NBA Rumor: Statistical Milestones

172 rumors in this storyline

Luka Doncic beats Magic Johnson to the 50 triple-double milestone by a game

Dallas Mavericks superstar Luka Doncic beat Los Angeles Lakers legend Magic Johnson to the 50 triple-double milestone by a game. Doncic’s 33-point, 12-rebound, 11-assist performance in Friday’s 127-99 win over the visiting Denver Nuggets made him the 10th player in NBA history to record 50 career triple-doubles. Doncic accomplished the feat in his 278th career game, one fewer than it took Johnson. Only Oscar Robertson (111) needed fewer games to get 50 triple-doubles.

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“He’s already rewriting the record book,” said Mavs coach Jason Kidd, who took 649 games to record 50 triple-doubles in his playing career. “That’s pretty cool. … Oscar is pretty special, so now to be right there behind Oscar being second fastest to 50 just shows you how special he is.” It was also the 25th time that Doncic has scored at least 30 points in a triple-double. That ranks fifth in NBA history, according to ESPN Stats & Information research, trailing only Robertson, Russell Westbrook, LeBron James and James Harden.

Club Shay Shay: .@MagicJohnson reacts to LeBron James being on the verge of passing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the All-Time Leading Scorer: “If I got to be honest, Kareem isn’t going to handle it well…And it’s a dude that’s playing for the Lakers.”

Shaquille O'Neal jealous of LeBron James passing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's scoring record

Shaquille O’Neal brought up the topic of James and him closing in on Abdul-Jabbar’s record on the show “IMPAULSIVE” (at the 26:42 mark) and said that James passing Abdul-Jabbar’s record actually has him jealous. “LeBron’s about to do something that hasn’t been done in a long time and I think he will put his move up there,” Shaquille O’Neal said. “To pass up Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, I can truthfully say I’m jealous of that feat.” Although he said that Michael Jordan is the greatest player ever in his eyes, he had plenty of praise for LeBron James and the record he is about to break.

James can continue to climb the ladder in two accumulation categories this season. He enters the campaign third all time in minutes played with 52,139, needing 2,714 more to pass Malone for second. He would have to be in the lineup for around 75 games to do that. Abdul-Jabbar tops the list with 57,446 minutes. Speaking of games played, he is 14th on the all-time list with 1,366. If he plays in 59 contests this season, he would move up to eighth, passing Clifford Robinson, Reggie Miller, Jason Kidd, Tim Duncan, Jason Terry and Kevin Willis.

Ben Simmons would be first player ever to make team debut in the playoffs after a trade

That’s a high-stakes time for a debut. Especially for Ben Simmons. The last time he played, teammates reportedly suspected he faked a potential coronavirus exposure to dodge 76ers-Hawks Game 7. He hasn’t played all season due to some combination of trade demand/holdout, mental-health issues and back issues. His distinctive style – a tall point guard who’s an extremely reluctant shooter – could make it tough for him and his new teammates to mesh. Even without Simmons’ unique complications, there’s no precedent for someone debuting for a new team in the playoffs after a trade.

Nikola Jokic first ever with 2K points, 1K rebounds and 500 assists in a season

Nikola Jokic made history on the night his Denver Nuggets clinched a fourth consecutive playoff berth with a 122-109 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies. Jokic became the first player in NBA history with 2,000 points, 1,000 rebounds and 500 assists in a season. He had 35 points, 16 rebounds, six assists and five steals Thursday evening. “Dude is really great at basketball,” teammate Bones Hyland said.

After having to retreat to the bench twice to stop the bleeding, Jokic donned a red headband for the remainder of the game as he helped the Nuggets (48-33) overcome a shaky start to avoid a season sweep at the hands of the Grizzlies. “The MVP isn’t even a competition,” Nuggets coach Michael Malone declared afterward. “There’s other great players. I’m not saying they’re not great players. But what Nikola Jokic has done this year — with this team, everything we’ve had to go through — is just incredible. “He was good last year, and he’s even better this year.”

Malone said he was concerned after seeing Jokic bloodied in such a pivotal game for Denver. “My first thought was Steve Nash in that playoff series and they couldn’t stop the bleeding,” Malone said. “And I’m saying, ‘Of all games, Nikola gets a very nonmalicious elbow, an inadvertent elbow to the head, and he’s bleeding.’ “I’m saying, ‘Not tonight.'” Malone said he implored his trainers to do whatever they could to staunch the flow of blood. “Like, get a staple gun out here,” Malone said. “And it finally stopped, and Nikola put on another MVP performance.”

Giannis Antetokounmpo becomes Bucks' all-time leader scorer

As he compiled numbers and climbed over names in respective Milwaukee Bucks and NBA recorded histories these last few seasons, he has allowed himself to briefly recognize the moment before moving beyond it. But – but – never too far in advance. It’s a mental tightrope he’s become comfortable on. This one, however, was different. “It’s cool,” he acknowledged a few games before he broke Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s franchise scoring mark Thursday night at the Barclays Center, which came on a step-back 3-pointer over Brooklyn center Andre Drummond with 18 seconds left in the fourth quarter to tie the game with the Nets 110-110. “How many points 14,000-something? Ohhh! I’m a bucket! I’m a bucket! It’s fun, you know?”

Jon McGlocklin also played with Abdul-Jabbar and was the television analyst for the team through 2017. “It’s a remarkable story that I don’t think is ever – I’ve been associated with NBA 56 years – and I’ve played against and with the great ones back in the early 60s, mid 60s, the 70s, and who came along even close to this story?” McGlocklin said, his voice hitting a high pitch of incredulity. “That came out of left field and became what he’s become. Never seen it. You can’t name anybody that was that much of a surprise and grew in the NBA. Because most of the great ones came in, even back then, with big credentials out of college. But not Giannis. It’s a remarkable story.

Kevin Durant on surpassing Jerry West on all-time scoring list: 'Next time I see him I'll give him a little s--t about it'

Nets Videos: Kevin Durant says he’ll give Jerry West “a little s**t” about passing him on the NBA’s all-time scoring list 😂 “It’s a honor. He’s just a legend in the game. A legend in our sport. Almost like the godfather of our sport”

LeBron James on passing Karl Malone on all-time scoring list: 'I'm just always lost for words for it'

Saturday in Washington, it was a thundering dunk, a driving layup, a handful of threes and, finally, a cutting layup that pushed James up the NBA’s all-time scoring leaderboard to No. 2, trailing only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. The historic basket came midway into the second quarter of the Lakers’ 127-119 loss. Stanley Johnson found James on a back-door cut into the paint for a right-handed layup for his 36,930th career point, moving him past Karl Malone for second on the NBA’s career scoring list. “Just to be part of this league the many years I’ve been a part of it and being linked to some of the greatest who’ve ever played this game and guys I’ve ever watched or studied or read about or aspired to be like … I’m just always lost for words for it,” James said.

After scoring six points in the first quarter, James came out firing in the second. He scored the Lakers’ first 15 points of the quarter to pass Malone. James hit a cutting layup on a feed from Stanley Johnson at the 5:20 mark to give him 36,929 points, one better than Malone. “Just to be a part of this league for as many years as I’ve been a part of it and being linked to some of the greatest who’ve ever played this game, guys I’ve either watched or studied or read about or aspired to be like … I’m just always lost for words for it,” James said. “It’s an honor for myself, for my hometown, for my family and my friends to be able to live these moments throughout this journey. And that’s exactly who I do it for.”

LeBron James on possibility of passing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: 'I will not allow myself to think about it'

James finished the game with 38 points for 36,937 in his career and now trails only legendary center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar on the all-time list. Abdul-Jabbar has been the NBA’s scoring king since 1984 and finished his 20-year career with 38,387 points. “I will not allow myself to think about it,” James said of the possibility of passing Abdul-Jabbar. “I’ve always just played the game the way I’ve been playing it over the years, and these things have just happened organically by just going out and playing the game the right way. Hope to accomplish that at some point in my career, but I won’t think about it too much.”

“Um, I got 23,000 points,” Westbrook said. “How about that?” Meanwhile, James is closing in on passing Karl Malone for second all-time in scoring in the NBA. He is now 20 points away from passing “The Mailman.” After James logged 45 minutes, Lakers coach Frank Vogel said the team will discuss whether James will play on Saturday in Washington on the second of a back-to-back. If James rests, he could pass Malone in his return to Cleveland on Monday.

James set the mark by passing the ball to Carmelo Anthony for a 3-pointer early in the second quarter, notching his second assist of the game and 10,000th of his career. “I get lost for words anytime things like this are happening to me because of where I come from,” he said. “I automatically start thinking to my hometown of Akron [Ohio] and my upbringing and where I come from and the dreams that I had of being in this league and playing at the highest level.”

It was James’ 14th 50-point game of his career, tying Rick Barry for the sixth-most in NBA history. James has won 12 consecutive games when scoring 50-plus points. He’s the first player in NBA history to score 50-plus times multiple times after turning 35. “The thing that stands out to me is that the league has never seen a player at this stage of his career do what he’s doing,” Vogel said. “I think that’s the biggest thing that needs to be recognized. It’s just unbelievable, the level that he’s playing at.”

Harden entered Thursday 413 3-pointers behind Ray Allen for the second most in NBA history and 552 behind all-time leader Stephen Curry, who passed Allen earlier this season. “[Third] all time in NBA history, that’s definitely a huge accomplishment,” Harden said recently. “I think No. 1 is definitely going to be hard to catch. You’ve got the best shooter that ever touched a basketball in Steph. But that realm from Reggie to Ray to Kyle Korver [in fifth place], I mean, those are some unbelievable shooters that we all witnessed shoot the basketball at a high level. “So I’m blessed, I’m fortunate to be on that list, high on top of the list. And I’ll do whatever it takes to try to catch Steph. [It’s] going to be difficult, man.”

Ja Morant sets regular season Grizzlies record with 46 points

The Memphis Grizzlies’ All-Star guard put on quite a display for the Chicago crowd and might have gotten a little extra lift after seeing highlights of Michael Jordan on the video board. Morant scored a regular-season franchise-record 46 points, and the Grizzlies hung on to beat DeMar DeRozan and the Chicago Bulls 116-110 on Saturday night. “I did watch it,” Morant said. “And then, I did start scoring a lot. It probably played a part in it.” Morant broke Mike Miller’s previous record (45 points) set in 2007.

LeBron James becomes NBA’s all-time leading scorer combining regular season and playoffs

Even in a rough season team-wise, there’s a silver lining for LeBron James when it comes to individual accolades. The last one is a pretty big deal: during the game vs. the Warriors, he just became the NBA’s all-time leading scorer when combining points in the regular season and playoffs. (If you include play-in tournament scoring, he actually became the top NBA scorer in the Lakers’ loss to Portland). King James still trails Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in regular-season scoring, though he’s on track to pass him there as well next season.
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December 1, 2022 | 9:18 pm EST Update
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Jimmy Butler will return against Celtics on Friday?

With Jimmy Butler set to rejoin his teammates on Friday, the Heat will gain some clarity on a key question: Has the gap between last year’s Eastern Conference finalists widened to the point that their records would suggest? Or is the Heat (10-12) still positioned to be competitive with Boston (18-4) should the teams meet again in the postseason? Butler was set to join the Heat in Boston on Thursday evening after missing seven games with a knee injury; Miami listed him as questionable for the game.
“I said it at the beginning of the year, I’m not worried about Harrison. I don’t call many plays for him at all. He’s a vet who knows how to play. He settles us when we get a little haywire because we all get a little haywire, including me. He just settles everybody on both ends of the floor. So he’s great to have out there. Obviously, he’s a guy that can score on all 3 levels. He’s just getting comfortable picking his spots. His ability to get to the free throw line has been tremendous for us the whole year because he’s gotten there at crucial times. Times that we needed to slow the pace and get our defense set, and all those other things. He’s done it for us. So he’s just doing what he’s capable of doing. I don’t think it’s anything special.”