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On This Day (Dec. 9)
Notable events from NBA history that occurred on December 9.
13 Points, 33.3 Seconds
On this day in 2004, the San Antonio Spurs’ Devin Brown made two free throws to give his team a 76-68 lead over the Houston Rockets with just 44.2 seconds remaining in the game. Then, the Rockets’ Tracy McGrady did this:
35.0 — Made 3P field goal (71-76)
24.3 — Made 3P field goal (74-78)
24.3 — Made free throw (75-78)
11.2 — Made 3P field goal (78-80)
7.9 — Steal (78-80)
1.7 — Made 3P field goal (81-80)
That's a mind-blowing 13 points in 33.3 seconds for McGrady. He finished with a game-high 33 points, adding eight rebounds and five steals. McGrady was the only Rocket to make a 3-pointer, hitting five of them.
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Singular Achievement for Wilt
On this day in 1961, the Philadelphia Warriors’ Wilt Chamberlain had 61 points and 36 rebounds in a 135-113 win over the Chicago Packers. He became the first (and still only) player in NBA history to record consecutive 60-point, 30-rebound games:
Dec. 8 — 78 points, 43 rebounds
Dec. 9 — 61 points, 36 rebounds
In fact, no player other than Chamberlain has even recorded consecutive 50-point, 20-rebound games.
Chamberlain tallied 139 points and 79 rebounds over those two games. Excluding Chamberlain, no other player in NBA history has matched or exceeded both of those figures over a THREE-game span. The last NBA player to record at least 139 points and 79 rebounds over a FOUR-game span is Bob McAdoo (1974).
Sampson Sets Franchise Mark
On this day in 1983, the Houston Rockets’ Ralph Sampson produced 28 points, 18 rebounds, 13 blocks, and five assists in a 115-112 victory over the Chicago Bulls. Sampson set the franchise single-game record for blocks, a mark that still stands.
Since the NBA began tracking blocks in 1973-74, Sampson is one of only three players to record at least 25 points, 15 rebounds, 10 blocks, and five assists in a game (a total of four instances):
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (Nov. 2, 1975)
Ralph Sampson (Dec. 91, 983)
Hakeem Olajuwon (March 10, 1987)
Olajuwon (March 3, 1990)
Note that three of these performances were accounted for by Houston’s Twin Towers.
Milestone for LeBron
On this day in 2021, the Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James had 20 points, 11 assists, 10 rebounds, and four steals in a loss to the Memphis Grizzlies. James became the fifth player in NBA history to reach 100 career triple-doubles, joining Russell Westbrook, Oscar Robertson, Magic Johnson, and Jason Kidd.
James was the oldest of those players when he recorded his milestone triple-double (age in years-days):
36-344 — LeBron James
35-024 — Jason Kidd
29-121 — Russell Westbrook
29-115 — Magic Johnson
25-056 — Oscar Robertson
Franchise Record for KJ
On this day in 1993, the Phoenix Suns’ Kevin Johnson compiled 17 points, 13 assists, and 10 steals in a 114-95 win over the Washington Bullets. He set a franchise record for most steals in a game, a mark that still stands.
Since the NBA began tracking steals in 1973-74, Johnson is one of only four players to record at least 15 points, 10 assists, and 10 steals in a game:
Clyde Drexler (Jan. 10, 1986)
Alvin Robertson (Feb. 18, 1986)
Kevin Johnson (Dec. 9, 1993)
T.J. McConnell (March 3, 2021)
McConnell is the only one of those players to do so in a game in which he came off the bench.