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On This Day (Dec. 12)
Notable events from NBA history that occurred on December 12.
Lakers Record Streak
On this day in 1971, the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Atlanta Hawks 104-95 for their 21st consecutive victory, breaking the NBA record of 20 wins in a row they shared with the Washington Capitols and Milwaukee Bucks.
The Lakers would go on to win 33 straight games, still the longest such streak in NBA history:
33 — Los Angeles Lakers (Nov. 5, 1971–Jan. 7, 1972)
28 — Golden State Warriors (April 9, 2015–Dec. 11, 2015)
27 — Miami Heat (Feb. 3, 2013–March 25, 2013)
22 — Houston Rockets (Jan. 29, 2008–March 16, 2008)
20 — Washington Capitols (March 13, 1948–Dec. 4, 1948)
20 — Milwaukee Bucks (Feb. 6, 1971–March 8, 1971)
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Bob Pettit’s Birthday
On this day in 1932, Hall of Famer Bob Pettit was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. An 11-time All-Star, two-time MVP, one-time NBA champion, and member of the NBA’s 75th Anniversary Team, Pettit averaged 26.4 PPG and 16.2 RPG in 792 career games.
Pettit and Wilt Chamberlain are the only players in NBA history with career averages of at least 25 PPG and 15 RPG. He recorded seven seasons in which he reached those marks, tying him with Chamberlain for the most such seasons in NBA history. No other player has recorded more than four such seasons.
Pettit was an All-NBA First Team selection for 10 consecutive seasons (1954-55 through 1963-64). The only players in NBA history with a longer such streak are Karl Malone and LeBron James, each of whom earned 11 such selections in a row.
Pettit (Game 6, 1958) and Giannis Antetokounmpo (Game 6, 2021) are the only players to score at least 50 points in a closeout game in the NBA Finals. Pettit’s St. Louis Hawks are the only team to defeat Bill Russell in his 12 Finals appearances with the Celtics.
Bol Block Party
On this day in 1985, Washington Bullets rookie Manute Bol had 18 points, 12 blocks, and nine rebounds in a 110-108 win over the Milwaukee Bucks. Since the NBA began tracking blocks in 1973-74, Bol is one of only four rookies to record at least 12 blocks in a game (a total of six instances):
Mark Eaton (2 times)
Manute Bol (2 times)
It was the first of 18 career games in which Bol blocked at least 10 shots, tied with Mark Eaton for the most such games in NBA history:
18 — Manute Bol
18 — Mark Eaton
13 — Dikembe Mutombo
11 — Hakeem Olajuwon
10 — David Robinson
10 — Shawn Bradley
On this day in 2019, the Dallas Mavericks’ Luka Doncic tallied 41 points, 12 rebounds, and 11 assists in a 122-111 win over the Detroit Pistons in Mexico City. Doncic became the first (and still only) player in NBA history to record multiple 40-point triple-doubles before his 21st birthday.
In fact, Doncic and LeBron James (April 9, 2005) are the only players in NBA history to record a 40-point triple-double before turning 21 years old.
Efficient 50 for Baylor
On this day in 1962, the Los Angeles Lakers’ Elgin Baylor produced 50 points and 13 rebounds in a 126-120 victory over the Syracuse Nationals. It was the first of three consecutive 50-point games for Baylor. The only players in NBA history with a longer such streak are Wilt Chamberlain (five times) and Kobe Bryant.
Baylor made 20 of his 29 shots from the field (69.0%), the highest field goal percentage he ever recorded in a 50-point game (he had 18 of them, including one postseason game).
On this day in 1986, the Chicago Bulls’ Michael Jordan scored 41 points in a 106-93 win over the Milwaukee Bucks. It was the last of nine consecutive 40-point games for Jordan, tied for the fourth-longest such streak in NBA history:
14 — Wilt Chamberlain (Dec. 8, 1961–Dec. 30, 1961)
14 — Chamberlain (Jan. 11, 1962–Feb. 1, 1962)
11 — Chamberlain (Nov. 9, 1962–Nov. 25, 1962)
9 — Michael Jordan (Nov. 28, 1986–Dec. 12, 1986)
9 — Kobe Bryant (Feb. 6, 2003–Feb. 23, 2003)