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On This Day (Dec. 26)
Notable events from NBA history that occurred on December 26.
Kenon Swipes Record
On this day in 1976, the San Antonio Spurs’ Larry Kenon set the NBA single-game record for steals with 11 in a 110-105 win over the Kansas City Kings. His mark was later matched by Kendall Gill (April 3, 1999), but has yet to be surpassed.
Kenon also scored 29 points and grabbed 15 rebounds, both game highs. Since the NBA began tracking steals in 1973-74, Kenon is the only player to record at least 25 points, 15 rebounds, and 10 steals in a game.
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Career High for Duncan
On this day in 2001, the San Antonio Spurs’ Tim Duncan scored a career-high 53 points in a loss to the Dallas Mavericks. It was the only 50-point game of Duncan’s illustrious career.
Duncan also contributed 11 rebounds and three blocks, shooting 19-28 from the field (67.9%) and making all 15 of his free throws. He and Damian Lillard are the only players in NBA history to record a 50-point, 10-rebound game while making at least 15 free throws without a miss.
Kawhi Leonard’s Debut
On this day in 2011, Kawhi Leonard made his NBA debut with the San Antonio Spurs, scoring six points and snagging six rebounds in a 95-82 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies. Leonard averaged 7.9 PPG and 5.1 RPG with a true shooting percentage of 57.3% in his rookie season, earning All-Rookie First Team honors.
Leonard is a seven-time All-Defensive selection (three First Team, four Second Team) and five-time All-NBA selection (three First Team, two second Team). He and Hakeem Olajuwon are the only players in NBA history to win multiple Defensive Player of the Year and Finals Most Valuable Player Awards.
Wilt Records 30/30/10 Game
On this day in 1966, the Philadelphia 76ers’ Wilt Chamberlain compiled 38 points, 32 rebounds, and 10 assists in a 134-118 win over the Cincinnati Royals. Chamberlain is the only player in NBA history to record at least 30 points, 30 rebounds, and 10 assists in a game. He did so five times:
March 3, 1963 — 45 PTS, 33 REB, 10 AST
Dec. 26, 1966 — 38 PTS, 32 REB, 10 AST
Feb. 24, 1967 — 42 PTS, 30 REB, 10 AST
Feb. 23, 1968 — 31 PTS, 32 REB, 12 AST
March 18, 1968 — 53 PTS, 32 REB, 14 AST
Kyrie Irving’s Debut
On this day in 2011, Kyrie Irving made his NBA debut with the Cleveland Cavaliers, scoring six points and dishing out seven assists in a loss to the Toronto Raptors. Irving went on to average 18.5 PPG and 5.4 APG with a true shooting percentage of 56.6% in his rookie campaign, taking home Rookie of the Year honors.
Although no longer a Cavalier, Irving still holds the franchise single-game records for points (57, tied), field goal attempts (36, tied), 3-pointers made (11), and 3-pointers attempted (19).