Pitt product Steven Adams is off to a solid start to his tenure with the New Orleans Pelicans, as he is averaging 10.0 points and 9.1 rebounds per game and fitting in well with the young, promising team. And on Wednesday, he took his game to a new level by posting the first triple-double of his NBA career during a 111-110 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder.
In the tightly contested game, Adams came up with 10 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists, and between his points and assists, he had a hand in 31 of the 110 points scored by the Pelicans. That proved to be a pivotal contribution, as the team needed every single point he scored on Wednesday but still fell one short despite the Big Kiwi’s best efforts.
Eight games into the season, the Pelicans sit at 4-4 and lead the NBA’s Southwest Division. And in that brief span, the team has twice faced the Thunder — the team that made Adams a first-round draft pick in 2013 and dealt him in the offseason — and Adams has been absolutely merciless on both occasions. The first time around, he recorded a 14-point, 10-rebound double-double and helped New Orleans cruise to a 113-80 rout. And with his unprecedented game this week, it seems he had designs on repeating the feat at least once more.
The next challenge ahead for Adams and the Pelicans is a home matchup with the Charlotte Hornets at the Smoothie King Center on Friday night. In that game, the focus will undoubtedly be on Lonzo Ball and LaMelo Ball, who are meeting for the first time in the NBA.
But the 6’11”, 265-pound center has faced the Hornets 12 times in the past and averaged 9.2 points and 9.1 rebounds per game in that span. And given that Adams posted a 14-point, 12-rebound double-double in his last trip to Charlotte, another noteworthy game could be on the horizon for the former Pitt center.