Sixty numbers for 60 NBA years (cont.)
21. Numbers retired by the Boston Celtics, including No. 18 for both Dave Cowens and Jim Loscutoff.
22. Number of playoff triple-doubles by which Magic Johnson leads Oscar Robertson, 30-8. Robertson holds the NBA career mark in regular-season games, 181 to Johnson's 138.
23. One hundred-eighty-six players have worn No. 23, according to basketball-reference.com, but Michael Jordan owns it.
24. Seconds to shoot, thanks to the introduction of the shot clock for 1954-55. In the first game played with one, Rochester beat Boston 98-95 on Oct. 30, 1954. Average team scoring jumped from 79.5 to 93.1 in one year.
25. Points scored by Detroit's Isiah Thomas in the third quarter of Game 6 of the 1988 NBA Finals -- on a severely sprained ankle. But the Pistons lost and lost again two nights later when Lakers forward James Worthy picked Game 7 for the only triple-double of his career (36 points, 16 rebounds, 10 assists).
26. In the 1979 playoffs, six of the 11 series went the distance and the six clinching games were decided by a total of 26 points.
27. Rick Barry ('67) and Jordan ('03) hold the record for most shots taken in an All-Star Game.
28. Kobe sank 28 field goals in 43 tries, seven of them from three-point range, en route to scoring 81 points against Toronto on Jan. 22, 2006. It ranks second all-time in points scored to Chamberlain's 100-point bar-setter 44 years earlier.
29. In 1965, the Baltimore Bullets were 29-9 at home, 4-25 on the road and 5-8 at neutral sites. Then they got swept from the playoffs by St. Louis, losing twice at home and once on the road.
30. Most assists in an NBA game (Scott Skiles, Orlando, in a 155-116 rout of Denver on Dec. 30, 1990).
31. Best No. 31 ever? Got to be Reggie Miller, the NBA's all-time three-point leader with 6,486 attempts and 2,560 makes.
32. Chamberlain, despite notorious problems at the foul line throughout his career, shot 32 free throws and made 28 on March 2, 1962. Added to his 36-of-63 field-goal shooting, the Dipper finished with 100 points against the Knicks in Hershey, Pa.
34. In 34 road games in the NBA Finals, Milwaukee (4-1), Chicago (12-6) and San Antonio (7-4) are the only franchises with winning records. Everybody else is a combined 112-217, .340. That includes the Celtics (27-31, .466) and the Lakers (33-53, .384).
35. The Miami Heat didn't score 100 points in a game in 2001-02 until a 102-96 victory over the Lakers in L.A. on Jan. 16, 2002. Their streak of 35 games in double digits is the NBA's longest.
37. Fewest points, two teams, in an NBA game: Fort Wayne 19, Minneapolis 18 on Nov. 22, 1950.
38. Elgin Baylor averaged 38.3 points in 1961-62, the most in NBA history by anyone not named Wilt. But his average doesn't officially rate in the league's record book because Baylor, with military obligations, played only 48 games, squeezing in his appearances on weekends.
39. With Cavaliers coach Mike Brown focused more on the playoffs, he goes heavy with subs in Cleveland's final game and loses it in overtime to Philadelphia. As a result, the Cavs join four other teams in NBA history to finish with a 39-2 home record, rather than tying the 1985-86 Celtics at 40-1.
40. Bill Russell grabbed 40 rebounds, a Finals record, in Game 2 of the 1960 series against St. Louis. Two years later, in OT against the Lakers, he grabbed 40 again.
42. Jerry West's team lost Game 7 of the 1969 Finals, but his 42 points, with 13 rebounds and 12 assists, earned him the inaugural Finals MVP trophy. He remains the only member of a losing team to win it.
43. Sacramento went the equivalent of a full road schedule (plus) without winning, losing its last 37 in 1991-92 and its first six in '92-93.
44. Kevin Willis -- born in September 1962 -- became the oldest player in league history, playing five games with Dallas in 2006-07 and averaging 2.4 points, 1.6 rebounds and 8.6 minutes.
45. Jordan's alternate jersey number, worn briefly upon his return from Retirement No. 1 in the spring of 1995.
46. At All-Star weekend in Phoenix last season, Oklahoma City's Kevin Durant scored a record 46 points in the Rookie Challenge, hitting 17-of-25 shots and earning MVP honors. That's four points more than Chamberlain scored in setting the All-Star Game record in 1962.
47. Wish Patrick Ewing (born Aug. 5, 1962) a happy one on Wednesday.
48. Blame it on the sun: New York (20) and Ft. Wayne (28) combined for the fewest rebounds, two teams, in an NBA game. The 1955 game was played on Valentine's Day in Miami.
49. Alaska, 49th in joining the United States, last in NBA players produced. Only Miami guard Mario Chalmers lists Alaska as his birthplace, as basketball-reference.com notes.
50. Dominique Wilkins, Bernard King, Bob McAdoo, Alex English and Bob Lanier were among those feeling a little snubbed when the NBA honored its alleged 50 Greatest Players at NBA All-Star weekend in Cleveland in 1997 (celebrating an anniversary almost as forced as this one).
51. Denver's Kiki Vandeweghe, with 51 points, holds bragging rights for the high individual scorer in the highest-scoring game in NBA history. In a 186-184 triple-overtime dazzler won by Detroit on Dec. 13, 1983, Isiah Thomas and Alex English each scored 47. John Long had 41 and Kelly Tripucka 35 for the Pistons, while Dan Issel chipped in 28 for the Nuggets. By the way, each team attempted just two three-pointers.
52. Larry Bird's playoff winning percentage (32-20, .615) as a head coach, in 52 games for Indiana, is better than Auerbach's (.589), Tom Heinsohn's (.588), K.C. Jones' (.587) and Bill Russell's (.557).
53. David Thompson scored 53 points in the first half, en route to 73, on the final day of the 1977-78 season, temporarily claiming the scoring title at 27.15 ppg. Seven hours later, though, San Antonio's George Gervin dropped in 63 -- 53 in the first half -- to finish at 27.22 ppg for the crown.
54. People actually thought the Utah Jazz, with home-court advantage and free from Finals jitters, had a chance to beat Chicago in 1998. Until Utah scored 54 points, an NBA playoff record low, in losing Game 3 at the United Center.
55. Grabbing 55 rebounds in a game always was a bigger thrill, Wilt Chamberlain said, than scoring 100 points. Probably because he did it against Boston and rival/friend Bill Russell on Nov. 24, 1960.
58. When the 2008-09 season opened, there were 58 former ACC players on NBA rosters, more than from any other college conference.
59. While Philadelphia (9-73) was sputtering to the worst record in NBA history in 1972-73, the Boston Celtics were going 68-14. That left the Sixers 59 games behind in the Atlantic Division.
60. Candles on the NBA's birthday cake today.
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