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On This Day (Dec. 2)
Notable events from NBA history that occurred on December 2.
On this day in 2021, the Memphis Grizzlies destroyed the Oklahoma City Thunder 152-79, the largest margin of victory in NBA history:
73 — Grizzlies vs. Thunder (Dec. 2, 2021)
68 — Cavaliers vs. Heat (Dec. 17, 1991)
65 — Pacers vs. Trail Blazers (Feb. 27, 1998)
63 — Lakers vs. Warriors (March 19, 1972)
In addition to their NBA record for margin of victory, the Grizzlies set franchise single-game marks for:
PTS — 152
FGM — 60
AST — 41 (since tied)
FG% — 62.5%
The Grizzlies had nine players score in double figures, matching the most such players in a game in franchise history. Jaren Jackson Jr. scored a game-high 27 points to lead the way. He was the Grizzlies only 20-point scorer.
Bench players accounted for 93 of the Grizzlies’ points, outscoring the entire Thunder team by 14 points. Since the NBA began tracking starters in 1970-71, it’s the only time a team’s bench has outscored its opponent by 10 or more points.
The Thunder’s Jeremiah Robinson-Earl was -56 in just 24 minutes played. Since the NBA began tracking plus-minus in 1996-97, the only player with a worse plus-minus is the Cleveland Cavaliers’ Manny Harris, who was -57 in a 112-57 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Jan. 11, 2011. Harris, however, played 41 minutes.
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Selvy Sets Rookie Marks
On this day in 1954, Milwaukee Hawks rookie Frank Selvy — playing just his third career game — scored 42 points and made 24 of 26 free throws in a 117-108 win over the Minneapolis Lakers. Selvy is one of only five players in NBA history to record a 40-point game within the first five games of his career:
Wilt Chamberlain, 1st game
John Drew, 2nd game
Larry Kenon, 2nd game*
Frank Selvy, 3rd game
Alex Groza, 4th game
* It should be noted than Kenon had three seasons of ABA experience — he was an All-Star selection each season — before coming to the NBA in 1976.
Selvy set an NBA record for most free throws made in a game by a rookie, a distinction he still holds. In fact, no other rookie has made more than 21 free throws in a game. Selvy also holds the Hawks’ single-game record for free throws made, by a rookie or otherwise.
Franchise Record for Dirk
On this day in 2004, the Dallas Mavericks’ Dirk Nowitzki scored a career-high and franchise-record 53 points in a 113-106 win over the Houston Rockets. Although he shot just 15-32 from the field, Nowitzki went 21-22 from the free throw line and added 16 rebounds, four blocks, and three steals.
Nowitzki is one of only four players in franchise history to record a 50-point game, and he’s the only player in franchise history to do so multiple times:
53 — Dirk Nowitzki (Dec. 2, 2004)
51 — Nowitzki (March 23, 2006)
51 — Luka Doncic (Feb. 10, 2022)
50 — Jamal Mashburn (Nov. 12, 1994)
50 — Jim Jackson (Nov. 26, 1994)
Nowitzki is also the only Maverick to record a 50-point game in the postseason, scoring 50 points in a win over the Phoenix Suns on June 1, 2006.
Career High for Unseld
On this day in 1969, the Baltimore Bullets' Wes Unseld scored a career-high 30 points and grabbed 21 rebounds in a 129-107 win over the Cincinnati Royals. It was the only 30-point game of Unseld’s career. Only two players in NBA history with at least 10,000 career points have recorded fewer 30-point games:
0 — Sam Lacey
0 — Derek Fisher
1 — Wes Unseld
2 — Paul Silas
2 — Charles Oakley
2 — Horace Grant
2 — Dikembe Mutombo
2 — Nene
Drexler Swipes Milestone
On this day in 1996, the Houston Rockets’ Clyde Drexler recorded four steals in a loss to the Toronto Raptors, bringing his career total to 2,001. Drexler became the second player in NBA history to reach career totals of 20,000 points and 2,000 steals, joining Michael Jordan. There are now seven players in this group: