Thursday, April 24, 2014

David Robinson Scores 71; Wins NBA Scoring Title

On April 24, 1993, On the final day of the regular season for the NBA, David Robinson, "The Admiral," of the San Antonio Spurs and Shaquille O'Neal, then on the Orlando Magic, were virtually tied as scoring leaders on the season, as their respected teams ended the year on a Sunday.

With Robinson's Spurs on the road against the Los Angeles Clippers, his game would conclude just as O'Neal's would begin; fearing that O'Neal would simply aim to outscore him, Robinson's teammates did everything they could to get him the ball.

When it was all said done, Robinson scored a remarkable 71 points -- joining Wilt Chamberlain, David Thompson, and Elgin Baylor as the only players to reach the 70s -- as his Spurs won 112-97. Robinson shot 26-41 from the field, made 18-25 free throws, and even knocked down a three-point shot.

His teammates deferred to him on every possession and even fouled down the stretch just to get him more shot attempts. Shaquille O'Neal needed 68 points to win back the scoring title, but he finished with a quiet 32.

In the final total, Robinson finished with 29.8 points per game, while Shaq ended with a 29.3 average.

 Members of the Orlando Magic cried foul, particularly head coach Brian Hill, who called it a "farce that's bad for basketball." "We certainly wanted Shaquille to win the scoring title," Hill said.

"But we didn't make a mockery of the game like they did in Los Angeles -- I hear the Clippers just let David score whenever he wanted ... We played a game tonight -- it wasn't a mockery."

Spurs coach John Lucas defended the point total, as did Robinson himself. "It is a lot of work going after those points," he said. "The Clippers didn't want me to get it. They were bumping and grinding and double-teaming me. That's the hardest I've ever had to work for some points."