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On This Day (Dec. 10)
Notable events from NBA history that occurred on December 10.
On this day in 2005, the Cleveland Cavaliers’ LeBron James had 52 points, seven rebounds, and seven assists in a loss to the Milwaukee Bucks. He shot 19-29 from the field — including 5-9 from 3-point range — and made nine of his 10 free throws.
It was the second career 50-point game for the 20-year-old James. He’s one of only four players in NBA history to record a 50-point game before his 21st birthday, and the only one to do so more than once:
56 — LeBron James (March 20, 2005)
52 — James (Dec. 9, 2005)
55 — Brandon Jennings (Nov. 14, 2009)
70 — Devin Booker (March 24, 2017)
50 — Kevin Porter Jr. (April 29, 2021)
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Career High for Kareem
On this day in 1971, the Milwaukee Bucks’ Kareem Abdul-Jabbar scored a career-high 55 points and added 17 rebounds in a 120-104 win over the Boston Celtics. He shot 23-36 from the field (63.9%) and 9-11 from the free throw line (81.8%).
Abdul-Jabbar finished that season with a career-best 2,822 points, at the time the fifth-highest total in NBA history. He now ranks ninth on the NBA’s all-time single-season scoring list.
Nique Ties Franchise Mark
On this day in 1986, Dominique Wilkins tied the Atlanta Hawks’ single-game scoring record with 57 points in a 123-95 rout of the Chicago Bulls. Wilkins still holds a share of the franchise record today with Bob Pettit (Feb. 18, 1961), Lou Hudson (Nov. 10, 1969), and himself (April 10, 1986).
Wilkins shot 19-28 (67.9%) from the field and 19-21 (90.5%) from the free throw line. It’s one of only 10 times in NBA history a player has made at least 19 field goals and 19 free throws in a game.
Melo Scores 33 in Third
On this day in 2008, the Denver Nuggets’ Carmelo Anthony erupted for 33 points in the third quarter of a 116-105 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves. Anthony tied George Gervin's NBA record for most points scored in a quarter. Their mark was later eclipsed, first by Kevin Love (34) and then by Klay Thompson (37).
Anthony finished the game with 45 points, 11 rebounds, and four steals. This was one of 19 40-point games Anthony recorded with the Nuggets, the second-most such games in franchise history (ABA seasons included):
33 — Alex English
19 — Carmelo Anthony
18 — David Thompson
12 — Nikola Jokic
On this day in 2019, the Miami Heat’s Bam Adebayo and Jimmy Butler each recorded a triple-double in a 118-110 win over the Sacramento Kings:
Adebayo — 16 PTS, 12 REB, 10 AST
Butler — 13 PTS, 10 REB, 13 AST
It’s one of 14 times in NBA history — and the first time in franchise history — teammates have each recorded a triple-double in the same game.
It was Adebayo’s first career triple-double, a feat he would duplicate just four days later. Adebayo became the youngest player in franchise history to record a triple-double, a distinction he still holds (age in years-days):
22-145 — Bam Adebayo (Dec. 10, 2019)
22-149 — Adebayo (Dec. 14, 2019)
22-193 — Adebayo (Jan. 27, 2020)
22-311 — Tyler Herro (Nov. 27, 2022)
22-348 — Dwyane Wade (Dec. 30. 2004)
Kiki VanDeWeghe’s Debut
On this day in 1980, Kiki VanDeWeghe made his NBA debut with the Denver Nuggets, scoring six points in a 116-107 win over the Dallas Mavericks. VanDeWeghe went on to average 11.5 PPG and 5.3 RPG in his rookie campaign.
Starting with his second season, VanDeWeghe reeled off six consecutive qualifying seasons in which he averaged at least 20 PPG on 50% shooting from the field and 85% shooting from the free throw line. That’s the longest such streak in NBA history by two seasons.
VanDeWeghe is one of only three players in NBA history to score at least 10,000 points while making 50% of his field goals and 85% of his free throws:
Walter Davis (51.1 FG%, 85.1 FT%)
Chris Mullin (50.9 FG%, 86.5 FT%)
Kiki VanDeWeghe (52.5 FG%, 87.2 FT%)