Dirk Nowitzki led all players with 21 points in the Mavericks’ victory at Utah last night. That boosted Nowitzki’s career total to 26,714 points, as he moved past Oscar Robertson into 10th place in NBA scoring—a significant moment for NBA historians.
Today marks the first time in more than 48 years that Robertson doesn’t rank among the league’s 10 highest scorers. It took the Big O just 418 NBA games to crack the top 10, which he did with a 40-point effort for the Royals at Cincinnati Gardens on December 29, 1965.
Robertson surpassed Bill Sharman’s career point total to gain the 10th spot at a time when Wilt Chamberlain was approaching the all-time NBA scoring record. Chamberlain would move past Bob Pettit seven weeks later. Wilt and Oscar ranked first and second, respectively, when the Big O retired following the 1973–74 season.
LeBron James scored a game-high 27 points and he also topped all players in rebounds (10) and assists (8) in the Heat’s 110–87 win over the Bucks in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference first-round playoff series. It was the eighth time that James was the outright leader—that is, no other players even tied with him—in points, rebounds, and assists in the same playoff game.
That’s not only the highest such total in NBA history, but James has recorded more such games than the next three players combined: Larry Bird (3), Michael Jordan (2), and Shaquille O’Neal (2).
Carmelo Anthony scored 40 points in the Knicks’ win at Atlanta on Wednesday, one night after he scored 50 points in a victory at Miami. Anthony became only the second NBA player in the last 25 years to score 40 or more points in road wins played on consecutive days. Kobe Bryant did it in March 2007.
The only other Knicks player to score 40 or more points on consecutive days—whether at home or on the road, in wins or in losses—was Bernard King, who did it twice in 1984.
The Houston Dynamo defeated the San Jose Earthquakes, 2-0, on Saturday, to improve their record at BBVA Compass Stadium to 14-0-6 in regular-season MLS matches The Dynamo became only the third team in a major North American pro sports league to go undefeated in its first 20 regular-season games at a new home venue.
The first was the Washington Capitols of the Basketball Association of America (predecessor of today’s NBA), who won their first 27 games at Uline Arena in 1946–1947. The team was coached by Red Auerbach, in his first season in the league. Uline Arena still stands, having been renamed Washington Coliseum, and is best known as the site of the Beatles’ first concert in the United States. The Capitols didn’t last nearly as long as their arena, folding during the 1950–1951 season.
The second team to go undefeated in its first 20 regular-season games at a home venue was the Los Angeles Sparks of the WNBA, who won their first 22 games at Staples Center (2001–2002).
Honorable mention to the Montreal Canadiens, who posted a 15–0–6 mark in their first 21 road games at the Pacific Coliseum (1970–1979), the original home of the Vancouver Canucks.
Jerry Buss, who owned the Los Angeles Lakers since 1979, died on Monday at age 80. The Lakers won 10 NBA championships during Buss’ tenure as owner, far more than any other team in any major North American professional sports league. In fact, only four such teams won even half as many titles as the Lakers during that time: the Chicago Bulls (6), New York Yankees (5), San Francisco 49ers (5), and Edmonton Oilers (5).