NBA Playoff Triple-Doubles without the turnovers

Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a sports statistics blog published daily focusing on stats that go beyond the numbers.

Rajon Rondo, the 21st pick of the Phoenix Suns

Rajon Rondo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Miami’s LeBron James missed out on a triple-double yesterday when he fell one assist short of accomplishing this feat; he had 40 points, 18 rebounds and nine assists.

In the 2012 NBA playoffs, Boston’s Rajon Rondo is the only player to have a triple-double. He had 17 points, 14 rebounds and 12 assists on May 4 in Game Two against the Hawks, and then had a second triple-double of the ’12 playoffs when he scored 13 points, grabbed 12 rebounds and dished out 17 assists in the May 12th contest against the 76ers. With his triple-doubles, however, Rondo had six turnovers in the contest against the Hawks, and had seven turnovers in his game against the 76ers. The Celtics won both games.

Over the past 25 years of the NBA playoffs (1988-2012) only 11 players have had a triple-double with one or no turnovers. Ironically, Rondo was the last player to accomplish this feat. On April 26, 2009, Rondo had 25 points, 11 rebounds, 11 assists and only one turnover in a playoff loss to the Chicago Bulls.

Following are the players since 1988 who have had a triple-double with one of no turnovers in a playoff game.

Player, Team, (Date) Points-Rebounds-Assists… Turnovers

Dennis Johnson, Boston (5/6/88) 19-10-12… n0 turnovers

Fat Lever, Denver (5/14/88) 11-11-12… n0 turnovers

Charles Barkley, Philadelphia (4-27-91) 22-13-10… one turnover

Magic Johnson, LA Lakers (5/5/91) 21-10-17… n0 turnovers

Charles Barkley, Phoenix (6-16-93) 32-12-10 … one turnover

Baron Davis, Charlotte (4/27/02) 33-14-10… no turnovers

Jason Kidd, NJ Nets (6/5/02) 23-10-10… one turnover

Jason Kidd, NJ Nets (4/28/05) 16-16-13… one turnover

Chris Paul, New Orleans (4/29/08) 24-11-15… n0 turnovers

LeBron James, Cleveland (5/2/08) 27-13-13… one turnover

Rajon Rondo, Boston (4/26/09) 25-11-11… one turnover

Note: Of the 11 instances listed above, seven of those players saw their team win that game.

If we move the criteria to a triple-double with two or fewer turnovers, the list would include 26 games. Here are the players who had the most triple-doubles with two or fewer turnovers in a playoff game from 1988-2012. The last player to accomplish this feat? LeBron James had 37 points, 12 rebounds, 11 assists and only two turnovers as a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers in a playoff win against the Chicago Bulls on April 25, 2010.

Playoff triple-doubles (1988-2012) with two or fewer turnovers, Player(s)

4: Jason Kidd

3: Kevin Garnett

2: Charles Barkley, Tim Duncan, LeBron James, Magic Johnson, Rajon Rondo

1: Baron Davis, Steve Francis, Dennis Johnson, Fat Lever, Chris Paul, Scottie Pippen, David Robinson, John Stockton, Chris Webber

Note: Teams were 17-9 in games where a player had a triple-double and two or fewer turnovers.

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