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On This Day (Dec. 8)
Notable events from NBA history that occurred on December 8.
On this day in 1961, the Los Angeles Lakers’ Elgin Baylor and Philadelphia Warriors’ Wilt Chamberlain had an epic duel, with the Lakers pulling out a 151-147 victory in triple overtime:
Baylor — 63 PTS, 31 REB, 7 AST
Chamberlain — 78 PTS, 43 REB
It's the only time in NBA history two players have each scored at least 60 points in the same game.
Other notable trivia:
Chamberlain set an NBA record for most points scored in game, surpassing the 71 points that Baylor scored on Nov. 15, 1960. Chamberlain’s 78 points is now the third-highest single-game total in NBA history.
Baylor and Chamberlain (eight times) are the only players in NBA history to record a 60-point, 30-rebound game. Baylor is the only player in NBA history to record at least 60 points, 30 rebounds, and five assists in a game.
Chamberlain and Baylor each attempted at least 50 shots from the field (62 and 55, respectively). It’s the only time in NBA history two players have each attempted at least 50 field goals in the same game.
This was the first of three games in which Chamberlain and Baylor each scored at least 50 points. Including the postseason, they account for half of the dual 50-point games in NBA history. Here are the others:
Wilt Chamberlain & Elgin Baylor (Dec. 29, 1961)
Chamberlain & Richie Guerin (Feb. 25, 1962)
Chamberlain & Baylor (Dec. 14, 1962)
Kobe Bryant & Antawn Jamison (Dec. 6, 2000)
Donovan Mitchell & Jamal Murray (Aug. 23, 2020)
The two teams combined for 291 field goal attempts, the highest such figure in NBA history. The Warriors attempted 153 shots (still the NBA single-game record), while the Lakers had 138 attempts.
The two teams combined for 188 rebounds, the highest single-game total in NBA history. The Warriors accounted for 98 of those rebounds, while the Lakers had 90. Four players on each team recorded at least 10 rebounds.
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Jazz From Way Downtown
On this day in 2021, the Utah Jazz made 25 3-pointers in a 136-104 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves. They became the first (and still only) team in NBA history to make at least 20 3-pointers in three consecutive games.
The Jazz made a total of 72 3-pointers over the three games:
27-51 (Dec. 3, 2021)
20-48 (Dec. 5, 2021)
25-54 (Dec. 8, 2021)
No other team in NBA history has made more than 67 3-pointers over a three-game span.
This is one of six games in which the Jazz have made at least 25 3-pointers. The only franchise in NBA history with more such games is the Houston Rockets with nine. No other franchise has recorded more than two such games.
Dwight Howard’s Birthday
On this day in 1985, Dwight Howard was born in Atlanta, Georgia. An eight-time All-Star, three-time Defensive Player of the Year, and one-time NBA champion, Howard has averaged 15.7 PPG, 11.8 RPG, and 1.8 BPG in 1,242 career games.
Howard has a career field goal percentage of 58.7%, the eighth-highest such figure in NBA history. He has 11 qualifying seasons in which he shot at least 55% from the field, the third-most such seasons in NBA history.
Howard led the NBA in total rebounds each season from 2005-06 through 2009-10, the longest such streak in NBA history. He averaged a double-double in each of his first 14 seasons, tied for the longest such streak in NBA history (min. 50% of team's games played).
Howard is the youngest player in NBA history to record a 20-point, 20-rebound game (19 years, 342 days). He’s the only teenager to achieve the feat.
Wilkins Can’t Miss
On this day in 1992, the Atlanta Hawks’ Dominique Wilkins set an NBA record for most free throws made in a game without a miss, shooting 23-23 from the line in a 123-114 win over the Chicago Bulls. He broke the previous record of 19 shared by:
Bob Pettit (Nov. 22, 1961)
Bill Cartwright (Nov. 17, 1981)
Adrian Dantley (Dec. 15, 1987)
Wilkins’ mark was later bested by James Harden, who made 24 free throws without a miss on Dec. 3, 2019.
Wilkins scored 42 points, one of his 54 career 40-point games. That’s the most such games in franchise history:
54 — Dominique Wilkins
47 — Bob Pettit
28 — Trae Young
23 — Lou Hudson
15 — John Drew
On this day in 2000, the Los Angeles Lakers’ Shaquille O'Neal missed all 11 of his attempts from the free throw line — nine of them in the second half — in a loss to the Seattle SuperSonics. He set a still-standing NBA record for most free throw attempts in a game without a make. The previous mark of 10 was held by Wilt Chamberlain (Nov. 4, 1960).
It wasn’t all bad for O’Neal, who compiled 26 points, 17 rebounds, five assists, and five blocks. It’s one of 14 career games in which O’Neal recorded at least 25 points, 15 rebounds, five assists, and five blocks, the second-most such games since the NBA began tracking blocks in 1973-74.
Dantley Reaches Milestone
On this day in 1987, the Detroit Pistons’ Adrian Dantley scored 17 points in a 127-117 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers, becoming the 13th player in NBA history to reach 20,000 career points.
There are now 50 players in that group. Only two of them have a higher career true shooting percentage than Dantley:
62.6% — Stephen Curry
61.72% — Kevin Durant
61.66% — Adrian Dantley
61.4% — Reggie Miller
61.2% — Charles Barkley
Dantley scored 29.5% of his points from the free throw line, the fourth-highest such figure in NBA history among players with at least 20,000 points:
31.1% — Moses Malone
30.0% — James Harden
29.6% — Bob Pettit
29.5% — Adrian Dantley
29.0% — David Robinson