a jumper in the final seconds that would have given New York the lead. In his return to Dallas, New York's Jason Kidd notched a season-best 17 points. He also finished with six rebounds, five assists and five steals. Chandler and Raymond Felton each recorded double-doubles. Chandler finished with 21 points and 13 rebounds while Felton added 18 points and 11 assists in the defeat.

Phoenix 114, Portland 87
Marcin Gortat scored 22 points and pulled down seven rebounds, helping the Phoenix Suns beat the Portland Trail Blazers, 114-87. Markieff Morris added 19 points and seven boards for the Suns, who snapped a three-game skid. Jermaine O'Neal and Goran Dragic ended with 17 and 15 points, respectively. Morris and Shannon Brown, who had 10 points, replaced Jared Dudley and Luis Scola in the starting lineup. Dudley and Scola each had four points off the bench. Damian Lillard had 24 points to pace the Blazers, who had a three-game winning streak snapped. Wesley Matthews and Nicolas Batum tallied 13 points apiece.

Sacramento 113, LA Lakers 97
Marcus Thornton scored a team-high 23 points off the bench and the Sacramento Kings cooled off the Los Angeles Lakers with a 113-97 victory to snap a five-game skid. Thornton, who led a 49-point effort from the Sacramento bench, scored 12 in the final period, helping the Kings out to their highest point total of the season. Tyreke Evans shot 7-for-11 and finished with 18 points, while John Salmons and Jason Thompson added 13 apiece for Sacramento, which notched its third win of the season. Thompson also hauled in 10 boards. Kobe Bryant scored a game-high 38 points, but didn't get much help from the rest of the Lakers starting lineup. Dwight Howard finished with just seven points and Pau Gasol scored eight, as Los Angeles lost for the first time under new head coach Mike D'Antoni. Metta World Peace tallied 13 points and Jodie Meeks scored 15 in the setback, which snapped Los Angeles' three-game winning streak.

Golden State 102, Brooklyn 93
Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson found their rhythm in the second half and commanded the floor. The duo tallied 38 second-half points in the Golden State Warriors' 102-93 victory over the Brooklyn Nets. Curry netted 25 points, while Thompson added 23 for the Warriors, who have won four of their past five games. Both players had 19 points apiece over the final 24 minutes. David Lee recorded 20 points, 13 rebounds and six assists in the triumph. Brook Lopez registered 22 points for Brooklyn, which has dropped two in a row on the heels of its five-game winning streak.

Top 10 Plays of the Night:

Game Highlights:

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