T.J. McConnell is now an NBA record holder.
The former Arizona Wildcats point guard recorded nine steals in the first half of the Indiana Pacers’ road game against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday night, the most steals in a single half in NBA history.
Remarkably, McConnell broke the record despite starting the game on the bench.
TJ McConnell's crazy first half!— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) March 4, 2021
8 PTS (4/4 FG)
9 STL (NBA record for a half)
in 18 Mins off the bench pic.twitter.com/9U40CL8UDx
McConnell ended the night with 16 points (on 8-of-8 shooting!), 13 assists and 10 steals, securing his second-ever triple double.
He’s the first bench player to ever have a triple-double with points, assists and steals.
#Pacers T.J. McConnell becomes the first player in NBA history to record a triple-double with steals coming off the bench— Sportsnet Stats (@SNstats) March 4, 2021
Entering Wednesday, McConnell ranked second in the league with 1.7 steals per game, only behind Jrue Holiday of the Milwaukee Bucks. However, McConnell averages seven fewer minutes per game than Holiday.
McConnell has seen his role with the Pacers steadily increase this season. Last weekend he played 46 of 48 minutes in the team’s 110-107 to the New York Knicks.
Earlier this season, McConnell joined elite company as one of just three players since 1988 to have 15 assists in less than 30 minutes of action.