The 2021-2022 NBA season was one of the most exciting in recent years because there were a ton of narratives to follow throughout the year. We were able to see how a dynamic Brooklyn Nets team were able to come together before and after the blockbuster James Harden deal this year (and last year). We also saw how the Los Angeles Lakers performed as the most disappointing team in NBA history, and also enjoyed the three-horse race for the MVP award all year long.
But as usual, some players stand out as the greatest statistical performers over the year. That means a particular player(s) puts up a season-high performance in major statistical categories including scoring, rebounding, assists, steals, blocks, turnovers, 3-pointers made, and even total technical fouls. Without further ado, here are the 2021-2022 NBA season highs in terms of statistical outputs by NBA players this year.
Trae Young - 16
This one is a huge surprise. Just a few days ago, the NBA rescinded Luka Doncic's 16th technical foul, which means Trae Young is the leader in this category with a total of 16 technical fouls. Even though the perception is that Trae Young is not a person who gets a lot of techs, this could be a good reminder for him to be more careful before the play-in tournament.
There is no doubt that Trae is competitive and wants to win games, and it seems he is not happy with the way referees are calling the game when he plays. For Trae to start reaching that next level as the face of the league, it might be best for him to cut down on the complaining.
Russell Westbrook - 10
The most criticized player in the NBA this season, Russell Westbrook is unfortunately on top of the list in terms of the most turnovers in a single game this year. The former MVP had a nightmare campaign, and he is behind Trae Young (303) for most total turnovers this year (295). But in terms of turnovers in a single game, Westbrook is first. Russ managed to accumulate a whopping 10 turnovers against one of the worst teams in the league, the Oklahoma City Thunder on October 27, 2021.
Nikola Jokic - 19
There is no doubt that the most dominant triple-double threat in the game today is Nikola Jokic, quite possibly the league’s MVP. The Serbian is a unique talent at the center position because we have never seen a big man pass like him before. Jokic has put up 19 total triple-doubles this year, ahead of Dejounte Murray (13) and James Harden (11). NBA fans need to appreciate what Jokic is doing because we might not see this again from a center.
3 Pointers Made
Malik Beasley - 11
Malik Beasley has not quite had the impact many expected him to have with the Minnesota Timberwolves, but he had his best shooting performance of his career against the Oklahoma City Thunder this year. The shooting guard made 11 threes on 17 attempts, with all of his 33 points coming from the arc. Considering the money the Timberwolves paid Beasley, the franchise is hoping for more performances like this in the future.
Bojan Bogdanovic - 11
Just like Beasley, Bojan Bogdanovic made 11 three-pointers against the Oklahoma City Thunder. The veteran swingman scored 35 points, with 33 of them coming from the three and the other two coming from the free-throw line. Bogdanovic managed to make 11 threes in 18 attempts, finishing with an impressive 61.1% 3-PT FG.
Robert Covington - 11
In one of the most unlikely performances in recent memory, Robert Covington had the best game of his career against the reigning champion Milwaukee Bucks. The swingman made 11 three-pointers on 18 attempts, giving him a career-high 43 points. RoCo played over 45 minutes and finished the game on 15-24 field goals. It is very likely Covington does not have a game like that again.
Mitchell Robinson - 8
Mitchell Robinson can be a polarizing figure on the court because it is hard to expect effort from the big man every single night. He certainly has the elite shot-blocking ability, because he managed to block 8 shots in a single game in a 120-108 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies. The center had 8 blocks in 29 minutes of play, competing against Steven Adams and Jaren Jackson Jr for the majority of the night.
Daniel Gafford - 8
Daniel Gafford is a bright young player for the Washington Wizards because he has a ton of energy and shot-blocking potential when he is on the court. The center also blocked 8 shots in a single game, and he did it against the lowly Oklahoma City Thunder in a 101-99 victory. In 26 minutes of play, Gafford managed 8 blocks and 8 rebounds.
Paul George - 8
Paul George had an incredible start to the 2021-2022 season for the Los Angeles Clippers, before an injury took him out for the majority of the season. But the elite, two-way swingman leads all players this season for the most steals in a single game with 8. Second place comes Mikal Bridges and Chris Paul who both registered 7 assists in a game. In a 116-86 blowout victory over the Portland Trail Blazers, George managed 8 steals in only 26 minutes of play.
Chris Paul - 19
Chris Paul actually had 2 performances during the season where he put up 19 assists. The first came on January 30, 2022, when the point guard registered 20 points and 19 assists against the San Antonio Spurs. The Spurs aren’t a very good team, and they could not handle the point guard’s floor-leadership skills. The second came on February 10th against the Milwaukee Bucks when Paul dropped 17 points and 19 assists in a 131-107 blowout victory against the champs.
Darius Garland - 19
Darius Garland has had an unbelievable season as an All-Star point guard for the Cleveland Cavaliers, and he deserves a ton of credit for bursting onto the scene as one of the most exciting young talents in the world. Garland registered 19 assists against the Philadelphia 76ers on March 4, 2022, although the Cavaliers would lose the game 125-119.
Domantas Sabonis - 25
The trade that sent Domantas Sabonis to the Sacramento Kings certainly had its detractors (mainly from the Kings' point of view), but there is no doubt that the big man is an elite post-player. Sabonis grabbed 25 rebounds for the Indiana Pacers on November 29, 2021, against the Minnesota Timberwolves. Although the big man was dominant on the boards, the Pacers still lost the game 100-98.
Andre Drummond - 25
Andre Drummond also put up 25 rebounds in a single game, although he was the starting center in a game where Joel Embiid was absent on November 8, 2021. The lengthy center put up a game-high 25 rebounds against Nerlens Noel (2 rebounds) and the New York Knicks, including 8 offensive boards. The Sixers lost the game 103-96, and that was mainly because Philadelphia did not have enough on the floor on the offensive end without Embiid (and Simmons obviously).
Karl-Anthony Towns - 60 Points
Karl-Anthony Towns possibly proved he is one of the greatest shooting big men in NBA history after his 60-point explosion against the San Antonio Spurs on March 14, 2022. The big man only missed 4 3-point shots out of 11 attempts, and only missed a single free throw.
Dropping 60 points on over 60% shooting is extremely rare, especially when a big man is taking a lot of shots behind the three-point line. Towns had an excellent season this year, and he headlines the top scorer of the 2021-2022 season alongside Kyrie Irving.
Kyrie Irving - 60 Points
Similar to Karl-Anthony Towns’ performance one day earlier, Kyrie Irving went ballistic from the floor en route to a whopping 60-point game. The future Hall of Fame point guard has been missing for the majority of the season but came through on March 15, 2022, with a big-time performance against a lowly Orlando Magic team.
With Brooklyn winning 150-108, Irving singlehandedly dismantled one of the worst teams in the league with a spectacular shooting performance. Anytime a player puts up 60 points in a single game, it is extremely impressive, but Irving did it at incredible efficiency at 64.5% FG and 66.6% 3-PT FG.