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On This Day (Jan. 23)
Notable events from NBA history that occurred on January 23.
Klay’s Record-Setting Quarter
On this day in 2015, the Golden State Warriors’ Klay Thompson scored 52 points in a 126-101 win over the Sacramento Kings. Thompson erupted for 37 points in the third quarter, the most ever scored in a single period in NBA history.
Thompson was perfect in his record-setting quarter, making all 13 of his shots from the field — including nine 3-pointers — and both of his free throw attempts. Thompson shares the NBA record for most field goals made in a quarter with David Thompson (April 9, 1978), and has sole possession of the record for most 3-pointers made in a quarter.
For the game, Thompson shot 16-25 from the field — including 11-15 from 3-point range — and made nine of his 10 free throws. This was the first of two career 50-point games in which Thompson recorded an effective field goal percentage of at least 85%. The only other players in NBA history to produce multiple such games are Stephen Curry (3) and Kyrie Irving (2).
A Brief Interlude
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Career High for Harden
On this day in 2019, the Houston Rockets’ James Harden scored a career-high and franchise-record 61 points in a 114-110 win over the New York Knicks. Harden also grabbed 15 rebounds and swiped five steals. Since the NBA began tracking steals in 1973-74, he’s the only player to record at least 60 points, 15 rebounds, and five steals in a game.
Harden shot just 17-38 from the field (44.7%), the third-worst field goal percentage in NBA history by a player in a 60-point game:
41.8% — Elgin Baylor (Dec. 8, 1961)
44.0% — Kobe Bryant (April 13, 2016)
44.7% — James Harden (Jan. 23, 2019)
45.9% — Damian Lillard (Jan. 20, 2020)
46.6% — Wilt Chamberlain (Nov. 26, 1964)
Harden made only five of his 20 3-point attempts (25.0%). It’s one of seven career games in which Harden missed at least 15 3-pointers, three more such games than all other players in NBA history combined. No other player has recorded more than one such game.
Harden shot 22-25 from the free throw line. This is one of five games in NBA history in which a player made at least five 3-pointers, 15 field goals, and 20 free throws. Harden is responsible for three of those games:
Gilbert Arenas (Dec. 17, 2006)
James Harden (Jan. 16, 2019)
Harden (Jan. 23, 2019)
Harden (Nov. 30, 2019)
Donovan Mitchell (Jan. 2, 2023)
Unique Totals for Barry
On this day in 1975, the Golden State Warriors’ Rick Barry compiled 55 points, five rebounds, five assists, and seven steals in a 108-100 win victory over the Philadelphia 76ers. Since the NBA began tracking steals in 1973-74, Barry is the only player to record at least 55 points, five rebounds, five assists, and five steals in a game. This was actually Barry’s second such game, the first coming on March 26, 1974.
Barry shot 23-49 from the field (46.9%) and made nine of his 10 free throws. Only three NBA players have attempted at least 49 shots in a game since Barry:
50 — Kobe Bryant (April 13, 2016)
49 — George Gervin (April 9, 1978)
49 — Michael Jordan (Jan. 16, 1993)
LeBron Reaches Milestone
On this day in 2018, the Cleveland Cavaliers’ LeBron James scored 28 points in a loss to the San Antonio Spurs, surpassing 30,000 career points. James is one of only seven players in NBA history to reach that mark, and he’s the youngest player to do so (age in years-days):
33-024 — LeBron James
34-104 — Kobe Bryant
35-179 — Wilt Chamberlain
36-189 — Karl Malone
36-217 — Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
38-261 — Dirk Nowitzki
38-321 — Michael Jordan
James is actually the youngest player in NBA history to reach every 1,000-point milestone (1,000 points; 2,000 points; 3,000 points; etc.).
Tall Feat for Iverson
On this day in 2007, the Denver Nuggets’ Allen Iverson scored 21 points in a 117-112 win over the Seattle SuperSonics, surpassing 20,000 career points. Iverson and Chris Paul are the shortest players in NBA history to reach that mark (height in feet-inches):
6-0 — Allen Iverson
6-0 — Chris Paul
6-2 — Hal Greer
6-2 — Stephen Curry
6-3 — Jerry West
6-3 — Russell Westbrook
Iverson is the sixth-fastest player in NBA history to reach 20,000 career points (based on games played):
499 — Wilt Chamberlain
620 — Michael Jordan
671 — Oscar Robertson
684 — Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
711 — Elgin Baylor
713 — Allen Iverson
This was the ninth of 10 consecutive seasons in which Iverson averaged at least 25 PPG. The only players in NBA history with a longer such streak* are LeBron James (18), Jerry West (11), and Karl Malone (11).
* Minimum 50% of team’s games played.
15K Rebounds for Hayes
On this day in 1982, the Houston Rockets’ Elvin Hayes scored 21 points and grabbed nine rebounds in a loss to the Denver Nuggets, becoming the third player in NBA history to reach 15,000 career rebounds. Since then, three more players have achieved this feat: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Moses Malone, and Tim Duncan.
Hayes currently ranks fourth on the NBA’s all-time list with 16,279 rebounds. An ironman, Hayes played at least 80 games in all 16 of his seasons, the longest such streak in NBA history by three seasons. He recorded at least 1400 points and 700 rebounds in 13 consecutive seasons, also the longest such streak in NBA history.
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