Today’s Sportstat: February 27, 2020
NBA Buzzer-Beaters: Who is the king of the last-second shot?
Ever wonder who the greatest clutch shooter is in NBA history? Is it Michael Jordan? Kobe Bryant? Someone else?
One of my favorite websites is sports-reference.com and their affiliate sites for specific sports like football, basketball and baseball. I use these websites quite often as I research sports stats.
Recently, sports-reference.com noted that they had researched every “buzzer-beater” in NBA history and it was now posted on the basketball-reference.com website. They came up with a comprehensive list of every “buzzer-beater” in NBA history, 772 shots to be exact. They defined a “buzzer-beater” as “successful shots taken with the shooter’s team tied or trailing which left no time on the clock after going through the net.”
The chart lists the player who made the shot, the date, opponent, type of shot (free throw, two-point shot, three-pointer), who assisted on the shot, and the distance of the shot. This is an impressive undertaking.
My curiosity was piqued about which player was listed most often on the list of 772 buzzer-beaters. Here’s the list of 22 players who had four or more career buzzer-beaters in their NBA career.
8-Kobe Bryant, Joe Johnson
7-Gilbert Arenas, Vince Carter, LeBron James, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce
5-Andre Iguodola, Dwyane Wade
4-Greg Ballard, Larry Bird, Carl Braun, Monte Ellis, World B. Free, Rudy Gay, Bill Laimbeer, Chuck Person, Jerry Stackhouse, John Stockton, Jerry West, Moe Williams
For Milwaukee Bucks fans, the team had 33 buzzer-beaters (and was the victim of a buzzer-beater 26 times). Six players had two or more buzzer-beaters… leading the way was Sidney Moncrief who had three buzzer-beaters with the Bucks. He was followed by five players each who had two buzzer-beaters in a Bucks uniform: Andrew Bogut, Marques Johnson, Khris Middleton, Brian Winters and Mo Williams.
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Today’s Sportstat: January 27, 2020
24 stats you may not know about Kobe Bryant
The sports world was stunned by the news that Kobe Bryant died along with eight other people (including his 13-year-old daughter) yesterday in a helicopter accident.
Bryant was a legend in the game of basketball and his stats like his 20 years with the Los Angeles Lakers, five NBA titles, 18 NBA All-Star Game selections, and the fourth leading scorer in league history are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the influence he had on the game.
In honor of Kobe’s number 24 that he wore (he also wore number 8 in his career), here are 24 stats you may not know about Kobe.
- Kobe entered the league in 1996 as a teenager. He tallied 1,759 points in the league as a teenager. That is second most all-time in the league behind LeBron James who scored 2,362 points as a teenager. Kobe also scored 1,943 points in the regular season at age 36 and beyond, 28th most in the league. He is the only player in the league to tally 1,500 points as a teenager and score 1,500 points at age 36 and older.
- He ended his career with 33,643 points, 7,047 rebounds and 6,306 assists. He is one of only four players in NBA history to have 25,000 points, 7,000 rebounds and 6,000 assists in an NBA career. The others: Oscar Robertson, LeBron James and John Havlicek.
- Kobe averaged under 20.0 points per game in a season in only five of his 20 seasons.
- He had 12 seasons where he averaged 25.0 or more points per game. That ties him for second on the all-time list with Michael Jordan and Karl Malone. Leading the way with 16 seasons with 25.0 points per game in a season is LeBron James.
- Bryant had 290 points, 75 rebounds and 70 assists in his career in the NBA All-Star Game. Only two other players have scored 100 points and had 70 rebounds and 70 assists in a career in the All-Star Game: LeBron James and Bob Cousy.
- His 290 All-Star Game points is second all-time behind James who has 362.
- Kobe had 5,640 playoff points, good enough for fourth all-time behind LeBron, Jordan and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
- Only seven players have 1,000 or more rebounds and 1,000 or more assists in their NBA playoff careers: Kobe, Magic Johnson, LeBron, Jason Kidd, Larry Bird, Scottie Pippen and Jordan.
- Bryant ranks third all-time on the list for most playoff minutes with 8,643. LeBron James tops the list with 10,050 and Tim Duncan is second with 9,364.
- Bryant never had a regular season in the NBA where he shot 50% or higher. In fact, his highest field goal percentage was .469 in 2001-02.
- He started only seven games in the first 150 he played in the league.
- Kobe as drafted 13th in the 1996 NBA Draft. The number one pick that year was Allen Iverson. Of all the players selected in that draft, Kobe tops the list with 1,346 games played in the league and his 33,643 points is the most by any player taken in that draft. He is the only player drafted in the ’96 NBA Draft who played 20 or more seasons in the league.
- Basketball-reference.com on his profile page lists his yearly salary while he played in the league. He ended his career with salaries totaling $328,238,062.
- He made his NBA debut on November 3, 1996. He played 6:22 and had one field goal attempt, one rebound, one block and one turnover.
- His last game was played on April 13, 2016. In 42:09 minutes played, Kobe scored 60 points on 22-for-50 from the field, including 6-for-21 from beyond the three-point arc.
- Born in Philadelphia, PA, Bryant’s 33,643 career points is the most by any NBA player born in Pennsylvania. Second on the list is Wilt Chamberlain with 31,419.
- During his career, Kobe averaged 27.3 points per game in the regular season versus the Portland Trailblazers, highest against any team in the league. His lowest points per game in his career were against the Detroit Pistons, 22.2.
- Kobe made the NBA All-Defensive team 12 times. Tim Duncan tops the list making that All-NBA Defensive team 15 times.
- Kobe made the first team All-Defensive team nine times, tied for most all-time with Kevin Garnett, Gary Payton and Michael Jordan.
- Bryant had five seasons in his career where he averaged 40 or more minutes played per game. He is one of 16 players in league history to do so. Wilt Chamberlain had 14 seasons where he averaged 40 or more minutes played for the campaign.
- Kobe is one of only three players to attempt 25,000 or more shots in NBA regular season games in a career. He attempted 26,200. Karl Malone had 26,210 and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar had 28,307.
- Kobe Bryant was a second team All-Rookie selection in his first season. The first team that year was Shareef Abdur-Rahim, Marcus Camby, Allen Iverson, Stephon Marbury and Antoine Walker. Also on the second team with Kobe were Ray Allen, Kerry Kittles, Travis Knight and Matt Malone.
- After being drafted by the Charlotte Hornets with the 13th pick of the 1996 NBA Draft, Kobe was traded to the Lakers for Vlade Divac in a draft day swap. Divac eventually came back to the Lakers in 2004-05 and played 15 games for the team with Kobe. Divac retired after that season.
- Kobe and Bob Petti are the only players to win four NBA All-Star Game MVPs. LeBron James, Michael Jordan, Oscar Robertson and Shaquille O’Neal each won three All-Star Game MVP awards.
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Most games with one NBA team
On Wednesday night, Kobe Bryant set an NBA record by playing his 20th season with the same team, the Los Angeles Lakers. He broke the record he shared with John Stockton (19 years with the Utah Jazz).
Stockton, however, holds the NBA record for most games played for one team in a career. Stockton played 1,504 games in his 19-year NBA career, all with the Jazz. Second on the list is Reggie Miller who played 18 seasons and 1,389 games in the NBA, all with the Indiana Pacers.
Here’s a look at the NBA players who played the most games in their NBA career, all with one team/franchise.
John Stockton: 1,504 games with the Utah Jazz
Reggie Miller: 1,389 games with the Indiana Pacers
Tim Duncan: 1,331 games with the San Antonio Spurs (active)
Kobe Bryant: 1,280 games with the Los Angeles Lakers (active)
John Havlicek: 1,270 games with the Boston Celtics
Dirk Nowitzki: 1,265 games with the Dallas Mavericks (active)
Hal Greer: 1,122 games with the Syracuse Nationals/Philadelphia 76ers
Joe Dumars: 1,018 games with the Detroit Pistons
Tony Parker: 1,008 games with the San Antonio Spurs (active)
Calvin Murphy: 1,002 with the San Diego/Houston Rockets
In addition to the four players above who are still active in the league, there are four more active players who have played 600 or more games in their careers, all with the same team/franchise. They are: Manu Ginobili (865 games with San Antonio), Nick Collison (816 games with the Seattle Sonics/Oklahoma City Thunder), Dwyane Wade (781 games with the Miami Heat) and Udonis Haslem (777 games with the Miami Heat).
Of the 30 NBA teams, 20 have had one or more player(s) that has played 800 or more games with the team (regardless of whether they played all those games with that team). Ten teams/franchises do not have any players that have played 800 career games.
Here’s a look at the teams with the most players that have played 800 or more games for the team (teams are listed by their current franchise city).
9: L.A. Lakers
4: Dallas, San Antonio
3: Detroit, Indiana, Oklahoma City, Utah
2: Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, Portland, Sacramento
1: Denver, Golden State, Minnesota, N.Y Knicks, Phoenix, Washington
0: Brooklyn, Charlotte, Cleveland, L.A. Clippers, Memphis, Miami, Milwaukee, New Orleans, Orlando, Toronto
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NBA scoring: Most points in a game… by age
Back on January 28, Cleveland Cavalier point guard Kyrie Irving scored 55 points in a win over Portland. The 55 points in a game are the most scored by an NBA player in a game this season.
The 22-year-old Irving, who turns 23 later this month, just missed a mark by two points in that game. According to research done on basketball-reference.com, Irving’s 55 points fell two points short of the most points scored by a 22-year-old, 57, by Rick Barry in an October, 1966 NBA game.
Just two months earlier, the Lakers’ Kobe Bryant scored 44 points in a loss to Golden State. Kobe’s 44 points as a 36-year-old fell one point short of Shaquille O’Neal’s 45 points he scored at the age of 36 in a February, 2009 contest against Toronto.
Let’s take a look at the most points scored in an NBA game by players ages 18 through 44. Note: Since the research for this stat was done on basketball-reference.com, these stats only go from the 1963-64 season until today. Obviously a 25-year-old Wilt Chamberlain would top the list of most points scored by an NBA player age 25 when he tallied 100 on March 2, 1962.
Here’s a look at the most points scored in an NBA game by each age group from 1963-64 to today.
Age, Player, Points Scored
18: LeBron James, 37
19: Cliff Robinson, 45
20: LeBron James, 56
21: Rick Barry, 57
22: Rick Barry, 57
23: David Thompson, 73
24: Tracy McGrady, 62
25: George Gervin, 63
26: Karl Malone, 61
27: Kobe Bryant, 81
28: David Robinson, 71
29: Pete Maravich, 68
30: Kobe Bryant, 61
31: Wilt Chamberlain, 68
32: Wilt Chamberlain, 66
33: Rick Barry, 55
34: Karl Malone, 56
35: Alex English, 51
36: Shaquille O’Neal, 45
37: Karl Malone, 41
38: Michael Jordan, 45
39: Michael Jordan, 45
40: Michael Jordan, 43
41: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, 25
42: Robert Parrish, 16
43: Robert Parrish, 12
44: Kevin Willis, 6
Note: The totals above reflect only regular season games. If we include playoff games, there would be a handful of changes on the leaderboard: Karl Malone scored 50 points in a playoff contest at age 36; Kareem Abdul-Jabbar scored 26 points at age 41 in a playoff game; and Abdul-Jabbar scored 24 points at age 42 in another playoff game.
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NBA Finals: Thunder’s Durant, Westbrook join legendary duos with Game 1 scoring outburst
Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a sports statistics blog published daily that focuses on stats that go beyond the numbers.
Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook not only outscored the whole Miami Heat team by themselves in the second half of Tuesday’s Game 1 win, but the high-scoring duo from Oklahoma City also joined an elite group of teammates that have scored 27 or more points in an NBA Finals game.
Durant had 36 points and Westbrook had 27 making them the first teammates in eight years to both score 27 or more points in an NBA Finals game. The last duo to accomplish this feat were the Lakers Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal on June 8, 2004.
Miami’s LeBron James had 30 points in last night’s game, making it the first NBA Finals game since the June 8, 2004 game mentioned above that three players scored 27 or more points. (Detroit’s Chauncey Billups had 27 points in the Pistons loss to the Lakers in that game.) Three players scored 27+ in an NBA Finals game eight times since 1986.
Going back to 1986, there have been 17 sets of teammates that scored 27 or more points in a NBA Finals game. The last set of teammates to score 27+ in a finals game and their team lose was in 1998 when the Bulls Toni Kukoc (30) and Michael Jordan (28) lost to Utah.
Following are the teammates that scored 27 or more points in an NBA Finals game since 1986.
Date, Team, teammates with 27+ points
June 12, 2012: Oklahoma City, Kevin Durant (36), Russell Westbrook (27)
June 8, 2004: L.A. Lakers, Kobe Bryant (33), Shaquille O’Neal (29)
June 9, 2002: L.A. Lakers, Kobe Bryant (36), Shaquille O’Neal (35)
June 10, 2001: L.A. Lakers, Kobe Bryant (32), Shaquille O’Neal (30)
June 8, 2001: L.A. Lakers, Kobe Bryant (31), Shaquille O’Neal (28)
June 14, 2000: L.A. Lakers, Shaquille O’Neal 36, Kobe Bryant (28)
June 12, 1998: Chicago, Toni Kukoc (30), Michael Jordan (28)
June 10, 1998: Chicago, Michael Jordan (34), Scottie Pippen (28)
June 1, 1997: Chicago, Michael Jordan (31), Scottie Pippen (27)
June 9, 1995: Orlando, Shaquille O’Neal (33), Penny Hardaway (32)
June 9, 1995: Houston, Hakeem Olajuwon (34), Sam Cassell (31)
June 9, 1993: Chicago, Michael Jordan (31), Scottie Pippen (27)
June 12, 1991: Chicago, Scottie Pippen (32), Michael Jordan (30)
June 12, 1990: Portland, Clyde Drexler (34), Jerome Kersey (33)
June 7, 1987: L.A. Lakers, Magic Johnson (32), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (27)
June 2, 1987: L.A. Lakers, James Worthy (33), Magic Johnson (29)
June 8, 1986: Boston, Larry Bird (29), Kevin McHale (29)
Did you know? The last time two sets of teammates scored 27+ in an NBA Finals game was June 9, 1995 when Orlando’s O’Neal (33) and Hardaway (32) lost to the Rockets Olajuwon (34) and Cassell (31).
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