Minnesota Timberwolves point guard Ricky Rubio posted a career-high 19 assists in Monday's game against the Washington Wizards, setting a franchise record for most in a single game, per ESPN Stats & Info.
Now averaging 8.9 assists per game on the season, Rubio has dramatically picked up his play of late. Following the All-Star break, Rubio has posted double-digit assists in seven of his last nine games, tallying eight and nine assists in the only two contests he didn't reach 10.
Even more surprising is Rubio's recent scoring outburst. After averaging just 8.9 points per tilt prior to the All-Star recess, he's upped his scoring to 14.9 points per tilt over the nine games since. The 26-year-old assist specialist has recorded double-doubles in four of his last five games and in six of the nine second-half games.
Rubio's highest output of double-doubles prior to this season came in 2013-14 when he racked up 15. The Spaniard has already totaled 17 in 2016-17 and has 16 games remaining in the season to increase that number.
His recent improvements—along with the play of stars Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins—have resulted in a slight surge for the Timberwolves in the standings. The club has posted a 7-3 record over the last 10 games and remains within shouting distance (3.5 games back) of the Denver Nuggets for the eighth seed in the Western Conference.
It would be difficult for Minnesota to compete with the potential No. 1 seed Golden State Warriors over a seven-game series even if they were to sneak into the playoffs, but the team at least sports some young pieces that provide a bright outlook for the future of the franchise.