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On This Day (Nov. 17)
Notable events from NBA history that occurred on November 17.
Elvin Hayes’ Birthday
On this day in 1945, Hall of Famer Elvin Hayes was born in Rayville, Louisiana. A 12-time All-Star, one-time champion, and member of the NBA’s 75th Anniversary Team, Hayes had career averages of 21.0 PPG and 12.5 RPG in 1,303 games.
Hayes ended his career with exactly 50,000 minutes played, at the time the highest figure in NBA history (he’s now seventh). He appeared in at least 80 games in all 16 of his seasons.
Hayes is one of only five players in NBA history to reach career totals of 25,000 points and 15,000 rebounds:
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Tom Gola’s Debut
On this day in 1955, Hall of Famer Tom Gola had 10 points and seven rebounds in his NBA debut with the Philadelphia Warriors. Gola would go on to help the Warriors win the NBA title that season, averaging 10.8 PPG, 9.1 RPG, and 5.9 APG.
After sitting out the 1956-57 season for military service, Gola returned to earn his only All-NBA selection in 1957-58. A five-time All-Star, Gola ranks second on the Warriors’ career list for triple-doubles with 20.
Record Double-Double Streak
On this day in 1967, the Philadelphia 76ers’ Wilt Chamberlain had 11 points, 24 rebounds, and seven assists in a 125-117 win over the St. Louis Hawks. Why highlight those rather pedestrian numbers (at least by Wilt’s standards)? This was the last of 227 consecutive games in which Chamberlain recorded a double-double, the longest such streak in NBA history.
Chamberlain also owns the second- and third-longest double-double streaks in NBA history:
220 (Feb. 14, 1960 — Jan. 19, 1963)
133 (Jan. 22, 1963 — Dec. 4, 1964)
Chamberlain recorded a double-double in 968 of his 1,045 career games (92.6%), the highest such percentage in NBA history. In his first nine seasons, Chamberlain had just four games in which he failed to record a double-double:
Feb. 10, 1960 — 5 PTS, 2 REB, 1 AST
Jan. 20, 1963 — 6 PTS, 1 REB, 0 AST
Dec. 5, 1964 — 8 PTS, 18 REB, 2 AST
Nov. 18, 1967 — 8 PTS, 33 REB, 6 AST
He played just nine and four minutes, respectively, in the first two games above. He was injured in the first game and ejected in the second game.
Elvin Hayes Redux
On this day in 1973, the Washington Bullets’ Elvin Hayes celebrated his birthday in style, racking up 43 points and 32 rebounds in a 115-109 win over the Atlanta Hawks.
Hayes is one of six players in NBA history to record at least 40 points and 30 rebounds in a game:
Wilt Chamberlain (66 times — not a typo)
Elgin Baylor (2 times)
No one has achieved the feat since Hayes.
Nets Can’t Stop Short
On this day in 1984, the Golden State Warriors’ Purvis Short scored a career-high 59 points in a loss to the Nets. He shot 20-28 (71.4%) from the field and 15-16 (93.8%) from the free throw line.
There have been 44 games in NBA history in which a player made at least 20 field goals and 15 free throws. Short is the only one of those players to make at least 70% of his field goals and 90% of his free throws.
Career High for Magic
On this day in 1989, the Los Angeles Lakers’ Magic Johnson had 24 points, 24 assists, eight rebounds, and six steals in a 119-105 win over the Denver Nuggets. His 24 assists were a career high and franchise record (he would match it later that season).
Since the NBA began tracking steals in 1973-74, Johnson and Johnny Moore (Dec. 10, 1983) are the only players to record at least 20 points, 20 assists, five rebounds, and five steals in a game.
Johnson had 13 career 20-point, 20-assist games, the most such games in NBA history:
13 — Magic Johnson
9 — John Stockton
8 — Oscar Robertson
7 — Russell Westbrook
6 — Kevin Johnson
Franchise Record for Walker
On this day in 2018, the Charlotte Hornets’ Kemba Walker scored a career-high and franchise-record 60 points in a loss to the Philadelphia 76ers. He also set franchise single-game marks for field goals made (21) and attempted (34).
Two nights later, Walker became just the sixth player in NBA history to follow up a 60-point game with a 40-point game:
Since then, four more players have accomplished the feat: