The Miami Heat won 27 straight games from Feb. 3 to March 25 before falling in Chicago on March 27. It was second-longest winning streak in American major professional sports history, but it was still six shy of the NBA record. Now where does the 1971-72 Lakers' mark stand among the league's 10 most unbreakable records?
Chicago's 72-win season
When Dennis Rodman joined Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen for the 1995-96 season, the Bulls became nearly unbeatable. Their 72-10 record still marks the only 70-win season in NBA history. The closest anyone has come since? The same Bulls went 69-13 the next season.
Jose Calderon's 98.1 FT%
The Toronto Raptors point guard took 154 free throws during the 2008-09 season. He missed three of them. Even for a career 88-percent shooter, that's amazing marksmanship. Calderon broke Calvin Murphy's mark of 95.8 percent set in 1980-81. To do better, someone is going to have to be just about perfect. For an entire season. Good luck.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's 38,387 points
His size, skill and athletic ability made him an elite scorer for most of his career. Then that unstoppable skyhook allowed him to keep pouring in points into his 40s. By the time he was done after 20 seasons, he'd put up a number only Karl Malone (36,928) has approached since. Kobe Bryant, about 7,000 points behind, could catch him if he plays into his 40s. Or maybe LeBron James and Kevin Durant will develop a skyhook and break the mark.
Lakers' 33 straight wins
Amazingly, the 1971-72 Lakers started the streak right after Elgin Baylor retired, though they still had plenty of talent with Jerry West (pictured), Wilt Chamberlain and Gail Goodrich. They won every game for more than two months, setting a mark that no team even approached until the Miami Heat reeled off 27 straight this season. The record no longer seems quite as unbreakable, but it does look safe for the foreseeable future.
Rasheed Wallace's 41 technicals in a season
Even if a player wanted to be as whiny, argumentatitve and profane as Wallace, who earned 41 techs in 80 games during the 2000-01 season, it would be hard to break this record. The NBA now curtails complaining by suspending players after their 16th technical foul of the season. That means Wallace's career mark of 308 technicals is also safe.
Bill Russell's 11 championships
Russell and the Boston Celtics dominated the NBA from 1957-69, winning 11 titles in 13 seasons. The league expanded from eight to 14 teams during that span and now has 30 franchises, making such a run nearly impossible. Who's come closest to Russell in the modern era? No, not Michael Jordan (6) or Kobe Bryant (5). The answer is Robert Horry, a role player on seven championship teams in Houston, Los Angeles and San Antonio.
Wilt Chamberlain's 50.4 ppg season average
It's rare for any NBA player to score 50 points in a game. Except, that is, for Chamberlain during the 1961-62 season, when he did it an amazing 42 times. The closest any other player has come to his season scoring average was Michael Jordan's 37.1 in 1986-87.
A.C. Green's 1,192 consecutive games
Cal Ripken is revered for playing 2,632 straight baseball games, but Green's record is nearly as remarkable. For more than 14 NBA seasons, he endured nightly punishment as a rugged power forward, yet never missed a game for any reason. Green is better known for being a self-proclaimed virgin throughout his career, another record that probably won't be broken.
John Stockton's 15,806 assists
A great passer who had the luxury of playing with a great finisher in Karl Malone for 19 seasons, Stockton's record won't be touched any time soon. Jason Kidd, in second place, is nearly 4,000 behind. Steve Nash, in fourth, trails by more than 5,000 and Chris Paul is about 10,000 behind. Stockton's career record for steals (3,265) is just as unbreakable.
Wilt Chamberlain's 100-point game
Not many basketball records are well known. But all sports fans are aware of Wilt's astounding 100-point effort against the New York Knicks on March 2, 1962. In the third season of his NBA career, Chamberlain earned attention for himself and the league by making 36 of 63 field goals and 28 of 32 free throws. Only Kobe Bryant, with 81 points against the Toronto Raptors in 2006, has sniffed triple digits since.