Have you ever heard of the name Michael Cage? I hadn’t so if you haven’t, I’ll try to help you out a bit.
Michael Cage was a solid player for the Clippers in the mid 1980s. He averaged close to 15 and 13 in the ’87-’88 NBA season for the Los Angeles Clippers. His stardom was short lived as after he left LA, he would no longer be too effective on the floor.
For now, just keep the name Michael Cage in mind, we’ll come back to him.
Now, let’s fast forward to last night when the New York Knicks took on the Sacramento Kings. It was a low scoring affair, with both teams scoring under 90 points, but that didn’t stop Robin Lopez and DeMarcus Cousins from both having historical nights.
Robin Lopez finished with 23 points and 20 rebounds while DeMarcus Cousins went for 24 points and brought down 20 boards. What a fantastic match-up between two incredible centers. (yea, yea I get it Robin Lopez might not be so ‘incredible’ but just play along)
It got me thinking to the last time two opponents went head to head and both finished with a 20-point, 20-rebound game in the regular season. I searched through the Basketball Reference Play Index for a while, finding many players who had done it before, even teammates, but not opponents in the same game. Then, I stumbled upon it.
January 10th, 1996 was the date. The Cleveland Cavaliers faced off against the San Antonio Spurs that night with the Spurs winning that game by 6. David Robinson finished with 24 points and 20 rebounds while Michael Cage (Yes, that dude I mentioned earlier!!) had 20 points and 20 rebounds.
Sure, the Knicks and Kings are two teams that both won’t be playing in the playoffs this season, but that shouldn’t be a reason to stop watching. DeMarcus Cousins and Robin Lopez did something that hadn’t happened in over 20 years and if you were lucky enough to watch that game, I congratulate you.
So, props must not only be given to Cousins and Lopez for their incredible performances, but to those who watched the game as well. You saw something that we may never see again in the NBA.
(By the way, if you were wondering the last time it ever happened in a playoff game, it was again in 1996 and with Charles Barkley and David Robinson accomplishing the feat.)