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Boston Celtics

This Date in NBA History: John Havlicek ties NBA playoff record in 54-point performance & more

On April 1 in 1973, John Havlicek scored a career-high 54 points in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Atlanta Hawks. His points tally is a Celtics playoff record for most points scored in a single game, which still stands.

The Celtics went on to win Game 1 comfortably 134-109.

Playing all 48 minutes, he also finished with nine rebounds and six assists, while shooting 24-of-36 (66.7%) from the field.

His 24 made field goals tied the NBA record for the most in a playoff game. The record was set by Wilt Chamberlain in 1960 and Michael Jordan later tied the record in 1988.

MORE: Highest scoring April Fools' Day performances

"The only time we ran a specific play for him was the basket that broke 50," says Celtics coach Tom Heinsohn (per ESPN's Larry Schwartz ).

Other notable events on April 1

  • In 1979, Kevin Porter of the Detroit Pistons dished out 25 assists in a 116-105 loss to the Phoenix Suns. Porter ranks second all-time for most games (9) with at least 22 assists in the NBA. His career-high tally of 29 assists is one short of the NBA record (30).
  • In 1999, Joe Dumars became the 10th player in NBA history to play 1,000 games for a single franchise and one of eight to play 1,000 games for their only team.
  • In 1999, Larry Brown registered his 900th professional win (671 of them in the NBA) as the Philadelphia 76ers beat the Miami Heat 88-84. He went on to record a total of 1327 wins, 1098 of which were in the NBA.

The views expressed here do not represent those of the NBA or its clubs.

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