Wilt Chamberlain and his 100 point record anniversary was celebrated this week. It’s been 50 years, and there’s no one even close to breaking it. Kobe Bryant did score 81 once, six years ago, but most of the games of over 70 points belong to Wilt himself. And that’s not the only record he owns, and will never be broken (hint: boards).
Wilt isn’t the only record holder of NBA single game achievements, as hard as it is to believe. A mediocre point guard like Scott Skiles (and mediocre head coach as well) is also in the record books with 30 assists in one game.
Wilt Chamberlain – 100 Points
No chance. The closest was Kobe Bryant with 81 in January 2006. He scored 81 of the Lakers’ 122 points, but I don’t see anyone, unless the game changes in ways we can’t even foresee and expect, getting closer than that. This season, so far, we’ve two 50 point games. Kevin Durant scored 51 and Deron Williams had an incredible 57 points game while dishing 7 assists.
The previous season? Only one game of over 50 – LeBron James pouring 51 points against the Orlando Magic. His career high is 56. He’s had nine games of 50 points or more in his career so far. Kobe Bryant? He has 24 games of at least 50 points, five of over 60.
Dale Ellis – 69 Minutes
If we’ll have a five overtime game again, meaning 73 minutes of basketball, maybe. Till then, forget about it. Xavier McDaniel played 68 minutes that night and Jay Humphries of the Milwaukee Bucks was on the court for 62 minutes. The date? November 9 , 1989. The Seattle Supersonics lost to the Bucks 155-154.
Ellis finished with 53 points. The Bucks finished with eight players in double figures, including 36 from Ricky Pierce, the Sixth man of the year in that season. He and Ellis later traded places for each other.
Kobe Bryant once hit 12 three pointers in one game. It wasn’t the 81 point game against the Raptors, but a rather more normal 45 point game as the Lakers beat the Seattle Supersonics 119-98. Bryant attempted 18 three pointers that night, but that isn’t even the record. Damon Stoudamire played the entire 48 minutes of the Portland Trail Blazers 108-88 loss against the Golden State Warriors. He put up 21 three point attempts, making only 5 of them.
Donyell Marshall made 12 three pointers as well while playing for the Toronto Raptors two years after Bryant set the record, scoring 38 points in 28 minutes coming off the bench in a win over the Philadelphia 76ers.
I can see someone breaking the 12 record. Ty Lawson made 10 three pointers to start a game last season. J.R. Smith has hit 11 and 10 in 2009. This record will be broken. I can see Kevin Durant getting hot enough to break it. Stoudamire’s 21? You need to try and mess it for your team on purpose or something, while your head coach not having anyone to use from the bench. Or Kobe Bryant just trying to show he can own more record. Mike Brown won’t say anything.
Free Throw Perfection
Deron Williams, in his 57 point game against the Bobcats, made 21 free throws in his 21 visits to the line. Dirk Nowitzki made 24-24 from the line last season in the Western Conference Playoffs against the Oklahoma City Thunder. Michael Jordan had 26 free throw shots made, missing one, back in 1987. Dominique Wilkins had a perfect 23 for 23 in 1992, when the Atlanta Hawks beat the Chicago Bulls. Another shocking stat from that game is that Michael Jordan scored 32 points but had only two free throw attempts.
Wilt Chamberlain and Another Untouchable Record
Wilt Chamberlain is the NBA’s all time leading rebounder with 23924, back when he and Russell grabbed 20 boards before breakfast. Chamberlain averaged 22.9 rebounds per game throughout his career, Russell finished with 22.5. The closest player to them is Bob Pettit with 16.2.
Dennis Rodman’s 18.7 rebounds per game in the 1991-1992 season is the highest seasonal average in the last 40 years. Kevin Love averaged 15.2 rebounds per game last season, the best since Ben Wallace eight years earlier. Wilt and his 55 rebounds in one game from 1960 is safe.
Scott Skiles and 30 Assists in One Game
It’s been almost 22 years since Scott Skiles, the Milwaukee Bucks’ head coach into his fourth season with the team, with a career average of 6.5 assists per game and never averaging more than 9.4 assists in a season, dished out 30 assists for the Orlando Magic against the Denver Nuggets.
The Nuggets were the worst team in the league that season, and they lost this game 116-155. Steve Blake once dished 14 assists in one quarter, but finished the game with only 17. Rajon Rondo finished with 24 assists in 2010 and 23 in 2011. Despite not leading the league once in assists per game, he seems like the most likely to come close to breaking this record.
Stealing More Than 11
Two share this record – Larry Kenon of the San Antonio Spurs, never with any exceptional numbers in steals, stripped the ball 11 times while playing for the Spurs in 1976. Kendall Gill led the league in steals during the previous lockout season, 1998-1999. He also finished with 11 in one of the games.
Breaking the record? Seems reasonable. Despite that, only one player, Brandon Roy with 10 in 2009, finished in double figures in more than 25 years except for Gill. John Wall finished with 9 in his rookie season. Ty Lawson had an 8 steal game in last December.
Elmore Smith and the 17 Blocks Record
Right now, seems unbreakable. The NBA didn’t really track this number for many years, and there’s a good chance Russell owns the real record. Manute Bol had two 15 block games in the 1980’s, and Shaq also had one in 1993. Last season Javale McGee had a 12 block game last season. Serge Ibaka had a rare points-rebounds-blocks triple double last month. Hakeem Olajuwon, the all time leader in blocks, had two 12 block games in the 1980’s. Right now, it doesn’t look like anyone is getting anywhere near Smith’s record.