The Stat Line Of The Night – 1/30/11 – Marcin Gortat
When Marcin Gortat was traded from the Orlando Magic to the Phoenix Suns as part of a six-player swap on December 18, his name was believed to be an afterthought in a deal that included the likes of Vince Carter, Hedo Turkoglu and Jason Richardson. However, Gortat has not only proven to be an impact player on the Suns, but he has also put together what may be the best game of his career with his new team, thanks to last night’s performance.
Taking on the red-hot New Orleans Hornets, Gortat played only 24 minutes off the bench, but he made the most of his time on the floor, recording a career-high 25 points, along with 11 rebounds and two blocks over that span. Even more impressive was the fact that 21 of his 25 points came in the second half, which helped lead the Suns to a 104-102 victory after they headed into the break tied 53-53.
The win moved the Suns back to within 2.5 games of the eighth-place Portland Trail Blazers in the Western Conference. At the beginning of the season, little was expected out of Phoenix after losing Amare Stoudemire in the off-season to the New York Knicks. However, the addition of Gortat to their front-court could be just what they need in order to sneak into the playoffs. For now, “The Polish Hammer” earns our “Stat Line of the Night” for Sunday, January 30, 2011.