San Antonio Spurs

This Date in NBA History: David Robinson clinches only career scoring title with historic 71-point game in 1994 & more

On April 24th in 1994, David Robinson went off for a career-high and franchise-record 71 points against the LA Clippers in a 112-97 road win.

Prior to the final gameday of the 1993-94 regular season, Robinson trailed second-year center Shaquille O'Neal by 33 points but this tally helped the 7'1" center win the lone scoring title of his career with an average of 29.8, narrowly edging out O'Neal, who averaged 29.3 points per game.

Playing 44 minutes, Robinson shot 26-of-41 from the field (63.4%) while also recording 14 rebounds and five assists. His free-throw makes (18) and attempts (25) both set franchise records.

"I looked up at the scoreboard," Robinson told reporters after the win. "I said, `71 points. Oh, my goodness! It was unbelievable. My team has been behind me the whole year. They always push me to do a lot of individual things. As a leader, I just try to win games, but tonight they really wanted me to shoot it. When the game started they were looking for me almost every time down the court."

Note: No other Spurs player scored in double figures in this game.

With this performance, Robinson became the first player in the league to score at least 70 since David Thompson in 1978 and joined George Gervin as the only other player in Spurs history to win an NBA scoring title.

At that time, he was only the fourth player to score at least 71 points in a single NBA game.

Other notable events on April 24th

  • In 1963, Bob Cousy played his final game for the Boston Celtics as they defeated the Los Angeles Lakers 112-109 in Game 6 of the Finals. This was the Celtics' fifth straight title while Cousy played seven games for the Cincinnati Royals during the 1969-70 season as a player-coach.
  • In 1967, the Philadelphia 76ers, who were voted the NBA's all-time greatest team in 1980, clinched the championship by defeating the San Francisco Warriors 125-122 in Game 6. This title run snapped eight consecutive by the Boston Celtics.
  • In 1985, Michael Jordan knocks down a game-winner in his first home playoff game at the Chicago Stadium against the Milwaukee Bucks.
  • In 1988, Milwaukee's Jack Sikma, at 7-foot, became the tallest player to win NBA free throw title by shooting 92 percent from the line.
  • In 1993, Milwaukee Bucks retire Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's #33 jersey. He played six seasons for the franchise, winning the 1971 league MVP and Finals MVP en route to leading the organization to the 1971 title against the Baltimore Bullets.
  • In 1994, Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf, of the Denver Nuggets, finished the 1993-94 season with a by hitting 219-of-229 free throw attempts for a 95.6 percent free throw percentage, the second-highest in NBA history behind Calvin Murphy's mark of 95.8 (1980-81).
  • In 1996, the NBA Board of Governors approved the concept of the WNBA to begin as a summer league in 1997.

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