Apr. 21, 1996 - The Chicago Bulls end the regular season with NBA record 72-10

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The only team in NBA history to win 70 games or more in a single season.

With a lineup of Ron Harper, Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman and Luke Longley, and perhaps the league’s best bench in Steve Kerr, Toni Kukoc, Bill Wennington, Jud Buechler, and guard Randy Brown the Bulls posted one of the best single-season improvements in league history and the best single-season record, moving from 47–35 to 72–10, which remains the best record in NBA history. Jordan won his eighth scoring title, and Rodman his fifth straight rebounding title, while Kerr finished second in the league in three-point shooting percentage. Jordan garnered the elusive triple crown with the regular season MVP, All-star Game MVP, and Finals MVP. Jerry Krause was named Executive of the Year, Phil Jackson Coach of the Year, and Kukoc the Sixth Man of the Year. Both Pippen and Jordan made the All-NBA First Team, and Jordan, Pippen, and Rodman made the All-Defensive First Team, making the Bulls the only team in history with three players on the All-Defensive First Team.

In addition, the 1995–96 squad holds several other records, including the best road record in a standard 41-road-game season (33–8), the all-time best start by a team (41–3), the longest home winning streak (44 games, 7 from previous season), and the best start at home (37–0). The Bulls also posted the second-best home record in history (39–2), behind only the 1985–86 Celtics 40–1 home mark, and the second-best point differential in history, trailing the 1972 Lakers by 3 points over the course of an entire season. The team triumphed over Gary Payton, Shawn Kemp and the Seattle SuperSonics for their fourth title. The 1995–96 Chicago Bulls are widely regarded as one of the greatest teams in the history of basketball.

In the 1996–97 season, the Bulls narrowly missed out on a second consecutive 70-win season by losing their final two games to finish 69–13. They repeated their home dominance, going 39–2 at the United Center. The Bulls capped the season by winning their fifth NBA championship over John Stockton, Karl Malone and the Utah Jazz. Jordan earned his second straight and ninth career scoring title, while Rodman earned his sixth straight rebounding title.

Apr. 20, 1986 - Air Jordan sets an NBA playoff record with 63 points in a game

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"I think," Larry Bird said after the game, “it’s just God disguised as Michael Jordan.”

Jordan was able to play in only 18 regular-season games in his second year in the NBA, after breaking a small bone in his foot in Chicago Bulls third game of the year. Although he was encouraged to sit out the end of the season in order to make sure he was fully healed for the next, he insisted on coming back late in the season and led the Bulls to the 1986 NBA Playoffs.

It was in Game 2 of Chicago’s first round matchup against the eventual NBA champion Boston Celtics that Jordan showed just how thoroughly he had recovered. In the hallowed halls of the Boston Garden, he set a playoff record by scoring an amazing 63 points against what many considered to be one of the greatest NBA teams ever. The Celtics won the game, 135-131 in double-overtime, and went on to sweep the Bulls, but Jordan’s playoff record still stands.

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Apr. 16, 1949 - The Toronto Maple Leafs became the first team to win three straight Stanley Cup titles

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The 1949 Stanley Cup Final was a best-of-seven series between the Detroit Red Wings and the defending champion Toronto Maple Leafs, the second straight final series between Detroit and Toronto. The Maple Leafs won the series in four straight games to win their third consecutive Stanley Cup and eighth in the history of the franchise.

The Maple Leafs became the first NHL team to win the Cup in three straight seasons. The Leafs also won nine straight finals games. By defeating Detroit, Toronto won the Stanley Cup with a losing record. The only other team to win the Stanley Cup after finishing the regular season with a losing record was the 1938 Chicago Blackhawks.

Apr. 15, 1991 - Magic Johnson sets NBA record for career assists with 9,898

Fellow Lakers guard Michael Cooper said, “There have been times when [Johnson] has thrown passes and I wasn’t sure where he was going. Then one of our guys catches the ball and scores, and I run back up the floor convinced that he must’ve thrown it through somebody.”

In 905 NBA games, Lakers' Magic Johnson tallied 17,707 points, 6,559 rebounds, and 10,141 assists, translating to career averages of 19.5 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 11.2 assists per game, the highest assists per game average in NBA history (second highest is John Stockton with a career average of 10.5 assists per game). Johnson shares the single-game playoff record for assists (24), holds the Finals record for assists in a game (21), and has the most playoff assists (2,346). He holds the All-Star Game single-game record for assists (22), and the All-Star Game record for career assists (127). Johnson introduced a fast-paced style of basketball called “Showtime”, described as a mix of “no-look passes off the fastbreak, pin-point alley-oops from halfcourt, spinning feeds and overhand bullets under the basket through triple teams.”

Apr. 14, 1997 - Allen Iverson set an NBA rookie record by scoring 40 or more points in his fifth consecutive game

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Billed as “The Answer,” Allen Iverson arrived on the NBA scene and immediately became one of the league’s most exciting players. With unmatched quickness, Iverson wowed crowds at the new CoreStates Center with a spectacular crossover dribble and a seeming ability to score at-will. While he couldn’t save the Philadelphia 76ers from a disappointing 22-60 season, his play gave every indication that he is indeed the Answer to many of the Sixers’ struggles.

Iverson proved his worth under the national spotlight on All-Star Saturday, winning Most Valuable Player honors at the Schick Rookie Game. But the telltale sign of his explosiveness came in April, when he set an NBA rookie record by scoring 40 or more points in five consecutive games (breaking Wilt Chamberlain's record, set in the 1959-60 season with the Philadelphia Warriors), highlighted by a 50-point outburst against the Cleveland Cavaliers on April 12. He was named the NBA’s Rookie of the Year.

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Apr. 11, 1989 - Ron Hextall became the first goalie in NHL history to score a goal in the playoffs

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Ron Hextall became the first NHL goaltender to score a goal by shooting the puck into the opponent’s empty net, against the Boston Bruins in the 1987–88 season. The following season, he became the first to score in the playoffs, by shooting the puck into the Washington Capitals’ empty net. His mobile style of play, in which he provided support to his defencemen by coming out of the goal area to play the puck was revolutionary, and inspired future generations of goaltenders, such as Martin Brodeur. He was also known for being one of the NHL’s most aggressive goaltenders: he was suspended for six or more games on three occasions, had more than 100 penalty minutes in each of his first three seasons, and set new records for the number of penalty minutes recorded by a goaltender in the NHL.

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Apr. 10, 1961 - South Africa’s Gary Player is the first foreign player to win the Masters tournament

Gary Player is widely regarded as one of the greatest players in the history of golf. Over his career, Player accumulated an impressive nine major championships on the regular tour and six Champions Tour major championship victories, as well as three Senior British Open Championships on the European Senior Tour. At the age 29, Player won the 1965 U.S. Open and became the only non-American to win all four majors, known as the career Grand Slam. Player became only the third golfer in history to win the Grand Slam, following Ben Hogan and Gene Sarazen. Since then, only Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods have won the Grand Slam. Player has won 165 tournaments on six continents over six decades and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1974.

Apr. 8, 1974 - Hank Aaron hit his 715th home run to break Babe Ruth’s home run record

As the 1974 season began, Hank Aaron's pursuit of the record caused a small controversy. The Atlanta Braves opened the season on the road in Cincinnati with a three-game series against the Cincinnati Reds. Braves management wanted him to break the record in Atlanta, and were therefore going to have Aaron sit out the first three games of the season. But Baseball commissioner Bowie Kuhn ruled that he had to play two games in the first series. He played two out of three, tying Babe Ruth’s record in his very first at bat — on his first swing of the season — off Reds pitcher Jack Billingham, but did not hit another home run in the series.

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Apr. 4, 1986 - Wayne Gretzky sets NHL record with his 213th point of the season

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Wayne Gretzky won his seventh straight Hart Memorial Trophy and his sixth straight Art Ross trophy. During the 1985-86 season Gretzky scored 52 goals, and set records with 163 assists and 215 points. This was the fourth time in five years that Gretzky reached the 200 point plateau; no other player would reach the 200 point mark, although Mario Lemieux would garner 199 points in 76 games in 1989.

Mar. 14, 1962 - Oscar Robertson is the only player to average a triple-double for an entire NBA season

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In the 1961–62 season, Oscar Robertson became the only player in NBA history to average a triple-double for an entire season, with 30.8 points, 12.5 rebounds and 11.4 assists. Robertson broke the assists record by Bob Cousy, who had recorded 715 assists two seasons earlier, by logging 899. The Cincinnati Royals earned a playoff berth; however, they were eliminated in the first round by Detroit. In the next season, Robertson further established himself as one of the greatest players of his generation, averaging 28.3 points, 10.4 rebounds and 9.5 assists, narrowly missing out on another triple-double season. The Royals advanced to the Eastern Division Finals, but succumbed in a seven-game series against a Boston team led by Bill Russell.

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Mar. 12, 1985 - Larry Bird scored a career high 60 points

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Larry Bird's scoring achievement came just nine days after teammate Kevin McHale scored a Boston Celtics record 56 points.

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Mar. 10, 2002 - John Stockton becomes the only NBA player to reach 15,000 assists

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During his 18th season with the Utah Jazz in 2001-02, John Stockton set a league record for most seasons with the same franchise. He also became just the 10th player in NBA history to play at the age of 40. By registering 13 assists in a 95-92 loss to Houston, Stockton improved his career assist total to 15,000, and became the only player in NBA history to reach that plateau.

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Mar. 9, 1988 - Pat Riley records 400th coaching win, fastest (540 games) in NBA

The season prior, Pat Riley coached a Los Angeles Lakers team that is considered one of the best teams of all-time. With future Hall of Famers Magic Johnson, James Worthy and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, plus Michael Cooper, Byron Scott, A. C. Green, Mychal Thompson, and Kurt Rambis, the Lakers finished 65–17 in the regular season, third-best in team history. They met with similar success in the playoffs, dispatching the Celtics in six games to win Riley his third NBA title. One of Riley’s famous moments came when he guaranteed the crowd a repeat championship during the Lakers’ championship parade in downtown Los Angeles.

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Mar. 7, 1996 - Magic Johnson became the second NBA player to record 10,000 assists

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Magic Johnson had long been known as one of the NBA’s greatest passers, but on this day he made it a little more official, notching seven assists in a win at Sacramento to become only the second player to reach 10,000 career assists. Stockton was the first player to reach the 10,000 assist mark, hitting the number in February of 1995. John Stockton remains the NBA’s all-time assist leader with 15,806 while Jason Kidd (10,766), Mark Jackson (10,334), and Steve Nash (10,144) passed Johnson for the second, third, and fourth spots on the all-time career assist list. Johnson, who is fifth all-time, finished his career with 10,141. Those players are the only five to collect more than 10,000 for their careers.

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Mar. 2, 1962 - Wilt Chamberlain scored an NBA-record 100 points during a game

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It is widely considered one of the greatest records in basketball. Wilt Chamberlain set five other league records that game including most free throws made, a notable achievement for the poor free throw shooter. The game finished with the Philadelphia Warriors defeating the New York Knicks, 169-147. The teams broke the record for most combined points in a game (316). That season, Chamberlain averaged a record 50.4 points per game, and he had broken the NBA single-game scoring record (71) earlier in the season in December with 78 points. The third-year center had already set season scoring records in his first two seasons.

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