LOS ANGELES — When Lou Williams began his professional profession in 2005 coming off the bench in Philadelphia, he felt some “resentment” and a burning need to show individuals fallacious about his reserve function.
13 seasons later, Williams just isn’t solely the reigning Sixth Man of the 12 months however now he has scored extra factors off the bench than anybody in NBA historical past. On Monday, the Clippers’ tremendous sub handed Dell Curry for many profession factors scored by a reserve with 9 minutes, 54 seconds remaining within the fourth quarter of a 140-115 blowout win over the Boston Celtics.
“Anytime you may say to have ‘of all time’ subsequent to your identify, it doesn’t matter what it’s, it is particular,” Williams mentioned of turning into the the NBA’s most prolific scorer off the bench. “With being a sixth man and being a profession bench participant, to have a chance to be one thing that claims ever on the finish of it’s particular to me.”
Williams is on an absolute tear because the Clippers proceed their shocking run for a playoff spot within the Western Convention. Williams has scored 30 or extra factors six instances in his previous 16 video games, together with a complete of 74 factors, 11 rebounds and 10 assists in his previous two video games alone.
Williams helped the Clippers win their fifth straight and transfer into the sixth spot with a game-high 34 factors, 5 assists and 4 rebounds. This got here after he grew to become the primary reserve in NBA historical past to have 40 factors, seven rebounds, 5 assists and 4 steals on Friday in a win over Oklahoma Metropolis.
“He is actually artful, actually good, been capable of rating eternally,” Celtics coach Brad Stevens mentioned. “I walked into an open fitness center whereas he was in highschool. He walked in a little bit bit late and mentioned, ‘Test ball,’ and killed everyone.
“He is been that means his complete NBA profession. He walks in and simply scores. He has a particular knack for it.”
Williams entered the evening trailing Curry (11,147) by 27 factors. He handed former Clipper Jamal Crawford for second all-time with the win over the Thunder on Friday.
That efficiency marked Williams’ 28th profession recreation with 30 or extra factors, essentially the most by a bench participant since knowledge for reserve scoring began being tracked in 1970-71. Williams entered the evening main the NBA amongst all reserves in scoring with a 20.2 factors per recreation common.
“It is superb,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers mentioned earlier than the sport. “When you’re something that ends in ‘ever’ within the NBA, that is fairly spectacular. … The best way Lou does it together with his measurement and his shot, however extra importantly how a lot he finishes within the paint, I feel that’s what surprises me essentially the most since teaching him is how usually he will get within the paint and finishes over bigs. It is simply exceptional.”
Throughout his 14 seasons, Williams has began simply 109 video games out of a complete of 923 contests. Williams mentioned he realized to embrace his reserve function initially seeking to show individuals fallacious.
“It took a while, it form of took some resentment,” Williams mentioned of embracing coming off the bench. “When you suppose that I obtained to return off the bench, then I’m going to place you ready to attempt to show you fallacious. Then after some time, it was form of enjoyable and through the years it was my make-up.”
Rivers mentioned essentially the most shocking factor about Williams is his management within the Clippers’ locker room.
“He is our chief,” teammate Pat Beverley mentioned. “He is so easy. He would not shrink back from the large second. … I feel he is the one individual on this locker room that may calm me down and that is large time as a result of lots of people cannot. When Lou talks, we pay attention.”
On Monday evening with 6:52 remaining within the recreation throughout a timeout, it was Williams’ flip to pay attention because the Staples Middle crowd showered the guard with applause for turning into the all-time main bench scorer in historical past.
“I’ve all the time embraced my function,” Williams mentioned. “I feel that’s what makes it particular. That’s a part of my legacy as properly. That’s a part of what individuals will keep in mind me for therefore you may as properly be the very best at that.”
Data from ESPN’s Tim Bontemps was used on this report.