Triple-doubles, three-pointers, and a 70-point game. NBA offenses shattered records all over the place this year.
For a year once thought to be a foregone conclusion—that the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors would barrel through the other 28 teams on the way to the finals — this season has brought about some of the most inconceivable moments the NBA has ever seen.
Records were shattered left and right, the most notable coming from Russell Westbrook, who broke Oscar Robertson’s longstanding mark of 41 triple-doubles in a single season. But it wasn’t just Westbrook who marched into NBA lore, but the league as a whole. This is a season the likes of which fans have never seen before. From the number of threes made, to the number of individuals turnovers, to Anthony Davis' monumental All-Star scoring night, this season belongs in a class of its own.
We gathered every record that was broken this year. It’s a stark reminder that even though we still may see a Cavs-Warriors finals rematch for the third season in a row, this year left a lot more to remember than anyone could have imagined.
Let’s start here. Everyone contributed to these.
Most three-pointers made and attempted
NBA teams averaged 9.7 made threes and 27.0 attempted threes per game, blowing by last season’s marks of 8.5 made threes and 24.1 attempted threes. This has happened just about every season since the three-point line was added, except for the spike during the league’s three-season experiment shortening the arc to 22 feet from 1994-97.
Most individuals with 50-point games: 10
Westbrook led the way with four 50-point games this season, far from Wilt Chamberlain’s record. (He averaged 50 one season!) But this is the first season that 10 players have all topped the 50-point mark. We talked to coaches earlier this year about why this is.
Most triple-doubles in a season: 115
The previous record was 78. James Harden, Russell Westbrook, and LeBron James put up 77 alone. It’s safe to call this season the Year of the Triple-Double. But hang on — we’ll come back to that.
Here’s the team and individual records that were set.
Most three-pointers made and attempted, team: Houston Rockets
The Rockets made 14.3 threes per game and attempted 40.1, both new records. They’re the first team to attempt over 3,000 threes in a season, blowing by that figure with 3,250.
Most consecutive games with at least one three-pointer, individual: Stephen Curry (157)
His streak was broken on Nov. 5, shooting 0-of-10. Of course, in the next game, Stephen Curry did this ...
Most made three-pointers in a game, individual: Stephen Curry (13)
Curry broke a three-way tie between himself, Kobe Bryant, and Donyell Marshall with 12 three-pointers, nailing 13 on Nov. 7. Some of these are shots only Curry could hit.
From scoring outbursts to weird triple-doubles, here are the most impressive stat lines.
Most points scored in 30 minutes or less: Klay Thompson (60)
Just saying: he could have scored 82.
Youngest player to score 70 points: Devin Booker (20 years old)
Most points scored in the first quarter: Kevin Love (34)
Most three-pointers and blocks in a game: Brook Lopez six threes, eight blocks
Highest usage rate: Russell Westbrook (41.8 percent)
Westbrook shattered Kobe Bryant’s record of 38.7 percent set in the 2005-06 season, and now ranks No. 1 and 3 all-time.
Most turnovers in a season: Harden (460) and Westbrook (434)
We thought Harden turned the ball over a lot last season, when it happened 374 times. Harden — while having an otherwise incredibly efficient season — broke the record, with Westbrook coming in right behind him.
First player to finish in the top three of offensive and defensive rating: Rudy Gobert
Gobert ended his amazing Jazz season with the best offensive rating and the second-best defensive rating. Amazing.
Most points in the All-Star Game: Anthony Davis (52)
Of those 52, all but 16 of them came off dunks!
Most wins through 300 starts: Kawhi Leonard (235-65)
Most consecutive seasons averaging at least 25 points: LeBron James (13)
The only season James didn’t average 25 was his rookie year.
First player to play 82 games for the first time this late in career: Jamal Crawford
THE YEAR OF THE TRIPLE-DOUBLE
Told you would come back to this one. Besides total triple-doubles league-wide, here are some more records that were broken.
Most triple-doubles by an individual: Russell Westbrook (42)
Most points scored in a triple-double: Russell Westbrook (57 points)
Most combined rebounds and assists in a triple-double: James Harden (33)
On New Year’s Eve, no less, Harden scored 53 points, snared 16 rebounds and dished 17 assists, still one of the most impressive stat lines I’ve ever seen.
First triple-double with missing a shot: Russell Westbrook (6-of-6 shooting)
First triple-double without recording 10 points: Draymond Green
Green could have been the fifth player ever with a quadruple-double, but instead finished with four points, 11 rebounds, 10 assists, and 10 steals on Feb. 10 against the Grizzlies.
These teams did some impressive things.
Most consecutive seasons with at least 63 wins: Golden State Warriors (3)
Golden State actually has won at least 67 games in three straight seasons, but nobody has ever even done three straight with 63 wins, so they’re going above and beyond.
Youngest starting lineup: Phoenix Suns (average age of 21 years, 14 days)
The lineup was: Devin Booker, Tyler Ulis, Derrick Jones Jr., Marquese Chriss, and Alex Len.
Largest Lakers defeat in franchise history: 49 points
So no, this isn’t a league record, but Los Angeles is just about the most storied franchise in the league, and we can all chuckle at the Mavericks (a lottery team!) thwacking them by nearly 50 points on Jan. 22.
Most backcourt violations in a season: Indiana Pacers (13)
God bless whoever thought up this statistic.
Most wins by a team that was 19 games under .500: Miami Heat (41)
The Heat’s second half was historic in several ways. They started 11-30 and finished 30-11, which is the most wins a team has ever had in the second half while still missing the playoffs. It was an enormous accomplishment by Miami to march back into the playoff picture like they did, and they should be proud regardless.
NEVER-BEEN-DONE-BEFORE STATISTICAL SEASONS
You could probably find several more examples like this. Here are the ones that stood out to us.
James Harden: first player with 2,000 points, 900 assists, and 600 rebounds
He was also the first player to score 2,000 points and assist on 2,000 points.
Giannis Antetokounmpo: first player to be top-20 in all five major statistical categories
No one has ever finished top-20 in total points, rebounds, assists, steals, and blocks until Antetokounmpo did it this season. Let’s appreciate that man.
Joel Embiid: first rookie to average 20 points, 7.5 rebounds, 2.5 blocks and one made three-pointer
That’s one reason why he should win Rookie of the Year.
Karl-Anthony Towns: youngest player with 2,000 points and 1,000 rebounds
He’s also the first and only person to record those two stats along with 100 made triples.
John Wall: first player to average 20 points, 10 assists, two steals, and 0.5 blocks
Russell Westbrook: first player to average 31 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists
In his triple-double season, Robertson only managed 30.8 points per game.