Phoenix Suns point guard Chris Paul made more history on Tuesday night in Phoenix’s 112-100 victory over the Pelicans at Footprint Center. Paul recorded his second straight double-double and fourth of the season, notching 14 points and a season-high 18 assists.
Paul moved into third on the NBA’s all-time assists list with his eighth assist on Tuesday night, passing both Mark Jackson (now 5th with 10,334 assists) and Steve Nash (now 4th with 10,335 assists). Paul, who leads the league in assists per game this season (career-best 11.8 following tonight), has dished 10+ assists in all but one game this season.
After the game, Paul reacted to moving up the all-time assists list.
“It means a lot, and I’m grateful,” Paul said. “I thank God for this opportunity; I say it all the time, not only to be on the team and still be in the league but to be playing. You don’t take that for granted. I looked at that list when I first came into the league and seeing that John Stockton, and I was like, ‘I’m going to get it.’ That ship sailed, that ship sailed. It sailed a while ago when I started missing all those games. But to be third and still be playing, I’m grateful for it, and I still have a ways to go.”
Two weeks ago, Paul became the first player with 20,000 points and 10,000 assists in NBA history, and according to Devin Booker, who scored nine of his 18 points in the fourth quarter against New Orleans, what we are saying with Paul is very special.
“We keep acting like this is normal—we go into the locker room after, ‘oh he passed Steve Nash and Mark Jackson, game ball.’ It’s bigger than that, man; it really is,” Booker said. “Obviously, I knew he was going to be close coming in today, but he passed it by a lot. I’m just happy to be a part of it, being a fan and just inspired by it, honestly. I’ve been a fan for a really long time, so it’s really fun to see, and it’s really fun to be a part of it. A long time from now, I’ll be able to say that I played with Chris Paul.”
Paul is a special player. At age 36, he continues to defy the odds and play at a high level.