We thought we had seen the best of Austin Rivers after he lit up the Utah Jazz for 23 points — 14 of which came in the fourth quarter — back in the first week of January.
Little did we know that Rivers was waiting for his second matchup against the Utah Jazz to truly explode. I know Bills quarterback Josh Allen listens to some jazz music, including Frank Sinatra, before his games. But Austin Rivers opts to destroy Jazz in his games.
In just the first half of action, Rivers surpassed his 23-point performance from the two teams' last meeting, going 10-10 from the field and a perfect 5-5 from three-point range to total 25 points.
And now it's time for my favorite activity: diving into Basketball Reference's Stathead and figuring out what exclusive club Rivers joined with this otherworldly performance. The parameters? Simple. Let's find out which players have attempted at least 10 field goals in a single half of NBA action and recorded a perfect 100 percent clip from the field. One caveat: the data only goes back to the 1996-97 NBA season.
Marreese Speights? For real? Unfortunately, it doesn't seem as though a highlight video exists. I'll take their word for it.
As you can see, no one on the above list hit more three pointers than Rivers and no one did it quite as efficiently as Rivers. Is it the greatest offensive half in NBA history (at least since 1996)? No, but technically, in some ways, it is. The fact that it can even be in the discussion, though, shows that the Knicks' decision to bring him on board is paying off in more ways than they could have expected.