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On This Day (Dec. 15)
Notable events from NBA history that occurred on December 15.
Third Straight 50-Piece
On this day in 1962, the Los Angeles Lakers’ Elgin Baylor had 52 points, 13 rebounds, and six assists in a 113-104 victory over the San Francisco Warriors. It was the last of three consecutive 50-point games for Baylor. The only players in NBA history with a longer such streak are Wilt Chamberlain (multiple such streaks) and Kobe Bryant.
Baylor’s streak was snapped when he scored “only” 42 points in his next outing on Dec. 17 versus the Syracuse Nationals.
This was one of 16 career 50-point, 10-rebound games for Baylor, the second-most such games in NBA history:
118 — Wilt Chamberlain
16 — Elgin Baylor
8 — Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
8 — Michael Jordan
8 — James Harden
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On this day in 1972, the Kansas City-Omaha Kings’ Nate “Tiny” Archibald scored 41 points and handed out 21 assists in a 140-132 win over the Detroit Pistons. Archibald and Oscar Robertson are the only players in NBA history to record a 40-point, 20-assist game (a total of three instances):
Oscar Robertson — 43 PTS, 20 AST (Feb. 19, 1961)
Robertson — 44 PTS, 22 AST (March 5, 1966)
Nate Archibald — 41 PTS, 21 AST (Dec. 15, 1972)
Archibald went on to lead the NBA in both points and assists that season. He’s the only player in NBA history to accomplish that feat.
Archibald either scored or assisted on 1,938 field goals that season, 149 more than any other player in NBA history.
It Takes a Thief
On this day in 1995, the Toronto Raptors’ Alvin Robertson recorded four steals in a loss to the Boston Celtics. He became just the third player in NBA history to reach 2,000 career steals. Since then, 10 more players have accomplished the feat, but Robertson remains the fastest to do so (726 games).
Robertson had six seasons in which he recorded at least 200 steals. That ties him with Michael Jordan for the most such seasons since the NBA began tracking steals in 1973-74.
Robertson is the NBA’s career leader in steals per game (2.71). He’s one of only four players in NBA history to officially record a quadruple-double, and he’s the only non-center to do so.
Richmond Ties Career High
On this day in 1995, the Sacramento Kings’ Mitch Richmond matched his career high with 47 points in a 114-110 win over the Houston Rockets. Richmond also had seven assists, six rebounds, and four steals, shooting 17-29 from the field — including 3-5 from 3-point range — and 10-13 from the free throw line.
Richmond’s Game Score was 39.6, the second-highest such figure of his career. His career-high Game Score of 40.7 came on Jan. 31, 1991 with the Warriors, when he tallied 40 points, seven assists, seven steals, and six rebounds in a 135-119 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers.