Discover more from Statitudes
On This Day (Dec. 23)
Notable events from NBA history that occurred on December 23.
Career High for Magic
On this day in 1986, the Los Angeles Lakers’ Magic Johnson scored a career-high 46 points and added 10 rebounds and nine assists in a 127-117 overtime win over the Sacramento Kings. He made 17 of his career-high 36 field goal attempts and shot 12-16 from the free throw line.
Johnson would go on to win the first of his three MVP Awards that season, averaging a career-high 23.9 PPG, 12.2 APG, and 6.3 RPG. He was also named Finals MVP, making him one of only two guards in NBA history to win MVP and Finals MVP in the same season. The other, of course, is Michael Jordan, who did so four times.
Statitudes is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.
Kobe Reaches Milestone
On this day in 2007, the Los Angeles Lakers’ Kobe Bryant had 39 points, 11 rebounds, and eight assists in a 95-90 win over the New York Knicks. He became the youngest player in NBA history to reach 20,000 career points, beating Wilt Chamberlain’s mark by 12 days.
Bryant has since been surpassed by LeBron James and Kevin Durant (age in years-days):
28-017 — LeBron James
29-103 — Kevin Durant
29-122 — Kobe Bryant
29-134 — Wilt Chamberlain
29-326 — Michael Jordan
The five players above are the only ones to reach the milestone before their 30th birthday.
Carter Matches Career High
On this day in 2005, the New Jersey Nets' Vince Carter matched his career high by scoring 51 points in a 95-88 win over the Miami Heat. Carter shot 13-25 from the field (52.0%) and 23-24 from the free throw line (95.8%).
Carter set franchise single-game records for free throws made and attempted (tied). Both marks still stand today.
Carter accounted for 53.7% of the Nets’ points, the second-highest such figure in franchise history (ABA seasons included). Deron Williams scored 57 of the Nets’ 104 points (54.8%) on March 4, 2012.
Barros Starts Record Streak
On this day in 1994, the Philadelphia 76ers’ Dana Barros had 34 points, six assists, and six steals in an 85-77 victory over the Boston Celtics. Barros made three 3-pointers, starting a streak of 89 consecutive regular-season games in which he made at least one 3-pointer, at the time the longest such streak in NBA history.
Prior to Barros’ record-breaking run, the mark was held my Michael Adams (79 games). Barros’ streak stood as the NBA record until 2013, when it was broken by Kyle Korver. The current mark of 215 games (and counting) is held by Stephen Curry.
Bates-Diop Can’t Miss
On this day in 2021, the San Antonio Spurs’ Keita Bates-Diop scored a career-high 30 points without missing a shot from the field in a 138-110 blowout victory over the Lakers. He shot 8-8 from 2-point range and 3-3 from 3-point range.
Bates-Diop became the first (and still only) player in franchise history to record a 30-point game without missing a shot from the field. He’s one of only three players in NBA history to do so while making multiple 3-pointers:
Charles Barkley (March 24, 1989) — 31 PTS, 8 2P, 2 3P
Nikola Jokic (Oct. 20, 2018) — 35 PTS, 8 2P, 3 3P
Keita Bates-Diop (Dec. 23, 2021) — 30 PTS, 8 2P, 3 2P