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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Here are a handful of stats from this past weekend’s NBA playoff games.
- The Bucks have evened their series with the Boston Celtics at 2-2 with victories in Games #3 and #4 in Milwaukee. It has been well documented that the Bucks have not won a playoff series since 2001; they have lost seven series since then, losing in first round of those seven playoffs.
The Bucks will try to take the lead in their series with Boston by winning on the road in Game #5. However, past history has shown that the Bucks have not fared well in Games #5 through #7 in their past seven post-season series…the Bucks are 2-9 in Games #5-Games #7 since 2003. Following is a quick look at the Bucks record in each game of the playoffs since 2003.
Game #1: 1-7
Game #2: 2-6
Game #3: 4-4
Game #4: 4-4
Game #5: 2-4
Game #6: 0-4
Game #7: 0-1
- The New Orleans Pelicans had two players score 40 or more points in a playoff game when on April 21 Anthony Davis had 47 and Jrue Holiday had 41 as the Pelicans swept the Portland Trailblazers 4-0 in the first round of the playoffs. It was only the fifth time in NBA history that a pair of teammates scored 40 or more points in the same playoff contest. The five times:
Anthony Davis (47) & Jrue Holiday (41), New Orleans, 4-21-18
LeBron James (41) & Kyrie Irving (41), Cleveland, 6-13-16
Reggie Miller (40) & Jalen Rose (40), Indiana, 5-6-2000
Clyde Drexler (41) & Hakeem Olajuwon (40), Houston, 5-5-95
Sleepy Floyd (42) & Hakeem Olajuwon (41), Houston, 4-30-88
- Speaking of Davis, in addition to his 47 points in that game, he only recorded one assist in the contest. It was the 37th time in NBA playoff history that a player scored 40 or more points in a playoff game with only one or no assists. It was the fourth most points scored in a playoff game by a player with one or no assists in the game; Sam Jones holds the record… he had 51 points for the Celtics in a March 28, 1967 playoff games with only one assist. Karl Malone holds the mark for most points scored in a playoff game with no assists; he had 50 points and no assists for Utah in a post-season game on April 22, 2000.
Five players have had multiple playoff games with 40 or more points and only one or no assists. Reggie Miller, Shaquille O’Neal and Amare Stoudemire did it three times, while Bob McAdoo and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar did it twice.
- The Bucks Thon Maker had a pair of games, Game #3 and Game #4, where he had five blocked shots in each contest. He is only the second player in league history to have multiple playoffs games (now three, he had one game with five blocks last season) with five or more blocks before the age of 22 (Maker is only 21). The other player is Serge Ibaka who had six playoff games with five or more blocked shots before he turned 22.
Maker has 10 blocks in the playoffs so far this season, ranking him second on that list, Anthony Davis tops the list with 11 blocks so far this post-season. It’s interesting to note, however, that Davis has 11 blocks in 152 minutes played; Maker has 10 blocks in only 56 minutes played.
- Utah rookie guard Donovan Mitchell scored 28 and 27 points in the first two playoff games for the Jazz. He became only the 26th rookie in NBA history to have multiple playoff games with 25 or more points. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar tops the list with 10 playoff games with 25+ points as a rookie. He is followed by David Robinson with six such games, Elvin Hayes with five, and Alonzo Mourning and Arvydas Sabonis with four games each.
The last rookie to score 30 or more points in a playoff game was the Bucks’ Brandon Jennings; he had 34 points on April 13, 2010 in a playoff game versus the Atlanta Hawks. The most points scored by a rookie in a playoff game is held by another Bucks rookie, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. He tallied 46 as a rookie in an April 3, 1970 playoff games versus the Philadelphia 76ers. Magic Johnson and Chuck Person are the only other rookies to score 40 or more points in an NBA playoff game.
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Kareem Abdul-Jabbar holds the Bucks record for most games with 20 or more points and 20 or more rebounds in the same game with 32 such games. Which Bucks player is second in this stat with four 20-20 (points-rebounds) games?
- The Golden State Warriors had the best record in the league this season at the 41-game mark with a 33-8 record (an .805 winning percentage). They became the 40th team in NBA history to have a winning percentage above .800 after 41 games. In addition, they have done it in four straight seasons.
The 1971-72 L.A. Lakers and 1995-96 Chicago Bulls hold the NBA record for best record after 41 games (the mid-point in the 82-game NBA season) with records of 38-3 (.927 winning percentage).
Of the 40 teams that won 33 or more games in their first 41 of an NBA season, 22 went on to play in the finals that season with 17 of those 22 winning the title that year.
- Giannis Antetokounmpo had 27 points and 20 rebounds in the Bucks win over the Washington Wizards on Monday. It was Giannis’ first 20-20 game in his career. In the process, he became the 13th Bucks player in team history to have 20 or more points and 20 or more rebounds in the same game.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar had 32 such games in his Bucks career.
Here are the Bucks players with the most 20-20 games (points and rebounds) in team history.
32 games: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
4 games: Andrew Bogut
3 games: Swen Nater
2 games: Terry Cummings, Elmore Smith
1 game: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Vin Baker, Dan Gadzuric, Ersan Ilyasova, Ervin Johnson, Dave Meyers, Zaza Pachulia, Curtis Perry
Did you guess Andrew Bogut for the quiz answer?
Stats on Tapp
With 28 points in the Bucks’ loss to the Chicago Bulls on December 26, Giannis Antetokunmpo has now scored 20 or more points in 22 straight games. This is the sixth longest streak in team history. Not only does Kareem Abdul-Jabbar hold the franchise record with 20 or more points in 71 consecutive games, but he also holds the top five spots in this stat. He had streaks of 71, 70, 39, 29 and 27 straight games with 20 or more points during his career with Milwaukee.
Giannis is one of only three players to have a streak of 20-plus games in a row with 20 or more points; in addition to Jabbar, Terry Cummings had a streak of 20 games in his career with the Bucks.
Nine different Bucks players had streaks of 10 or more games with 20 or more points. Jabbar had 14 such streaks in his time with the Bucks to top the list. Here are the Bucks players who had consecutive game streaks of 10 games or more with 20+ points. (The number of times in their career that they had such streaks in noted in parenthesis.)
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, 14 times
Marques Johnson, 5
Glenn Robinson, 5
Giannis Antetokounmpo, 2
Terry Cummings, 2
Michael Redd, 2
Sidney Moncrief, 1
Ricky Pierce, 1
Flynn Robinson, 1
Stats on Tapp
With 147 points in the first four games of the season, Milwaukee Bucks Giannis Antetokounmpo surpassed legendary big man Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the most points by a Bucks’ player in the first four games of a season. Jabbar had 146 in the first four games of the 1970-71 season.
Giannis’ 147 points was the seventh time in Bucks history that one of their players had 115 or more points in the first four games of a season. In addition to the Green Freak’s 147 and Jabbar’s 146, the others who reached the 115-point mark for the Bucks in the first four games of a season: Jabbar, 1972-73, 142; Marques Johnson, 1978-79, 128; Jabbar, 1974-75, 118; Ray Allen, 2001-02, 117; and, Michael Redd, 2005-06, 115.
Giannis also jumped into the Top 10 of the NBA’s list of players with the most points in the first four games of a season. His 147 gave him the 10th highest total in league history. He became the 15th player in NBA history to have 140 or more points in the first four games of a season (it has been done 19 times since 1963-64). Michael Jordan (four times) and Jabbar (twice) are the only players to do it more than once in their careers.
The 15 players to score 140 or more points in the first four games of an NBA season: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Tiny Archibald, Rick Barry, Elgin Baylor, Kobe Bryant, Wilt Chamberlain, Steph Curry, Anthony Davis, DeMar DeRozan, George Gervin, Michael Jordan, Shaquille O’Neal, Jerry West, Russell Westbrook. (Note: Davis, DeRozan and Westbrook each did it last season, 2016-17).
For the record, Jordan holds the NBA record with 163 points scored in the first four games of a season. He did it in 1989-90. He also holds the second-most mark with 158 points in 1986-87.