Portland’s Damian Lillard scored 50 points against the Sacramento Kings on February 9 in the Trailblazers’ 118-100 win over the Kings. It was the 10th time this season that a player tallied 50 or more points in an NBA game.
For the Kings, it was the first time an opposing player had 50 or more points in a game against them since April 1, 2015 when Houston’s James Harden had 51.
It’s interesting to note that one franchise, the Brooklyn Nets, has not had an opposing player score 50 or more points against them in a regular season game in almost 20 years! Shaquille O’Neal is the last player to score 50 against the Nets; he had exactly 50 in a game as a member of the L.A. Lakers on April 2, 1998 when the Nets were in New Jersey.
Here’s a look at the last regular season each of the 30 NBA franchises had an opposing player score 50 or more points against them.
1997-98: Brooklyn (New Jersey Nets)
2005-06: Atlanta, Cleveland
2011-12: Oklahoma City
2014-15: San Antonio
2015-16: Dallas, Detroit, New Orleans, Toronto
2016-17: Boston, Charlotte, Denver, Indiana, Miami, N.Y. Knicks, Philadelphia, Phoenix
2017-18: Chicago, Golden State, L.A. Clippers, L.A. Lakers, Milwaukee, Orlando, Portland, Sacramento, Utah, Washington
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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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As Minnesota Timberwolves star Kevin Love and the team decide how to deal with his “mild concussion” and if he will return for the remainder of this season, his stats for this year sit at 26.0 points per game and 13.3 rebounds per contest. Should Love and the team decide that he will sit out the remainder of this season, Love will end the campaign as only the fourth player in the last 30 years to average 26+ points per game with 13+ rebounds per game.
In NBA history, there have been 40 times when a player averaged 26 points and 13 rebounds per game. The last to do so was Shaquille O’Neal in the 1999-2000 season when he averaged 29.7 points per game and 13.6 rebounds per contest.
Here’s a quick look at the last five occasions when a player ended the year with a “26-13” season.
Player, year, points per game/rebounds per game
Shaquille O’Neal, 1999-2000, 29.7/13.6
Shaquille O’Neal, 1993-94, 29.3/13.2
Hakeem Olajuwon, 1992-93, 26.1/13.0
Moses Malone, 1981-82, 31.1/14.7
Moses Malone, 1980-81, 27.8/14.8
If Love ends the year with a “26-13” season, he will become the 13th player in NBA history to accomplish this feat. Wilt Chamberlain tops the list with eight “26-13” seasons.
Here’s the 12 players who had at least one “26-13” season in their NBA career.
Player, “26-13” NBA seasons
Did you know? Here’s another interesting fact about Kevin Love’s 2011-2012 season. If he ends the year averaging over 13 rebounds per game, he will become only the fourth player in NBA history to average 13+ rebounds and make over 100 three-point shots. First to accomplish this mark was Shawn Marion of the Phoenix Suns in 2004-05 when he made 144 three-points shots to go with 11.3 rebounds per game. Antawn Jamison with Washington in 2007-08 made 120 threes along with averaging 10.2 rebounds per game. The last player to accomplish this feat was Indiana’s Troy Murphy, who did it in two consecutive seasons, 2008-09 (161 and 11.8) and 2009-10 (128 and 10.2).
Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a biweekly blog that is published every Wednesday and Sunday with a bonus “SIX STATS…” posting every Friday.
Oklahoma City Thunder teammates Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook combined to score 57 points in the most recent NBA All-Star Game. That was the second-most points in an NBA All-Star Game history by teammates; the Miami duo of LeBron James and Dwyane Wade combined to score 60 points in that same game and now hold the record for most combined points by teammates in an NBA All-Star Game. The two pairs became the sixth and seventh teammates to score 50 or more points in an all-star game (see my blog of February 24, 2012 for more on this stat).
Durant and Westbrook are looking to join James and Wade in another elite group. As of games through March 5, Durant is averaging 28.1 points per game and ranks second in scoring in the league. Westbrook is averaging 23.7 points per games and ranks fifth in the league. If Westbrook can bring his average up and over the 25 points per game mark by the end of the season, they would join 15 other sets of teammates to both average 25 or more points per game in a season.
Following are the teammates who both averaged 25 or more points per games in an NBA season.
Year, Team, Teammates (Scoring Average)
2010-11 Miami Heat, LeBron James (26.7) and Dwyane Wade (25.5)
2007-08 Denver Nuggets, Allen Iverson (26.4) and Carmelo Anthony (25.7)
2001-02 Los Angeles Lakers, Shaquille O’Neal (27.2) and Kobe Bryant (25.2)
2000-01 Los Angeles Lakers, Shaquille O’Neal (28.7) and Kobe Bryant (28.5)
1986-87 Boston Celtics, Larry Bird (28.1) and Kevin McHale (26.1)
1983-84 Denver Nuggets, Kiki Vandeweghe (29.4) and Alex English (26.4)
1982-82 Denver Nuggets, Alex English (28.4) and Kiki Vandeweghe (26.7)
1972-73 Atlanta Hawks, Lou Hudson (27.1) Pete Maravich (26.1)
1971-71 Los Angeles Lakers, Gail Goodrich (25.9) and Jerry West (25.8)
1966-67 Los Angeles Lakers, Jerry West (28.7) and Elgin Baylor (26.6)
1964-65 Los Angeles Lakers, Jerry West (31.0) and Elgin Baylor (27.1)
1963-64 Los Angeles Lakers, Jerry West (28.7) and Elgin Baylor (25.4)
1961-62 New York Knicks, Richie Guerin (29.5) and Willie Naulls (25.0)
1960-61 Cincinnati Royals, Oscar Robertson (30.5) and Jack Twyman (25.3)
Note #1: Of the 15 pairs listed, three played on title teams (Lakers 1971-72, 2000-01 and 2001-02). Three lost in the NBA finals… Lakers 1964-65; Celtics 1986-87; Heat 2010-11. Only two of the 15 did not make the playoffs that season… Royals 1960-61; Knicks 1961-62.
Note #2: Of the 15 pairs listed, 11 played on teams that had a regular season record better than .500.