On Oct. 29, 1973, Los Angeles Lakers 7-foot centre Elmore Smith set a record that has yet to be touched.
In his team's win over the Portland Trail Blazers, Smith blocked 17 shots - the most in a single game in NBA history. He would finish with an impressive triple-double of 12 points, 16 rebounds and 17 blocks, playing all 48 minutes of the game. Along with his efforts, Lakers legend and Hall of Famer Gail Goodrich tallied 49 points to help lead the team to victory.
This was just the beginning of a historic 1973-74 campaign for Smith who led the NBA with 393 blocks, averaging 4.9 per game - both of which are good for third-best all-time, trailing only Mark Eaton (456 blocks, 5.56 per game in 1985) and Manute Bol (397 blocks, 4.96 per game in 1986).
Smith led the NBA in total blocks the following season as well, marking his name on a list with the likes of Dikembe Mutumbo, Serge Ibaka, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, George Johnson, Mark Eaton, David Robinson, Alonzo Mourning, Theo Ratliff, Marcus Camby and Dwight Howard as the only players in NBA history to lead the league in blocks in consecutive seasons.
Mutumbo and Ibaka separate themselves from the rest of the names on that list as the only two players in history to lead the league in blocks for more than two consecutive seasons with five and four, respectively.
The next closest effort to breaking Smith's single-game record of 17 blocks came from Bol, who blocked 15 shots in a game twice, and Shaquille O'Neal, who blocked 15 shots in a game once.
Also on Oct. 29...
- Hall of Famer Walt Frazier made his NBA debut for the New York Knicks, but it was a game to forget, going 1-for-8 from the field for two points
- Hall of Famer Clyde Drexler made his NBA debut for the Trail Blazers, scoring two points, going 1-for-1 from the field off the bench
- Dwyane Wade scored 18 points in his NBA debut for the Miami Heat
- DeMar DeRozan scored eight points with five assists in his NBA debut for the Toronto Raptors, earning a win over LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers
- Derrick Rose, James Harden, Stephen Curry, John Wall, Karl-Anthony Towns, D'Angelo Russell, Kristaps Porzingis, Nikola Jokic and Devin Booker also made their NBA debuts.
- Russell Westbrook posted a 51-point triple-double in his second game without long-time teammate Kevin Durant in 2016.
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