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Brandon Jennings’ 20-20 night puts him in rare company

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Brandon Jennings hits 20 points and 20 assists, the first in the NBA since 2009.

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Not all statistics are created equal. Greg Monroe could catch the ball in the post, make a nifty move, and get the score. Or the passer could draw in the defense and deliver a perfect pass to Moose for the easy bucket.

Either way, the passer gets the assist.

Last night, though, Brandon Jennings' career-high 21 assists were things of beauty. Definitely of the valuable sort.

All night, Jennings managed to set up teammates, helping Monroe and Andre Drummond combine for 50 points on 70-percent shooting.

It was the first time Jennings surpassed the 20-assist mark after flirting with it several times previously. It was the highest assist total for a Pistons player since Isiah Thomas notched 24 assists on Feb. 7, 1987 and it was the ninth-highest single-game total in franchise history.

The fact that he also scored 24 points made his night that much more remarkable. The last 20-point, 20-assist performance was by Steve Nash six years ago. Jennings is only the third Pistons player to hit the mark, joining Thomas and Kevin Porter. It's been nearly 30 years since a player from Detroit surpassed 20 points and 20 assists.

Perhaps the most impressive fact is just how efficiently Jennings accomplished the feat. The two times Nash had 20-20 nights, he played 36 and 55 minutes, respectively. Ramon Sessions hit the mark as a rookie in 2008, but he played 44 minutes. Jalen Rose managed a 20-20 game in 2001, and he also played 44 minutes that night.

Jennings dished 21 assists and scored 24 points in fewer than 33 minutes on the court.

The only other players to hit at least 20 points and 20 assists in fewer than 35 minutes in the past 30 years are Magic Johnson and John Stockton. That is some exclusive company.

He also joins a club of interesting individuals who have posted at least a 50-point game and a 20-20 game in their careers. Its members are Stephon Marbury, Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf and now Jennings.