NBA bubble / 2020 playoffs by the numbers

  • 7

This post has already been read 14324 times!

A number of NBA playoff records were set or broken and rulers of the the statistical rankings changed during the first round of the NBA 2020 post-season. Without any ado, here are the significant numbers involved:

[This list will be updated upon completion of the 2020 playoff games that resulted to breaking of records or statistical significance]


1. The Miami Heat’s participation in the 2020 NBA finals is the 5th under Erik Spoelstra. The five finals appearances ties Steve Kerr and the Golden State Warriors for most NBA finals appearances since Spoelstra became head coach in 2008-09. Spoelstra and the Heat won 2 of their 4 previous four trips. They are attempting to tie Kerr and the Warriors who won 3 of their trips.

The Cleveland Cavaliers, though handled by three different coaches (Mike Brown, David Blatt, and Tyronn Lue), went to five East finals during the same span but were eliminated by the Orlando Magic during the 2008-09 season to settle for second place with four appearances.

2. The Miami Heat became the fourth team seeded fifth or lower have advanced to the NBA finals since the NBA Playoffs expanded to 16 teams during the 1983-84 season. They joined the the 1981 and 1995 Houston Rockets, and the 1999 New York Knicks. Among those teams, only the 1995 Rockets raised the Larry O’Brien trophy.


1. The Los Angeles Clippers’ 154 points in Game 5 of their round series are the third most points by a team in NBA playoff history. That only trails the 157 of the Boston Celtics in 1990 and the 156 of the Milwaukee Bucks in 1970 (Source: StatMuse)
The Toronto Raptors were on the brink of approaching this record as they scored 150 in Game 4 of their own first round series.

2. 100 of the 150 points the Raptors scored in Game 4 of their first round series were contributed by the bench. This is the most ever in NBA history, both in the playoffs and regular season combined, since starters and bench players began to officially be determined in the 1970-71 season. (Source:


1. The Houston Rockets attempted 56 three point shots in Game 4 of their first round series. That breaks the previous record of 52 most three-point attempts in a playoff game they had previously set. A total of four different Rockets teams have now attempted at least 50 three point shots in a playoff game. (StatMuse)

Update: StatMuse reported the Rockets attempted 58 treys, the new record, during Game 4 of their first round series and 53, the new third most, during Game 2 of the conference semifinals. Here are the new most three pointers attempted in an NBA playoff game: 58- Rockets vs OKC, Game 4 first round; 56-Rockets vs OKC Game 2 first round; 53-Rockets vs Lakers, Game 2 semis; 52 – Rockets vs OKC Game 1 first round; 52-Rockets in 2018.

2. The Los Angeles Lakers shot 5 of 32 from three in Game 1 against Portland in the first round. That’s the second worst three point shooting percentage in a playoff game by any team with at least 30 three-point attempts in NBA history.
The only lower % belongs to the Oklahoma City Thunder (5-33) in Game 1 of the first round of the 2019 playoffs vs… The Blazers! (StatMuse)

3. By shooting 63.1% from the floor and 62.9% beyond the arc, the Clippers are also the only team to score 150 or more points on 60% or better field goal percentage and 60% or better on treys in a playoff game. (StatMuse)

See more sports:

Coach’s fight wishes: “Landslide” vs “The Warrior”
Zamboanga siblings win; Stamp, Carlos fall in “A New Breed”
Jayson Tatum: Next Celtics great wingman has arrived
Belingon: Daughter a new motivation
NBA’s longest playoff streak: Spurs fails to extend legendary run


1. Giannis Antetokounmpo was named the 2020 Most Valuable Player and Defensive Player of the Year. He is one of five players who have won an MVP and DPOY awards in their careers, sharing the distinction with Michael Jordan, Hakeem Olajuwon, David Robinson, and Kevin Garnett. Only Jordan and Olajuwon had won the pair or awards in the same year. (StatMuse)


The Donovan Mitchell and Jamal Murray duel during the Denver-Utah matchup in the Western Conference first round resulted to new records in many aspects:

1. Utah Jazz’s Donovan Mitchell poured 57 points in Game 1 against Denver. This is the third single game high in playoffs history. Only Michael Jordan (63 vs Boston in 1986) and Elgin Baylor (61 vs Boston in 1962) had more. (Source:

2. In Game 4 of the Utah-Denver series, Mitchell scored 51 points while Murray scored 50. They became the first opposing players to score at least 50 points in an NBA playoff game. No other opposing pair had more 45 each in any other instance. (Source:

3. In addition, Mitchell’s 57 points in Game 1 and 51 in Game 4 enabled him to join Allen Iverson (2001) and Michael Jordan (1998) as the only players who scored two 50+ point games in a playoff series (

Jordan did his during the 1988 Eastern Conference First round against Cleveland. He scored 50 in Game 1 and 55 in Game 2. Iverson did his during the 2001 Eastern Conference semifinals against Toronto. He scored 54 in Game 2 and 52 in Game 5.  StatMuse, however, also named Wilt Chamberlain as one of players with multiple 50-point games in a single playoff run.

It didn’t take long for Jamal Murray to join this group. Murray followed his 50 point Game 4 output with another 50 in Game 6. For good measure, he also scored 42 in Game 5.

4. Mitchell is the first player in NBA history to average at least 35 points while shooting at least 50% from the field, 50% from three point land, and 90% at the free throw line in a single playoff run. (StatMuse) In the seven games Utah played against Denver in first round Western Conference match-up, Mitchell averaged 36.3 points while shooting 52.9% from the floor, 51.6% from trey, and 94.8% from the line in 7 games.  Murray was keeping pace during their series but his numbers fell off as the Nuggets went to face the other top West teams. Murray eventually shot 50.5% from the floor, 45.3% from three point land and 89.7 from the line while averaging 26.5 points a game in 19 games. (Basketball Reference)

5. The pair of Murray and Mitchell broke a 50-year old record as they now own the highest combined score by a pair of players in an NBA playoff series.  The pair finished their series scoring a combined for 475 points. The record was previously held by Boston’s John Havlicek and the Lakers Jerry West who combined for 463 points during the 1969 NBA Finals. (


1. LeBron James finished Game 1 of their first round series with 23 points, 17 rebounds and 16 assists. He is the first player in playoffs history to record a 20+ point, 15+ rebound, and 15+ assist triple double. His 16 assists is also his peresonal career-high. This is Lebron’s 24th career playoff triple-double, trailing only Magic Johnson’s 30. (



1. Luka Doncic scored 42 points in Game 1 of the Mavericks first round series against the Clippers. That is the most point by a player in an NBA playoffs debut. (

2. Doncic also becomes the first player in NBA history to average at least 30 points, 8 rebounds and, 8 assists in his first playoff run. Doncic finished this Western Conference first round averaging 31.0 points, 9.8 rebounds and, 8.7 assists

In addition, he had 2 triple-doubles, a 40 point /15 rebound /10 assist game (Game 4, only the third in NBA history to do it), a walk-off game winner (Game 4), and the youngest player with a playoff game-winner at 21 years old (also Game 4). (StatMuse)


1. Luka Doncic scored 42 points in Game 1 of the Mavericks first round series against the Clippers. That is the most point by a player in an NBA playoffs debut. (

2. After Game 2 of the Western Conference semifinals, the Lakers are 16-1 when Anthony Davis and LeBron James combine for 60 points, including the playoffs. That is the 2nd-best record by a duo in NBA history who played at least 15 games. Only Kobe and Shaq in 2000, with 95.2% win percentage, is better. (ESPN stats and info)

3. Houston’s Robert Covington almost tied Stephen Curry for the most threes in a Game 7 in NBA history. Curry did the trick twice (2016 and 2018). Covington is tied with others at second with the six triples he sank in Game 7 of the Western Conference first round series between the Rockets and Thunder. (StatMuse)

4. Oklahoma City Thunder Lu Dort scored 30 points during Game 7 of the Western Conference first round, the third most points in a Game 7 by a rookie. Boston’s Tom Heinsohn owns the record with 37 while Tom Meschery with the Philadelphia Warriors is second at 32. (StatMuse)


1. Miami Heat’s Duncan Robinson made 7 of his 8 three point shot attempts in Game 3 of The Heat’s first round series to finish with 24 points. He joins Robert Horry as the only players in NBA history to make 7 or more threes without taking any 2-point attempts in a playoff game. (StatMuse)

2. Houston Rocket James Harden do not want to own this record but his stat sheet in the playoffs shows he has recorded 8 career playoff games where he shot 20% from the floor and 20% from three point land or worse. His 8 are the most by any player in NBA history when at least 10 field goal attempts were taken. (StatMuse)


1. Nikola Jokic joins Wilt Chamberlain as the only centers in NBA history to dish 500+ assists in a season, doing it twice each: (Chamberlain in 1966-67 and 1967-68); (Jokic in 2018-19 and 2019-20) (StatMuse)

See more basketball heroes:

Fernandez, Caidic, Brown would start for PBA’s All-time Shootout starting five
Fajardo, Thompson, Jaworski banner PBA’s All-time rebounding five
Jordan, Bird: the Real GOATs?
Is James Harden the best scorer in the NBA?
Remembering Kobe’s 81 and century mark scorers




Boston Celtics

1. Jayson Tatum scored 31 points in Game 5 of the East finals, his 5th game with at least 30 this postseason. That is the most 30-point games in a postseason by a Celtics player since Kevin McHale had 5 such games in 1987-88.

Brooklyn Nets

Caris LeVert had a career-high 15 assists against the Raptors in Game 1 of the first round. That is the second most by a Nets player in franchise history. Only Jason Kidd has more (19). (StatgMuse)

Denver Nuggets

1. Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic are now 1st and 2nd in Denver Nuggets scoring in a single postseason. Murray scored 504 in the Nuggets’ three series this year while Jokic tallied 464 point during the same stretch. Carmelo Anthony held the previous high with 435 points made in 2009 while Alex English scored 423 points in 1985.

2. With his 32 points in Game 4 of the West finals Murray has now recorded seven straight 20-point playoff games within a single postseason. The streak ended in Game 5 with Murray falling just 1 point shy of extending it. The last Nuggets player to do this was Anthony in 12 straight games from April 22 to May 23, 2009.

3. Murray’s 50 PTS and 9 three pointers in Game 4 of Denver’s first round series are both his personal career-high and the most points and/or threes in a playoff game in Nuggets franchise history. (StatMuse)

Miami Heat

1. Bam Adebayo grabbed 19 rebounds in the Heat’s Game 4 99-87 first round closing win over the Indiana Pacers. That ties the second most rebounds in a playoff game in Heat franchise history. (StatMuse). Rony Seikaly pulled down 20 in 1994 to own the franchise record. (

Milwaukee Bucks

1. Giannis Antetokounmpo’ stat line for the first four game in the first round reads: (Game 1: 31 points, 17 rebounds, 7 assists; Game 2: 28-20-5; Game 3: 35-11-7; Game 4: 31-15-8 assists. He becomes the first Bucks player to reach 25+ points, 10+ rebounds, and 5+ assists in four straight playoffs games since Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in 1974. In addition, they are the only Bucks in franchise history to record 20-20-5 double doubles. (

Phoenix Suns

The Phoenix Suns have officially claimed the greatest free-throw shooting season by a team in NBA history. Here’s the top 4 free-throws accuracy performances in a season: (1) 83.4% by Suns in 2019-20, (2) 83.2 % by the Celtics in 1989-90, (3) 82.9% by the Dallas Mavericks in 2002-03, (4) 82.8 % by the Thunder in 2012-13. (StatMuse)

Philadelphia 76ers

1. The Sixers 0-4 loss to the Celtics in the first round is the 76ers first sweep loss against the Celtics in 14 playoff matches totaling to 81 games. Incidentally, it is the first since 1999 when Reggie Miller and the Indiana Pacers knocked out the Allen Iverson-led Sixers in the Eastern conference semis. (Inside the NBA)

2. The Sixers owned one of the most defining home-away record in the 2020 season. They were 29-2 at home, the best in the NBA this season. They are just 14-32 on the road, including games played in the bubble. (Inside the NBA)

3. Joel Embiid became the fourth player to have four consecutive games with at least 25 points and 15 rebounds in 76ers playoff history. Wilt Chamberlain leads the group by doing it in five game during 1965-66 season . Charles Barkley (1986), and Moses Malone (1983) also did it in four. (Inside the NBA)

4. The Sixers shot 29.8% in Game 3, their worst FG% in a playoff game since the 3-point era (1980). (StatMuse)

Toronto Raptors

1. The Raptors first round sweep of the Brooklyn Nets is the first playoffs sweep victory for the Toronto franchise in playoff history.

2. The Raptors 150 points in its first round Game 4 victory over the Brooklyn Nets is the highest in franchise history, regular and playoffs combined.  The Raptors actually earlier reset this record in Game 1 when it scored 134, topping the previous mark of 130 from a 2018 win over Washington, also during the first round. The highest regular season scoring games of the Raptors ironically came twice against the Wizards, one on January, 2020 and another on January, 2019 where they scored 140 in each game. (land of

By: Armando M. Bolislis

You might also like:

Presence of spirits, unexplainable events prove God and the bible
Let’s get physical: A healthy body leads to a sound mind
Will Bitcoin Play a Bigger Role for Traders and Consumers in Baguio?
Investing tips: Some things to consider before making an investment
Why you need to clean your bedsheets regularly!



2020 Cordillera events in pictures
What to look for in a CRM software for a small business
Baguio City’s silvercraft silver linings; eyes markets in ‘new normal
COVID-19 myths that are not true
ONE, NBA among top Facebook engaged sports profiles