Throwback Thursday: 44 years ago Pistol Pete Maravich makes history

Throwback Thursday: 44 years ago Pistol Pete Maravich makes history

by Nico Fiscella

On February 25, 1977, Pete Maravich led the New Orleans Jazz to a 124-107 victory over the New York Knicks. Maravich, known as Pistol Pete, set a Jazz record with 68 points on the night. It is a game that will never be forgotten.

Maravich was already having a spectacular season. He had two games earlier in the schedule where he scored 50 and 51.

For the Knicks, all-time great Bob McAdoo did his best to keep the Knicks in the game, but his 28 points and 12 rebounds were not enough. McAdoo was the only Knick to finish the night with over 20 points, as NBA legends Earl Monroe and Walt Frazier combined for just 17 total points.

Maravich was coming off of a 1976-1977 scoring champion campaign, and he made sure to keep the fireworks flying the following season.

1977 was one of his best years for Maravich. In fifty games, the shooting guard averaged 27 points, 6.7 assists, and 2 steals a night. To nobody’s surprise, Maravich was selected as an All-Star that season.

“We were just watching Pete,” said Jazz teammate Aaron James. “He could score in just about any way possible. He could shoot right-handed, left-handed, off the wrong foot. He could shoot hooks.”

What makes Maravich’s performance even better is the fact that there was no three-point line at this time. The three-point line was debuted two years after Pistol Pete’s historic night in the Superdome. 

The statistics only get crazier from there.

The Knicks starting lineup finished the night with 63 combined points while taking a combined 66 shots.

Maravich shot 43 times that night, connecting on 26 of them. Outside of Maravich, the Jazz’s top two scorers were Mo Howard (12 points) and Otto More (10 points). Ironically, neither player attempted more than nine shots that night.

Before playing with the Jazz, Maravich spent four seasons with the Hawks, where he appeared in two of his five All-Star games.

Maravich spent most of his career with the Jazz, and his best seasons were with New Orleans. 

This performance adds to an already incredible resume, as Maravich is a Hall of Famer, five-time All-Star, and 4-time All-NBA award winner. He retired with an average 24 points per game, 4 rebounds, and 6 assists. He played what’s considered a small sample size for Hall of Fame players.

Maravich’s historic night is the thirteenth best offensive performance we have seen on the court. Only seven players have been able to find the bottom of the net more than Maravich,

Featured image courtesy AP Photo/Harry Harris

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