Friday, February 27, 2009

And Now You Know!: Dropping 50

In light of Dwyane Wade being left in during the Miami Heat vs. Orlando Magic game to score 50, I wanted to delve into scoring 50+ in a game. Just a recap first of those who don't know what Mr. Wade accomplished on Sunday, first.

Miami came out flat and Orlando was up 15 by the end of the first quarter. Miami held 15 but trailed by 19 going into the fourth. Wade stayed in and hit his 50th point with 3:55 left to play to bring Miami back within 19, trailing 111-92. In an era when pitchers are held back for precautionary measures, NFL teams rest starters on week 17, and LeBron James sits the 4th quarter in blow outs, it is surprising to see a franchise player on the court in a rout with little time left. In fact it was the largest rout in which a player on the losing team scored 50. He was just the 4th player to score 50 points when his team lost by 20.

So I began researching 50+ point scoring games since 1986. Here are some basic stats on the 155 50-plus scoring games

65 of 155 50-plus games occur on the Road (90 at home, 58%)
109 of 155 come in Wins (46 in Loss, ~30%)
80+ points
1 time

Probably the most fascinating 50-plus scoring game though came Dec. 20, 2005 when Kobe Bryant Scored 62 points in just 33 minutes of playing time. Even more interesting is that no one else on his team scored in double-digits. Or how about the fact that the team won 112-90? In that game, every single Lakers player scored at least 1 point. Here's the boxscore:
Since 1986, Kobe has 24 50-plus point games. Second only to Michael Jordan's 31. Allen Iverson has 11 and LeBron has seven.

For anyone who follows NASCAR you will know the saying, "Cautions breed Cautions". Well the same can be said for the NBA and 50 point games. Fathom this if you will. Since the 1986 NBA season there have been nearly 26,500 NBA games and just 155 50-plus point games, or roughly 7 a season. The thing is, these games come in bunches.

Over the past 15 years there have been 102 50-plus point games. 36 of those have occurred within a three day span of each other. (Example: LeBron goes for 55 on Friday night and Dwyane Wade goes for 50 on Sunday) This season alone, of the seven big scoring games, six have come within three days of each other.

Trends in sports can usually be attributed to certain tangible factors such as home versus away, but one has to believe that NBA players are tuned into their egos, and it might be a matter of, "Anything you can do I can do better"? Next time someone in the NBA scores 50 points, there is a good chance someone else will in the next few days.

And Now You Know! (And Knowing is Half the Battle)

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