Ivica Zubac is quite upset upon coming up short to seal a legendary individual mark on the Los Angeles Clippers’ recent win over the Indiana Pacers.
Zubac ended up with a monstrous 31 points and 29 boards against the Pacers, ending the victorious 114-100 Sunday night on the cusp of achieving a historic 30/30 stat line that only two have achieved in the last 40 years of the NBA’s history books.
A rebound could have allowed him to join both Dwight Howard and Kevin Love in the said great company, but Zubac was called for his sixth foul with 3 minutes 40 seconds remaining in the last frame after contesting the driving layup of Indiana guard T.J. McConnell.
Despite taking an unwanted exit, Clippers faithful gave their well-deserved flowers for Zubac, who truly had the ultimate game of his career.
“I was mad at myself because I wanted to get that 30 and 30 so bad and I just needed one rebound,” Zubac said, courtesy of Los Angeles Times’ Sarah Valenzuela. “It hurts. I’m definitely not as happy as I should be. I was just mad at myself for getting that foul.
“First, I didn’t think it was a foul, so I was mad at that,” he explained. “And then I was mad at myself for going for it. But I just, I can’t help myself. Every time I see someone trying to get a layup, I try to block it. That’s who I am.”
Still, his three blocks allowed him to be inserted into an elite group of people to log at least 31 points, 29 rebounds, and three blocked shots in a game.
He became the third player in NBA history to do that, and it took almost 50 years. The last one who attained the milestone was the great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar back in the 1973-1974 season.
“I always wanted to get a 20 [-point], 20 [-rebound] game, and when I had a chance to get 30 and 30, I wanted to get it so bad,” Zubac said. “Still, it’s crazy to be mentioned with Kareem and guys like that in the same sentence. It’s incredible.”
For head coach Ty Lue, he can only be happy with what the 25-year-old Croatian big man has delivered.
“Zu’s been good for us all year, and tonight it was great to see him rewarded with a big game like this,” Lue said. “All the guys happy for him, hearing the fans chanting, ‘Zu.’ That’s a good feeling.”
The Clippers end their two-game road trip and will now hit the road as they face the Portland Trail Blazers on Tuesday.