Magic guard Arron Afflalo poured in a career-high 43 points during Orlando's 126-125 double overtime loss to Philadelphia on Tuesday.
If some of those words happen to sound familiar, that's because Pacers forward Paul George just set his own career-high with 43 points in a loss to the Blazers on Monday night. George and Afflalo are now tied for the second-most points scored in a game this season, trailing only Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony, who hit for 45 points against the Rockets on Nov. 14.
Tuesday night's performance qualified as a genuine explosion for Afflalo, 28, who has averaged just 10.4 points during his season-year career. The UCLA product developed a reputation as a three-and-defense wing after being selected by the Nuggets late in the first round of the 2007 draft, but a 2012 trade to the Magic put greater offensive responsibilities on his plate. His first season in Orlando -- a rebuilding campaign for the team -- saw his efficiency numbers take a major hit, but he's off to a sizzling start so far this year, averaging a career-high 21.4 points and 4.5 rebounds while shooting 47.6 percent from deep. He currently ranks No. 13 in the NBA in scoring and he's generated some (very) early buzz as a possible 2014 All-Star reserve selection.
That the game stretched to two overtimes only made Afflalo's final boxscore line look that much more ridiculous: 43 points (on 14-for-27 shooting and 5-for-13 on three-pointers), six rebounds, five assists and two steals in 52 minutes. After keying a strong push in regulation with 11 fourth-quarter points, Afflalo seemed to run out of gas in the game's closing minutes, as he shot just 1-for-6 in the second overtime period.
“I’m so tired,” Afflalo told the Orlando Sentinel after the game. “Obviously, I’m upset that we lost. But under the circumstances of how we were able to stay in the game, I’m extremely proud of the guys and what they did tonight. It seemed like we had some career efforts all around the board.”
Afflalo's previous career-high was 36 points against the Bucks back on Nov. 13. His 52 minutes also set a new career-high.
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