Today’s Sportstat: December 7, 2019
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.
Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp