NBA: 25 Least Known Records That Will Shock You
These 25 little-known NBA records will make you stop, scratch your head in wonder and think to yourself about how the statistics can possibly be right.
I'll save you the trouble. They are.
From consecutive ejections to high-scoring quarters to consecutive free-throws made, these are the obscure, yet still incredibly awesome, records that the Association has to offer.
Conveniently sorted into chronological order for you, these records may eventually be broken (some of them at least), but it'll take a monumental effort to do so.
Read on to find out what they are!
Lowest Scoring Game: Pistons vs. Lakers, 37
I have nothing to back this claim up, but something tells me that there were more fans asleep in the stands on Nov. 22, 1950 than there were points scored on the court.
In the lowest scoring game of all time, the Fort Wayne Pistons beat the Minneapolis Lakers 19-18 that day. Unfortunately, I don't have any data on field goal attempts or pace of play, so I can't tell you why exactly this happened.
That said, it was clearly an aberration as the Pistons never scored less than 64 points again that season and the Lakers never dropped below 63.
George Mikan scored 15 of the 18 points for the Lakers and only two other players scored. No player scored more than five for the Pistons.
Longest Game: Olympians vs. Royals, 6 Overtimes
For 78 minutes on Jan. 6, 1951, the Indianapolis Olympians battled the Rochester Royals and came out on top after six overtimes with a 75-73 victory to improve their record to 16-16.
And seriously, why can't we have team names like that anymore?
The offenses struggled all-game long but really stalled once the extra time starting ticking down off the clocks. The teams each managed just four points in the first four overtimes combined, including completely scoreless second and fourth overtimes.
There was an offensive exploding during the fifth overtime when the Royals and Olympians combined for eight points. Then the Olympians prevailed by scoring a basket in the final period while holding the Royals scoreless.
Two players scored 17 points for Indianapolis, including Alex Groza, the former Kentucky standout.
Most Consecutive Ejections: Don Boven, 6
Playing for the Milwaukee Hawks during the 1951-1952 season, Don Boven somehow managed to rack up six fouls and be ejected in not one, not two, not three, not four, not five, but six consecutive games.
I really don't know too much about Boven other than that ridiculous record.
He played in the NBA for three seasons and finished his career with averages of 9.0 points, 4.2 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game while playing swingman for the Waterloo Hawks, Milwaukee Bucks and Fort Wayne Pistons.
Worst Record to Qualify for the Playoffs: Baltimore Bullets, 16-54
During the 1952-1953 season, the Baltimore Bullets somehow finished with a 16-54 and made it into the postseason.
At the time, the NBA was only comprised of 10 teams that were split up into two divisions of five: the Eastern Division and the Western Division. Unlike the modern day, when only the best of the bunch qualify for the postseason, four teams made the playoffs from each division.
Of the five in the Eastern Division that year, the New York Knickerbockers went 47-23, the Syracuse Nationals went 47-24, the Boston Celtics went 46-25, the aforementioned Bullets went 16-54 and the Philadelphia Warriors went 12-57.
This extreme lack of parity led to the Bullets' postseason appearance.
Things quickly went downhill as the NBA legends like Don Barksdale, Jim Baechtold, Paul Hoffman and Ray Lumpp were quickly swept by the Knickerbockers.
Highest Scoring Regulation Game: Boston Celtics, 173
On February 27, 1959, the Boston Celtics managed to drop a ridiculous 173 points in a 34-point victory against Elgin Baylor and the Minneapolis Lakers. While this would have been a special victory even if it took a few overtime periods to amass that many points, the C's did all of their damage in regulation.
The third-quarter was the lowest scoring period for Boston and they still managed to score 38 points. The highest-scoring one was the fourth quarter, a 52-point explosion.
Tommy Heinsohn paced the Celtics with 43 points and Bob Cousy finished second with 31 points. Bill Sharman and Frank Ramsey both broke the 20-point barrier and Sam Jones, amazingly enough, was one of just two players on the team to score in single-figures.
When Maurice Podoloff, the president of the league, heard about the game, he supposedly exclaimed, "173 to 139? That's unbelievable!"
Most Assists, Single Half: Bob Cousy, 19
You can see the full description of the game on the previous slide, but Bob Cousy somehow managed to set a number of assist records in addition to scoring his 31 points.
He ended up with 28 in the game, 13 more than the entire collection of players known as the Minneapolis Lakers. That was a record at the time but no longer stands (as you'll see later).
He had 12 assists in a single quarter, a number that wasn't broken until John Lucas dished out 14 dimes in the second quarter of a 1984 game against the Denver Nuggets.
But the record I'm focusing on here is the ridiculous 19 assists that Cooz amassed in just one half of the ridiculously high-scoring game.
Most Minutes Per Game, Single Season: Wilt Chamberlain, 48.5
Throughout the 1961-1962 season with the Philadelphia Warriors, the same season in which he averaged 50.4 points and 25.7 rebounds per game, Wilt Chamberlain somehow managed to stay on the court for 48.5 minutes per contest.
There are 48 minutes in a typical regulation basketball game now. Back then, that rule remained the same.
Wilt had enough endurance to stay on the court and dominate for the duration of each and every game. Plus, he found himself playing a large role in five overtime contests, a double-overtime loss to the New York Knicks and a triple-overtime loss to the Los Angeles Lakers.
In terms of stamina, this was the pinnacle for the man who holds innumerable records and averaged 45.8 minutes per game throughout his illustrious career.
Most Games Played, Single Season: Walt Bellamy, 88
The 1968-1969 NBA season had its fair share of strange occurrences. None was stranger than the curious case of Walt Bellamy.
Bellamy began the season on the New York Knicks, averaging 15.2 points and 11.0 rebounds per game during the 35 games he spent with the team. But on December 19, 1968, the team decided to trade Bellamy and Howard Komives to the Detroit Pistons for Dave DeBusschere.
At the time though, the Pistons had played six less games than the Knicks. So instead of 47 more opportunities to make his mark, Bellamy had 53. He capitalized on each and every one of them.
In those 53 games, Bellamy averaged 18.8 points and 13.5 rebounds per contest. But as impressive as those numbers are, the fact that he appeared in 88 games in a single season is the most impressive part.
Most Points Scored, Single Quarter: Buffalo Braves, 58
Led by John Havlicek and Dave Cowens, the Boston Celtics were absolutely blowing out the Buffalo Braves on Oct. 20, 1972. At the end of three quarters, the C's were up 103-60 and the game seemed over.
But the Braves had a miraculous comeback on their minds, benefiting no doubt from a decreased level of effort and talent on the floor for the Celtics. They outscored the Celtics by 35 points and ended up losing the game by just eight.
In the process, they scored 58 points in that fourth quarter, a number that remains higher than any other single-quarter point total for a team in NBA history.
I wish that I could tell you who stepped up in that final period, but I am only left with the box score and don't have access to any video or play-by-play data.
Most Blocks, Single Game: Elmore Smith, 17
During his eight-year career in the NBA, Elmore Smith averaged 2.9* blocks per game, including a league-leading campaign during the 1973-1974 season in which he averaged 4.9 per contest.
But his career highlight from an individual perspective came on Oct. 28, 1973 in a 111-98 victory against the Portland Trail Blazers. Playing for the Los Angeles Lakers, Smith rejected 17 of the Blazers' shots, a number that still stands as a single-game record.
He had to do something to overshadow Gail Goodrich's explosion for 49 points.
Once again, just as with Mark Eaton's blocks per game record, this mark may have been eclipsed by Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain or some other defensive monster who played before the start of this 1973-1974 season.
*Blocks weren't tracked during the first two seasons of Smith's career, so this number is only accurate for his final six seasons.
Biggest Fourth-Quarter Comeback: Milwaukee Bucks, 29
It's hard enough to come back from a 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter of an NBA game. It's even harder to come from 29 points down.
It's harder still to overcome a 29-point deficit with just 8:43 remaining in the game, as the Milwaukee Bucks did on Nov. 25, 1977 against the Atlanta Hawks.
The Bucks closed a 41-11 fourth quarter on a 35-4 run to win the game by two points.
Junior Bridgeman paced the team with 24 points and Brian Winters, the bearded wonder, added another 15 of his own.
Highest Scoring Game: Pistons vs. Nuggets, 370 Points
Mike Powell/Getty Images
On December 13, 1983 the Detroit Pistons beat the Denver Nuggets in a triple-overtime game that set as many records as any other game in NBA history. Records established in this game include the highest score by a winning team and losing team, the most players scoring 40 or more points, the most made field goals by both one and two teams and the most assists by both teams.
But the most notable record of all was that the two teams combined to score 370 points, 186 for the Pistons and 184 for the Nuggets, in the highest scoring game in NBA history. This happened despite the fact that Isiah Thomas hit the Pistons' only three-pointer and Richard Anderson matched his lone make from downtown for the Nuggets.
This defenseless game was bound to be high-scoring even without the triple-overtime since the score was tied at 145 at the end of regulation.
Thomas was the high-scorer for the winning team with 47 points and he was followed up by John Long's 41. Until Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant exploded for a combined for 91 points against the Nuggets (ironically enough) earlier this year, this was the third-highest combination by two teammates who each broke the 30-point barrier.
At the top of that list though comes Kiki Vandeweghe and Alex English. Combining for 98 points, a game-high 51 from Vandeweghe and 47 from English, this duo tops all others.
That said, I'm still most impressed by Westbrook and Durant because they achieved the feat in just one overtime. The two entries from this game and the No. 2 entry (George Gervin and Mike Mitchell combining for 95) all occurred in triple-overtime games.
Most Blocks Per Game, Single Season: Mark Eaton, 5.6
Mike Powell/Getty Images
Mark Eaton's towering 7'4" frame and equally huge wingspan made for quite the intimidating presence in the paint. If you think that Anthony Davis is terrifying in his current role at Kentucky, then you'd be wetting yourself watching this guy play during the 1984-1985 season for the Utah Jazz.
How exactly do you average 5.6 blocks per game over the course of all 82 games?
Unfortunately though, we'll never know if this is truly the record in the category. Something tells me that Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain may have challenged it if blocks had been recorded when they were NBA landlords.
Most Steals, Single Quarter: Fat Lever, 8
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On March 9, 1985, Fat Lever swiped the ball away from the opposing team eight times in just the third quarter.
The Denver Nuggets used his defensive contributions to win the quarter 33-26, giving them enough of a cushion to win the game 126-116 despite being outscored by the Indiana Pacers by 10 points in the final period of action.
Lever was no stranger to massive steals totals. His career average was 2.2 steals per game and he averaged 2.5 per contest during the 1984-1985 question.
That said, no game was quite as impressive as this one for him.
Most Minutes Played, Single Game: Dale Ellis, 69
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
Can you imagine losing this game?
How bad must Dale Ellis have felt after his 53 points and 69 minutes of action, a number that still prevails as an NBA record, were all for naught?
On Nov. 9, 1989, the 2-1 Seattle SuperSonics met up with the Milwaukee Bucks in a game that seemingly would never end. After four quarters and five overtime periods, the Sonics lost 155-154.
Xavier McDaniel was almost always beside his teammate that game, falling just shy of the record with "only" 68 minutes on the court. On the opposing side, Jay Humphries logged 62 minutes for the victorious Bucks.
Most Fouls, Single Game: Utah Jazz, 52
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It took overtime to do so on April 9, 1990, but the Utah Jazz actually managed to get whistled for 52 fouls in a 119-115 loss to the Phoenix Suns. Perhaps even more incredible than that record is the fact that the Jazz still managed to have enough players on the court at the end of the game.
John Stockton, Thurl Bailey, Bobby Hansen and Eric Johnson all committed six fouls. Karl Malone and Blue Edwards added five apiece. Not wanting to be left out of the action, Mark Eaton, Darrell Griffith, Mike Brown and Delaney Rudd all had four fouls. Amazingly enough, Eric Leckner, the only player left on the roster, had two of his own.
Between those 52 fouls and the 32 committed by the Phoenix Suns, officials Tommy Nunez, Blane Reichelt and Hue Hollins definitely earned their paychecks.
Most Assists, Single Game: Scott Skiles, 30
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Everyone is rightfully impressed whenever a player records 10 assists in a single game. Fifteen assists usually leaves a strong impression and 20 assists in a single contest is almost unheard of.
If we hear that someone racked up 30 assists, we almost automatically assume it took three games or more.
But on Dec. 30, 1990, the Orlando Magic beat the Denver Nuggets as Scott Skiles piled up 30 dimes in a single game. As if that wasn't good enough by itself, the point guard also managed to score 22 points on his own.
Needless to say, the Magic's offense was clicking to the tune of 155 points in a regulation game.
Not bad for a guy who averaged 6.5 assists per game over the course of his career and averaged 8.4 per contest during that 1990-1991 season.
Biggest Winning Margin: Cleveland Cavaliers, 68
Layne Murdoch/Getty Images
There's little to no chance of the Cleveland Cavaliers demolishing the Miami Heat by 68 points this year, although there's a significantly larger possibility of LeBron James helping to avenge this embarrassing black mark in the young franchise's history.
On Dec. 17, 1991, the Cavs took down the Heat 148-80, putting up the largest margin of victory in NBA history. Cleveland's record after the game was 13-8 and the Heat fell below .500 at 11-12.
Mark Price and John Battle were the high-scorers for the Cavs, each putting up 18 points to pace a team that had eight players in double-figures and another three with seven or more. Price undoubtedly had the most impressive line though as he added 11 assists to the cause.
Most Consecutive Free-Throws Made: Micheal Williams, 97
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During the first two seasons of his career, Micheal Williams made just 72 percent of his free throws. Then, once he started playing more often, he caught fire from the line and never looked back.
That was never more true than a ridiculous span from Mar. 24, 1993 through Nov. 9, 1993 when Williams connected with the bottom of the net on 97 free throws in a row. Although players like Jose Calderon have come close, no one has ever been able to surpass that record.
If only Williams wasn't quite so active on that final day. After all, he made nine of his 10 attempts during that fateful game against the San Antonio Spurs.
Most Consecutive Games Making a Three-Pointer: Dana Barros, 89
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If you asked me who had recorded a three-pointer in the most consecutive games in NBA history, I would have responded by saying Reggie Miller or Ray Allen, depending on the day and the mood I was in.
If you'd made me keep guessing until I got it right, I'd still be coming up with names.
The answer though is Dana Barros, a career journeyman who somehow knocked down a shot from downtown in each and every game from Dec. 23, 1994 until Jan. 10, 1996. For those of you keeping count at home, that's 89 straight games.
Quickest to Foul Out: Bubba Wells, 3 Minutes
Bubba Wells fouled out quickly enough that you can watch the entire process unfold without carving out too big a chunk of your day. In fact, I would highly recommend that you do so.
If it wasn't for this distinction, not many people would remember the name of the 6'5" forward from Austin Peay. After all, he spent just one season in the NBA, playing just 39 games with the Dallas Mavericks and averaging 3.3 points and 1.7 rebounds per contest.
But on Dec. 29, 1997, Wells took just three minutes to foul out of the game. It was the only one in which he'd even record more than three personal fouls.
Head coach Don Nelson decided to pull the Hack-a-Rodman strategy to send Dennis Rodman to the line early and often. He thought that Rodman, a notoriously poor free-throw shooter, would end up helping his Mavs beat the heavily-favored Bulls.
So in came Bubba.
Three minutes, six fouls and 12 Rodman free-throw attempts later (nine of which were made) and out came Bubba.
Most Technical Fouls, Single Season: Rasheed Wallace, 40
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Now that the NBA has implement suspensions as a mandatory punishment for racking up too many technical fouls, and because Rasheed Wallace is retired, it seems highly unlikely that this record will ever be broken.
During the 2000-2001 season, Rasheed Wallace somehow managed to amass a ridiculous 40 techs. How did he manage to piss of that many referees?
Well, have you seen 'Sheed play?
For the curious ones out there, the second-most technicals in a single season is just two shy of Wallace's mark. And yes, it was him once again.
I would say that this is a record that you don't want to own. But something tells me that 'Sheed is pleased.
Most Teams Played For: Multiple Players, 12 Teams
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It's not like any of these people are really going to have to worry about this hypothetical problem, but if they were selected to the Hall of Fame, which jersey would represent them?
Only four players have managed to put on 12 different jerseys throughout their careers.
Chucky Brown, a 6'7" backup forward, played for the Cleveland Cavaliers, Los Angeles Lakers, New Jersey Nets, Dallas Mavericks, Houston Rockets, Phoenix Suns, Milwaukee Bucks, Atlanta Hawks, Charlotte Hornets, San Antonio Spurs, Golden State Warriors and Sacramento Kings from 1989-2002.
Tony Massenburg managed to play for four different teams during the 1991-1992 season and ended his career after spending time with the San Antonio Spurs, Charlotte Hornets, Boston Celtics, Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Clippers, Toronto Raptors, Philadelphia 76ers, New Jersey Nets, Vancouver Grizzlies, Houston Rockets, Utah Jazz and Sacramento Kings from 1990-2005.
Jim Jackson had a great start to his career with the Dallas Mavericks, but he also ended up playing for the New Jersey Nets Philadelphia 76ers, Golden State Warriors, Portland Trail Blazers, Atlanta Hawks, Cleveland Cavaliers, Miami Heat, Sacramento kings, Houston Rockets, Phoenix Suns and Los Angeles Lakers from 1992-2006.
Finally, Joe Smith, a former No. 1 overall pick, played with the Golden State Warriors, Philadelphia 76ers, Minnesota Timberwolves, Detroit Pistons, Milwaukee Bucks, Denver Nuggets, Chicago Bulls, Cleveland Cavaliers, Oklahoma City Thunder, Atlanta Hawks, New Jersey Nets and Los Angeles Lakers from 1995-2011.
Most Three-Point Attempts in One Game: Damon Stoudamire, 21
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On April 15, 2005, Damon Stoudamire decided that he was going to shoot over and over again from downtown no matter what. It didn't matter if he was making them (he wasn't). It didn't matter if he was missing them (he was).
In that 20-point loss to the Golden State Warriors, the Portland Trail Blazers guard jacked up 21 shots from behind the three-point line. He only made five of them.
Honestly though, I'm not that impressed. I routinely shoot more than that in NBA 2K12.
Youngest Player to Play at the NBA Level: Andrew Bynum, 18 Years and 6 Days
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In the first game of the 2005-2006 NBA season, Andrew Bynum played 5:29 for the Los Angeles Lakers in a victory against the Denver Nuggets.
He missed both his shots from the field, pulled down two rebounds and blocked two shots in that NBA debut, but what really made history was the Bynum became the youngest player to step onto the court at the professional level.
As a prep-to-pro player, one of the last of his kind, Bynum was only six days past his 18th birthday at the time.