Only 10 times in NBA history, we’ve seen teammates record a triple-double in the same game. The first time it happened was in ’62 when Oscar Robertson and Bucky Buckhorn both filled up the stat sheet in, at the time, an unprecedented way. Mr. Triple Double had 28 points, 14 rebounds, and 16 assists, while Buckhorn put up 19 points, 10 rebounds, and 12 assists, leading the Cincinnati Royals to a 151-133 win over the Philadelphia Warriors.
Two years later, it happened again—this time courtesy of Detroit’s Ray Scott and Donnie Butcher. Scott had 23 points, 20 rebounds, and 11 assists, while Butcher added 19 points, 15 rebounds, and 15 assists. Once again, the all-time great two-player performance was enough for a win, as the Pistons beat the Knicks 126-124.
In December of ’69, we’ve witnessed the third iteration of this incredible achievement. The Seattle Supersonics were led to a 125-112 victory over the San Diego Rockets, with historic single game displays coming from Art Harris and Lenny Wilkens. Wilkens dropped a game-high 36 points to along with 14 rebounds and just as many assists. Harris had 14/10/10 for the team’s 29th win in the regular-season.
Then came a 13-year drought – the second-longest on this list – ended by one of the best duos the NBA has ever seen – Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. And while Magic’s triple-double was more on “the usual” note (26 points, 16 rebounds, 10 assists), Kareem had his with blocks. In 35 minutes of action, Jabbar put up 19 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 blocks as the Lakers beat Isiah’s Pistons 123-111.
Next up – Larry Bird and Robert Parish. The Celtics‘ iconic duo made this list in ’87, as they led Boston to an 18-point victory over the 76ers. Bird had 17 points, to go along with 13 rebounds and 12 assists, as Parish put up 14/10/10 of his own. On the other side, Julius Erving dropped 28, but it wasn’t nearly enough to match Boston’s legends’ iconic outings.
It only makes sense to wrap up the ’80s with Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen, as they’re the next duo who made a list. Chicago’s all-time great pairing pulled it off on January 3, 1989, in a 5-point OT victory over the Clippers. Pippen had 15/10/12, while MJ dropped game-high 41 points, along with 16 rebounds and 10 assists in 47 minutes on the floor. Oh, and he had 6 steals as well. Pretty close to joining another all-time great NBA list.
After MJ and Pip had done it, the NBA had gone 18 years without seeing teammates reach such a threshold. But in April ’07, Vince Carter and Jason Kidd ended the drought, with what might be the most impressive double triple-double the league has ever seen. In New Jersey’s 120-114 OT win over the Wizards, Carter put op 46 points (highest-scoring performance on this list), 16 rebounds, and 10 assists. On the other hand, Kidd had a typical Jason Kidd performance – 10 points, 16 rebounds, 18 assists (most assists on the list), for the seventh installment of teammates with a triple-double in the same game.
The eighth one belongs to LeBron James and his former teammate, now a member of the New Orleans Pelicans, Lonzo Ball. In LA’s blowout win against the Hornets, James had 24 points, 14 rebounds, and 11 assists, and a 21-year-old Ball put up 16/10/10, as the two became the second duo in the organization’s history to reach such a threshold.
In December of ’19, the Miami Heat witnessed the duo of Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo making team history by becoming the first Heat pairing to rack up triple-doubles in the same game. Bam had 30/11/11, and Jimmy put up 20/18/10 as the bubble’s favorites led Miami to a 135-121 victory over the Hawks.
Speaking of the bubble, that was the last time we’ve seen teammates record triple-doubles in the same contest. It was done by Ja Morant and Jonas Valancinunas in Memphis’ victory over the Bucks, which led the Grizzlies to a play-in tournament for the eight spot in the Playoffs. And while we know how their story in Orlando ended, it doesn’t take anything away from what the pairing of Ja and Jonas accomplished in a win against Milwaukee. Morant had 12/10/13, and Valanciunas put up 29/16/12, as the two have their names written in NBA history books, being the 10th NBA duo to rack up a triple-double in the same game.