50-40 combo from 1983 revisited
When Sunday night’s historic game at Chesapeake Energy Arena finally was over, a safe assumption quickly was confirmed as fact: No team in NBA history had ever had a player score 50-plus, another player score 40-plus and a third player register a triple-double, all in the same game.
The Thunder’s communications staff was in perpetual contact with the Elias Sports Bureau, asking the last time such-and-such happened – if ever.
This much I knew. The first two parts of OKC’s three-headed achievement had been done before. Two players from the same team had scored 50-plus and 40-plus. It happened Dec. 13, 1983, and I was there as a 23-year-old NBA beat writer covering the Denver-Detroit game for the Colorado Springs Sun. Durant and Westbrook were five years away from being born, and Ibaka was six.
A crowd of just 9,655 was on hand at McNichols Sports Arena as Detroit beat Denver 186-184 in triple-overtime that night. Some fans actually left early, perhaps from exhaustion, or because their beer buzz had worn off when sales were cut off in the fourth quarter.
This game was vintage Doug Moe, the Nuggets coach who chose to beat teams by outscoring them, not defending them. The entire NBA was offensive-minded.
Denver led the league in scoring at 123.7 points per game that season. Detroit, even with “Bad Boys” members Bill Laimbeer and Isiah Thomas on its roster, was third in scoring at 117.1 per.
Message Sent Successfully
Be Sure to Check Out Our Top Headlines
- 18669Oklahoma tornadoes: The 'Big Dog,' the little boy and the hug that triumphs over tragedy
- 10379Oklahoma tornadoes: Woman meets the military officer who shared the clothes off his back
- 9301Finding Addyson – One family's struggle in the Moore tornado
- 7759Oklahoma tornadoes: Thunder reverses the role, takes a turn at cheering on the community
- 6777UPDATE: Search continues for boy, 17, missing in Uncle John Creek in Kingfisher
- 6498Story behind the photo: Family members describe desperate search for one another after EF5 twister
- 6417Oklahoma tornadoes: Plaza Towers Elementary School teacher shoved students into bathroom as wall collapsed
- 6385Oklahoma tornadoes: Sooners bring back some smiles to Sydney Angle's teammates
- 6185Miranda Lambert, Reba McEntire, Vince Gill to join Blake Shelton at "Healing in the Heartland" Oklahoma tornado benefit
- 5448Blake Shelton's "Healing the Heartland" televised tornado benefit set for Wednesday at Chesapeake Energy Arena
Back to share with a friend form.
Add More Recipients