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On This Day (Dec. 11)
Notable events from NBA history that occurred on December 11.
Silver Anniversary Team
On this day in 1971, the NBA named its 25th Anniversary Team:
Bob Pettit, F
Dolph Schayes, F
Paul Arizin, F
Joe Fulks, F
Bill Russell, C
George Mikan, C
Bob Cousy, G
Bill Sharman, G
Bob Davies, G
Sam Jones, G
At the time, there were only two All-NBA teams chosen each season, each team consisting of two guards, two forwards, and one center. These selections were designed to mimic that setup. Only retired players were eligible.
Russell was the only unanimous selection. All of the players listed above have been inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
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Wilt Starts Record Streak
On this day in 1964, the San Francisco Warriors’ Wilt Chamberlain recorded 40 points and 17 rebounds in a loss to the Detroit Pistons, starting a streak of 227 consecutive double-doubles. It's the longest such streak in NBA history.
Chamberlain also owns the second and third-longest double-double streaks in NBA history:
220 (Feb. 14, 1960–Jan. 19, 1963)
133 (Jan. 22, 1963–Dec. 4, 1964)
Chamberlain recorded a double-double in 968 of his 1,045 career games (92.6%), the highest such percentage in NBA history. Through his first nine seasons, Chamberlain had just four games in which he failed to record a double-double:
Feb. 10, 1960 — 5 PTS, 2 REB, 1 AST
Jan. 20, 1963 — 6 PTS, 1 REB, 0 AST
Dec. 5, 1964 — 8 PTS, 18 REB, 2 AST
Nov. 18, 1967 — 8 PTS, 33 REB, 6 AST
He played just nine and four minutes, respectively, in the first two games above. He was injured in the first game and ejected in the second game.
Unique Effort for Oscar
On this day in 1961, the Cincinnati Royals' Oscar Robertson produced 32 points, 20 assists, and 15 rebounds in a 133-117 win over the Chicago Packers. Robertson became the first (and still only) player in NBA history to record at least 30 points, 20 assists, and 15 rebounds in a game.
There have been 19 games in NBA history in which a player recorded at least 30 points, 15 rebounds, and 15 assists. Robertson is responsible for more than half of them (11). The only other player to record multiple such games is Wilt Chamberlain (2).
Low High for Wallace
On this day in 2010, the Detroit Pistons’ Ben Wallace scored 23 points in a loss to the Toronto Raptors, his career high in a regular-season game. That’s the lowest career high in NBA history among players with at least 1,000 games played:
23 — Ben Wallace
26 — Tree Rollins
27 — Zaza Pachulia
27 — Mark West
It was one of only four 20-point games for Wallace in the regular season, the fewest such games in NBA history among players with at least 1,000 games played:
4 — Ben Wallace
8 — Mark West
13 — Tree Rollins
16 — Zaza Pachulia
Celtics, Nets on Fire
On this day in 1984, the Boston Celtics and New Jersey Nets combined to shoot 63.2% from the field, the highest such figure in NBA history:
Celtics — 52-80 (65.0%)
Nets — 56-91 (61.5%)
The Celtics won the game 130-121, with three players scoring at least 25 points on 70% shooting from the field:
Larry Bird — 35 PTS, 14-20 FG
Robert Parish — 26 PTS, 10-11 FG
Danny Ainge — 25 PTS, 11-15 FG
The Nets' starting backcourt of Otis Birdsong and Micheal Ray Richardson* combined to shoot 34-44 (77.3%) from the field, scoring 73 points:
Otis Birdsong — 42 PTS, 19-25 FG
Micheal Ray Richardson — 31 PTS, 15-19 FG
* Yes, his first name is really spelled that way.
All told, five players scored at least 25 points with a field goal percentage of 70%, the most such players in a game in NBA history.
Erving Does it All
On this day in 1982, the Philadelphia 76ers’ Julius Erving did it all in a 128-111 win over the Detroit Pistons:
Since the NBA began tracking blocks in 1973-74, Erving and Joel Embiid are the only Sixers to record at least 40 points, 10 rebounds, five assists, and five blocks in a game.
Erving’s 44 points are tied for the second-highest total of his NBA career, just one point shy of his career high.
Wilkins Scores 45
On this day in 1987, the Atlanta Hawks’ Dominique Wilkins scored 45 points, snagged 10 rebounds, and shot 18-25 from the field (72.0%) in a 109-93 victory over the Golden State Warriors.
It was the first of 10 games that season in which Wilkins scored at least 45 points, double that of any other player in franchise history:
10 — Dominique Wilkins, 1987-88
5 — Bob Pettit, 1961-62
5 — Trae Young, 2019-20
4 — Wilkins, 1986-87
4 — Young, 2021-22
Wilkins is one of only eight players in NBA history to record at least 10 such games in a season (a total of 18 instances):
Wilt Chamberlain (6 times)
Michael Jordan (3 times)
Elgin Baylor (2 times)
Kobe Bryant (2 times)
James Harden (2 times)