Enes Kanter had the game of a lifetime Saturday night, propelling the Portland Trail Blazers to a 118-103 victory over the Detroit Pistons. Starting in place of Jusuf Nurkic, the nine-year veteran played a game-high 37 minutes and dominated the Pistons frontcourt.
Detroit used a combination of Mason Plumlee, Isaiah Stewart, Jahlil Okafor, and Sekou Doumbaya to combat Kanter, but none were effective tonight. The four of them combined for just 29 points 13 rebounds.
Enes Kanter had the game of a lifetime Saturday night in a 118-103 victory over the Detroit Pistons, scoring 24 points while pulling down 30 rebounds.
Meanwhile, Kanter scored an efficient 24 points on 56.2 percent shooting and dominated the glass, pulling down a career-high 30 rebounds. In comparison, the Pistons only grabbed 38 rebounds as a team. Twelve of Kanter’s rebounds came on the offensive glass as the Pistons had no answer for him on this night. He also had two blocks, two assists, and a steal.
With just over three minutes left in the game, Kanter pulled down his 28th rebound of the night, setting a new franchise record for most rebounds in a game, breaking the previous record of 27 set by Sidney Wicks in 1975. By the end of the game, the big man became the first player in the league to grab 30 rebounds since Dwight Howard grabbed 30 rebounds and scored 32 points as a member of the Charlotte Hornets back in 2018.
In the aftermath of the 15-point victory, Trail Blazers superstar point guard Damian Lillard sang high praises for Kanter and even went as far as calling him the greatest rebounder he’s ever played with. Now that he holds the franchise record for most rebounds in a single game for the only team that Lillard has played for, that doesn’t sound so farfetched.
After his 30 rebound performance on Saturday, Kanter is now averaging 12.2 points and 12 rebounds in less than 27 minutes per game this season.
Despite playing the most taxing and bruising position on the court, Kanter always plays with a smile on his face. He has always been a great rebounder and a player that gives maximum effort whenever he’s on the floor. When asked about Kanter breaking the record, head coach Terry Stotts made sure to highlight these attributes.
To get a rebounding record is a lot different than points…When you look at the effort that it takes to rebound and the persistence at both ends, the beating you have to take, all those things are tough to do…it speaks a lot about the person’s will and desire
After the game, when asked about what it meant to him to hold that record, Kanter replied:
We just had two bad losses and I just wanted to go out there and literally just win the game and destroy whoever we were playing against…it was a cool accomplishment but I think what made me more happy and excited was seeing my teammates cheer for me.
On Saturday night, Kanter joined an elite club in NBA history, becoming just the 23rd player to grab at least 30 rebounds in a single game since the league first started tracking rebounds in 1950, and only the fourth player to achieve the feat since 1996.