Flashback Friday: Al Versus Yao
This week in 2009, Al Jefferson was in the midst one of his most prolific scoring seasons in the NBA for the Minnesota Timberwolves. During the 2008-09 season, Big Al averaged a career-high 23.1 points per game to go along with 11 rebounds per game.
On February 7, Big Al found himself matched up against one of the league’s premier centers in Yao Ming. A battle ensued all night between the two talented big men, and while Yao walked away with the win, Big Al had a stellar performance in his own right.
Al posted 36 points and 22 rebounds in the game, consistently using his crafty post game to score around the rim. Big Al shot 16-30 on the night from the floor in an efficient offensive showing, and he was a pest on the defensive end as well, racking up four steals and two blocks against Houston.
Ultimately, Houston prevailed, led by a deep roster that also included Tracy McGrady, Rafer Alston, Shane Battier, Luis Scola and Metta World Peace.
However, this game was a fantastic showdown between two of the NBA’s great big men in Al Jefferson and Yao Ming.