Dwight Howard’s descend from today’s basketball elite had been the main story one will hear about him today. He, however, did something last week that puts him one over other great big men, that of recording a 30 point, 30 rebound game.
By retrieving a Demarre Caroll miss late in the Charlotte Hornets-Brooklyn Nets game, he completed a 32 point, 30 rebound effort that night and led the Hornets in overcoming a 23-point deficit to a 111-105 win last March 21, 2018, US time.
Howard’s feat was the first in the NBA since Kevin Love scored 31 points and grabbed 31 rebounds for the Minnesota Timberwolves way back in November 12, 2010 in a win against the New York Knicks.
The last who did it one before them was Moses Malone, who had 38 points and 32 rebounds for the Houston Rockets in a win over the Seattle Supersonics in February 11, 1982, some 35 years back.
The feat was so rare that according to basketballreference.com, only Elvin Hayes, Jerry Lucas (twice), Nate Thurmond, Swen Nater, Walt Bellamy (twice), and Wilt Chamberlain (43 times) were the others in NBA history to achieve such feat, although other reports include Karem Abdul Jabbar and Robert Parish among those who also did it.
Great centers like Shaquille O’neal, Bill Russell, Hakeem Olajuwon, Tim Duncan and elite rebounder-scorers like Charles Barkley, Karl Malone and David Robinson never achieve this mark.
Howard’s 30 rebounds was his career high. He recorded 26 rebounds four times prior to last week. He recorded them once with Orlando, once with the Los Angeles Lakers, and twice with Houston.
His career high in points is 45. He did it twice, both for the Magic, in 2009 and 2012.
His other notable points-rebounds games are: (1) 28 points and 26 rebounds with Orlando on April 15, 2006, where he set his career-high rebounds; (2) 30 points and 25 rebounds on January 10, 2007 for Orlando; and (3) 36 points and 26 rebounds on January 18, 2016, where he tied his career-high rebounds.
Unfortunately, in an unrelated incident, Howard was suspended for his next game for incurring his 16th technical foul. The NBA automatically suspends a player once he incurs his 16th tech.
Basketball Reference’s list included four of Chamberlain’s 30-30’s as actual triple doubles while another is with nine assists.
Chamberlain probably owns the most impressive of all the 30-30’s in this list. He recorded 50 points and 40 rebounds for the San Francisco Warriors on November 22, 1964.
Howard’s feat should come as a refreshing sight to big men as the abilities of a rebounding demon who cannot shoot from afar and bricks freethrows can still be functional in today’s small-ball, three-point shooting filled game when properly used.