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On This Day (Jan. 2)
Notable events from NBA history that occurred on January 2.
Unlikely 50-Piece for Delk
On this day in 2001, the Phoenix Suns’ Tony Delk recorded one of the most surprising 50-point games in NBA history, scoring 53 points in an overtime loss to the Sacramento Kings. Delk shot 20-27 from the field (74.1%) and 13-15 from the free throw line (86.7%). Only two players in NBA history with a listed height of 6-foot-2 or shorter have recorded a higher field goal percentage in a 50-point game (a total of three instances):
82.6% — Kyrie irving (Jan. 31, 2020)
80.8% — Dana Barros (March 14, 1995)
78.9% — Irving (March 8, 2022)
Delk did not score more than 27 points in any other game in his NBA career. He was held scoreless in 55 of his 545 career games (10.1%).
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Giddey Youngest with Triple-Double
On this day in 2022, the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Josh Giddey had 17 points, 13 rebounds, and 14 assists in a loss to the Dallas Mavericks, becoming the youngest player in NBA history to record a triple-double. Giddey actually occupies the top four spots on the list of youngest players with a triple-double (age in years-days):
19-084 — Josh Giddey (Jan. 2, 2022)
19-125 — Giddey (Feb. 12, 2022)
19-127 — Giddey (Feb. 14, 2022)
19-129 — Giddey (Feb. 16, 2022)
19-140 — LaMelo Ball (Jan. 9, 2021)
Giddey also became the youngest player in NBA history to lead all players on both teams in points, rebounds, and assists in a game.
Career High for Rodman
On this day in 1991, the Detroit Pistons Dennis Rodman scored a career-high 34 points and grabbed 23 rebounds in a 118-107 win over the Denver Nuggets. Rodman made 15 of his 21 field goal attempts, both career-high figures.
Rodman did not commit a turnover. Since the NBA began tracking individual turnovers in 1977-78, he and Bill Laimbeer (Jan. 26, 1990) are the only Pistons to record a 30-point, 20-rebound game with zero turnovers.
This was one of three career 30-point games for Rodman, who was more than 20 times as likely to be held scoreless (62 games). He had more 30-rebound games (five) than 30-point games.
Wilt Reaches Milestone
On this day in 1966, the Philadelphia 76ers’ Wilt Chamberlain had 50 points and 23 rebounds in a 133-122 win over the New York Knicks. He became the second player in NBA history to reach 20,000 career points, joining Bob Pettit. Chamberlain reached that mark in just 499 games, easily the fewest in NBA history:
499 — Wilt Chamberlain
620 — Michael Jordan
671 — Oscar Robertson
684 — Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
This was one of 104 career games in which Chamberlain recorded at least 50 points and 20 rebounds. No other player in NBA history has recorded more than eight such games.
On this day in 2006, the Phoenix Suns’ Steve Nash scored 28 points and dished out a career-high 22 assists in a loss to the New York Knicks. Nash (twice) and Kevin Johnson (six times) are the only players in franchise history to record a 20-point, 20-assist game.
Nash produced eight 20-assist games with the Suns, the most such games in franchise history. He ranks fourth in NBA history 10,335 career assists.