A big scoring night on your birthday in the NBA
Trivia question: Can you name the only NBA player to ever score 60 or more points in a regular season game on his birthday? (Answer in the article.)
Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo celebrated his 25th birthday last night with 27 points and the Bucks won their 14th straight game with a lopsided win over the Los Angeles Clippers.
Giannis became the fourth player this season in the league to score 25 or more points in a game on their birthday. The other three this season:
Karl-Anthony Towns, Minnesota, 36 points on 11-15-19
Eric Paschell, Golden State, 34 points on 11-4-19
Devin Booker, Phoenix, 31 points on 10-30-19
While Giannis tallied 27 on his 25th birthday, his effort on his birthday falls a little short of the most epic scoring nights on a birthday. Shaquille O’Neal holds the NBA record for most points in a regular season game on a birthday with 61. He accomplished this feat on March 6, 2000, his 28th birthday.
There have been six players who have scored 45 or more points in a regular season NBA game on their birthdays:
Shaquille O’Neal, 61 points on 3-6-2000
Dominique Wilkins, 53 points on 1-2-87
LeBron James, 48 points on 12-30-2009
Anthony Davis, 46 points on 3-11-2017
Michael Jordan, 46 points on 2-17-92
Neil Johnston, 45 points on 2-4-55
In case you were wondering, Kevin Garnett holds the mark for most points in a playoff game on a birthday with 32. He did it on his 28th birthday in a playoff game on May 19, 2004.
The most amazing scoring-on-your-birthday story in the playoffs belongs to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. KAJ had 31 points in a playoff game three times on his birthday… on his 24th, 25th and 31st birthdays.
Two others players tallied 30 or more points in a playoffs game on their birthdays: George Gervin did it twice with 31 points on April 27, 1982 and then with 30 points the following year in a playoff contest in 1983 on his birthday. Isiah Thomas had 30 points in a playoff game on his birthday, April 30, 1988.
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Ron Rivera’s mid-season dismissal as Carolina coach a rarity for Panthers franchise
Ron Rivera became the second NFL coach to be fired this year when Carolina let him go as coach of the Panthers this week after compiling a 5-7 record this season. He had been the Panthers head coach since 2011, a run of eight-plus years.
Jay Gruden was fired as the Washington coach after Week #5 and an 0-5 start for the Redskins. He had been the ‘Skins head coach since 2014.
In season (or mid-season) firings are not all that common in the NFL, especially when you consider that most NFL teams wait to make coaching changes until after the regular season is over. In many cases, that first Monday after the end of the regular season has been affectionately known as “Black Monday” as teams that are not in the playoffs get a head start on finding a new coach by firing their current coach on the first day after the end of the season.
For Carolina, this is the first time they fired a head coach mid-season since they became an NFL expansion team starting with the 1995 campaign. For the record, I looked back to 1970, the AFL-NFL merger, to see how prevalent it has been for NFL teams to fire a head coach in the middle of the season. Using data collected from Pro Football Reference.com, there have been 85 mid-season firings in the last 50 years… about 1.7 per season. In addition, that works out to about 2.7 mid-season head coaching changes per team in that same timeframe.
Here’s a snapshot of how many mid-season head coaching changes each franchise has made since 1970. Also noted in parenthesis is the last season each franchise made a mid-season head coaching change. Note: Current city for each franchise is listed.
6: New Orleans (2012)
5: Atlanta (2007), Buffalo (2016), Cleveland (2018), Indianapolis (1991). L.A. Chargers (1998), Tennessee (2015)
4: Detroit (2005), New England (1984)
3: Arizona (2000), Cincinnati (2000), L.A. Rams (2016), Miami (2015), Oakland (2014), Philadelphia (2015), San Francisco (2010)
2: Denver (2010), Jacksonville (2016), Kansas City (2011), Minnesota (2010), N.Y. Giants (2017), N.Y. Jets (1976), Washington (2019)
1: Carolina (2019), Dallas (2010), Green Bay (2018), Houston (2013), Seattle (1982), Tampa Bay (1990)
0: Baltimore, Chicago (mid-season coaching change in 1942), Pittsburgh (mid-season coaching change in 1941)
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PACKERSTATS-Game #12-2019 season
Here are some of the numbers that helped define the Packers 31-13 road win over the New York Giants on Sunday, December 1.
- The Packers are now 13-8 (.619) against the NFC East since 2010, including 7-5 on the road.
- This was the Pack’s first road win against the Giants since December 4, 2011. They have now won three straight games against the Giants.
- This win was only the third December win in their last nine December contests.
- It was 33 degrees at game time. Green Bay has now won five straight road games when the temperature was below 35 degrees when the game started.
- Green Bay’s Tremon Smith returned one punt for three yards in the game. That increased the Packers punt return yardage for the season to -8 yards from -11. Green Bay is the only one of the 32 NFL teams this season that has a negative punt return yardage. The NFL record for fewest punt return yardage in a season is 27 set by St. Louis in 1965. Stay tuned… this may be a record the Packers break this season.
- Green Bay scored first in the game and are now 20-12 (.625) in road games since 2010 when they score first.
- The Packers scored 14 points in the first quarter and led 14-7 at the end of the first quarter. They have now won six of their last eight road games when they score 14 or more points in the first quarter.
- Kevin King had his fifth career interception in the game. Green Bay has won each of the five games when King has a pick.
- The Pack had a 17-10 lead at halftime. They have now won eight straight road games when they have a lead of seven points or more at half.
- Green Bay led 17-13 going into the fourth quarter. They have now won 18 of their last 19 road games where they have a lead going into the fourth quarter.
- Davante Adams had a pair of TD receptions in the game. It was the eighth game of his career that he had two TD receptions; the Packers are 8-0 in those games.
- Aaron Rodgers had four TD passes, the 23rd time in his career. Green Bay is 20-3 (.870) in those games. Rodgers is now tied for fourth place all-time with Brett Favre for most games with four or more TD passes by an NFL QB.
- The defense had three interceptions. The Packers have now won 20 straight games when they have three or more interceptions in a contest.
- Rodgers was not sacked in the game. The Packers are now 33-10 (.767) since 2000 in games where their QB is not sacked in the game.
- Rodgers had a Passer Rating of 125.4 in the game. Green Bay is 34-3 (.919) when Rodgers has a PR of 125 or higher in a game.
- Green Bay has now won 14 straight games when they score 30 or more points.
- The Pack is now 69-1 since 2000 in games where they hold the opponents to less than 14 points in a game.
- Receiver Allen Lazard had his first 100-yard receiving game of his career. His previous high was 65 receiving yards in a game.
- The Packers are 9-3 for the seventh time in their history. In the previous six times, they won two NFL titles and made a pair of appearances in the Super Bowl.
- Green Bay scored 14 points in the fourth quarter and has now won eight of their last nine games when they tally 14 or more points in the fourth quarter.
- The 18-point margin in this game is tied for the biggest victory margin this season. Green Bay defeated the Oakland Raiders 42-24 for an 18-point victory on October 20.
- Through 12 games this season, Rodgers has only two interceptions. He has completed 266 of 413 passes with 22 TDs. The NFL record for most completions in a season with only two interceptions is 372 (held by Rodgers, last season); the most pass attempts in a season with only two interceptions is 597 (held by Rodgers, last season); and, the most TD passes in a season with only two interceptions is 28 (held by Tom Brady in 2016).