Los Angeles Lakers

This Date in NBA History (Dec. 1): Kareem Abdul-Jabbar passes Oscar Robertson on NBA's all-time scoring list

On Dec. 1, 1981, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar became the second-highest scorer in NBA history.

In a game against the Utah Jazz, which the Los Angeles Lakers won 117-86, Abdul-Jabbar passed former teammate Oscar Robertson on the league's all-time scoring charts. Robertson had won his lone NBA title in 1971 with Abdul-Jabbar as a member of the Milwaukee Bucks.

Robertson, who retired in 1974, finished his 14-year career with a tally of 26,710 points through 1,040 regular-season games. Abdul-Jabbar passed Robertson's tally in his 952nd regular-season game.

A couple of years later, the six-time league MVP became the highest-scoring player in NBA history when he passed Wilt Chamberlain's total of 31,419 on April 5, 1984.

Abdul-Jabbar would go on to finish with a career point total of 38,387, one that still stands as the most by any NBA player in regular-season history.

Other notable events on Dec. 1

  • In 1967, Wilt Chamberlain recorded a monster double-double of 52 points and 37 rebounds in a 133-109 win over the Seattle SuperSonics.
  • In 1984, Phoenix Suns coach John MacLeod became the 10th coach in NBA history to record 500 wins as the Suns defeated the Golden State Warriors, 115-103.
  • In 1990, Charles Smith of the LA Clippers and Patrick Ewing of the New York Knicks both recorded 50-point performances in different games. For Smith, it was the only 50-point game of his career, and it came in a 137-121 win over the Denver Nuggets. For Ewing, this was the second of two career 50-point games, and it came in a 113-96 win over the Charlotte Hornets.
  • In 1991, Isiah Thomas became Detroit's all-time leading scorer as the Pistons defeated the Houston Rockets, 94-87, at the Palace of Auburn Hills. He passed the previous leader Bob Lanier on Detroit's all-time scoring chart.
  • In 2001, Dikembe Mutombo tied the NBA record for most blocks in a quarter with eight. He finished the game with 10 while also recording 16 points and 19 rebounds in a 93-76 win for the Philadelphia 76ers over the Chicago Bulls.

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