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Aussie Rookie Jock Landale Smashes 33-Year Spurs NBA Record


Jock Landale NBA

Australian rookie Jock Landale has enjoyed a career-best night in the NBA as he broke a 33-year-old San Antonio Spurs franchise record.

Landale lit up the stats sheet as he finished with 26 points on a brilliant 12 of 15 shooting, seven rebounds, two assists and two steals in 35 minutes on the court as the Spurs lost 108-119 against the Indiana Pacers.

The former NBL star has found it difficult this season to get minutes, but with Spurs big man Jakob Poetl out with back soreness, Landale stepped up and grabbed his opportunity with both hands.

Landale became the first Spurs rookie to score 25 or more points while shooting over 80 per cent from the floor in a game since David Robinson in 1989.

The achievement puts Landale in some elite company – Robinson went on to win two NBA championships with San Antonio in 1999 and 2003.

Landale joined a list of Aussie NBA greats as he became just the ninth Australian to score 25-plus points in an NBA game, joining Joe Ingles, Aron Baynes, Chris Anstey, Dante Exum, Patty Mills, Andrew Bogut, Ben Simmons and Josh Giddey.

Asked how he was feeling after his big game, Landale declared he was ‘pretty exhausted, to be honest with you’. 

Landale was open and honest post-game when speaking about his lack of game time in his debut NBA season and said the defensive end was where he needed to improve.

“Part of it is just that there are guys ahead of me that deserve to be on the court more,” 26-year-old Landale said.

“They’re great defensively, and that’s definitely an area I need to keep getting better in.”

In an appearance with ESPN Australia’s The Jump program, Landale admitted that the lack of minutes has made for a difficult season with Spurs. 

“That’s hard. That’s really hard,” Landale said. 

“That’s the hardest part about being in this league from my experience thus far. I’ve really struggled with it at times. I still have ups-and-downs but it’s just about managing it mentally.”

Landale’s huge performance came just one day after San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich became the all-time winningest coach in NBA history as the Spurs upset the Jazz.

The former Melbourne United star’s previous best performance came against the Detroit Pistons in late December, when he recorded 18 points in a big 144-109 Spurs win. 

The Aussie basketball star, who won bronze with the Boomers at last year’s Tokyo Olympics, said he would love to stay with San Antonio for the rest of his NBA career.

Joel Martelli
Joel Martelli
The only thing that Joel Martelli loves more than football (seriously, we wouldn't be surprised if he has a Wollongong Wolves tattoo) is writing about all things sports. With a Bachelor of Communications and Media Studies Degree specialising in Journalism, he spends his days uncovering breaking athlete news stories and diving deep into play-by-play strategies. We're glad that he's put his passion to the pages of Only Sports as one of our dedicated sports writers.

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