The Hawks and Knicks dueled in a four-overtime classic Sunday, with Paul Millsap giving an iron-man performance in 60 minutes with 37 points and 19 rebounds and Carmelo Anthony scoring 45 and twice forcing extra periods with clutch shots. With only 14 games in NBA/ABA history that have gone four overtimes or more, we thought it appropriate to look back at who stood out in these battles in the latest episode of The Step Back’s Day-to-Day NBA Podcast, hosted by Jason Mann.
Who better than Rich Kraetsch, co-host of the Over and Back Classic NBA Podcast, to lend some historical expertise to the proceedings? We start with the only six-overtime game in NBA history (Indianapolis vs. Rochester in 1951), a 75-73 pre-shot-clock yawner in which future legendary Knicks coach Red Holzman reportedly played 76 minutes and scored 3 points. We also discuss the only two five-OT games: Dolph Schayes leading Syracuse past Anderson (Ind.) 125-123 in the newly merged NBA’s first season in 1949, and Dale Ellis scoring 53 points for Seattle in a 155-154 loss to Milwaukee.
We also look at a 1953 Boston-Syracuse battle with Bob Cousy scoring 50 points, Bill Walton’s first NBA game between Cleveland and Portland in 1974, Julius Erving with a career-best 63 for the Nets against the San Diego Conquistadors in 1975, Cleveland giving Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar everything they could handle in 1980, Fast Eddie Johnson coming through in the clutch for Atlanta vs. Seattle in 1982, Jim Paxson scoring 41 for Portland over the pre-Jordan Bulls in 1984, Joe Barry Carroll caring a lot for Golden State against New Jersey in 1987 and Phoenix (with Jason Kidd, Kevin Johnson and Steve Nash) topping Isaiah Rider’s Trail Blazers in 1997.
In addition, we discuss more recent four-overtime thrillers: Joe Johnson and the Hawks topping Millsap and the Jazz in 2012, and Detroit getting the better of Chicago in 2015.