In basketball, an assist is attributed to a player who passes the ball to a teammate in a way that leads to a score by field goal, meaning that they were "assisting" in the basket. There is some judgment involved in deciding whether a passer should be credited with an assist. An assist can be scored for the passer even if the player who receives the pass makes a basket after dribbling the ball. However, the original definition of an assist did not include such situations, so the comparison of assist statistics across eras is a complex matter.
Only the pass directly before the score may be counted as an assist, so no more than one assist can be recorded per field goal (unlike in other sports, such as ice hockey). A pass that leads to a shooting foul and scoring by free throws does not count as an assist in the NBA, but does in FIBA play (only one assist is awarded per set of free throws in which at least one free throw is made).
Point guards tend to get the most assists per game (apg), as their role is primarily that of a passer and ballhandler.
Centers tend to get fewer assists, but centers with good floor presence and court vision can dominate a team by assisting. Being inside the key, the center often has the best angles and the best position for "dishes" and other short passes in the scoring area. Center Wilt Chamberlain led the NBA in assists in 1968. A strong center with inside-scoring prowess, such as former NBA center Hakeem Olajuwon, can also be an effective assistor because the defense's double-teaming tends to open up offense in the form of shooters.
The NBA single-game assist team record is 53, held by the Milwaukee Bucks, on December 26, 1978. The NBA single-game assist individual record is 30, held by Scott Skiles of the Orlando Magic on December 30, 1990.
The NBA record for most career assists is held by John Stockton, with 15,806, Stockton also holds the NBA single season assist per game record with 14.5 during the 1989-1990 regular season. The highest career assist per game average in NBA history is held by Magic Johnson, with 11.2 assist per game.
In basketball, a double is the accumulation of a double-digit number total in one of five statistical categories—points, rebounds, assists, steals, and blocked shots—in a game. Multiple players usually score double-digit points in any given basketball game; the double nomenclature is usually reserved for when a player has double-digit totals in more than one category.
A double-double is the accumulation of a double-digit number total in two of the statistical five categories in a game. The most common double-double combination is points-rebounds, followed by points-assists. Since the 1983–84 season, Tim Duncan leads the National Basketball Association (NBA) in the points-rebounds combination with 841, John Stockton leads the points-assists combination with 714, and Russell Westbrook leads the rebounds-assists combinations with 134.
A triple-double is the accumulation of a double-digit number total in three of the five categories in a game. The most common way to achieve a triple-double is through points, rebounds, and assists. Oscar Robertson leads the all-time NBA list with 181 career triple-doubles and is, along with Russell Westbrook, one of only two players ever to average a triple-double for a season. Westbrook currently holds the record for most triple-doubles in a season with 42 and is the only player to average a triple-double for three consecutive seasons.
A quadruple-double is the accumulation of a double-digit number total in four of the five categories in a game. This has occurred four times in the NBA.
A quintuple-double is the accumulation of a double-digit number total in all five categories in a game. Three quintuple-doubles have been recorded at the high school level, by Tamika Catchings, Alex Montgomery, and Aimee Oertner, but none have occurred in a college or professional game. A similar accomplishment is the five-by-five, which is the accumulation of at least five points, five rebounds, five assists, five steals, and five blocks in a game. In the NBA, only Hakeem Olajuwon and Andrei Kirilenko have accumulated multiple five-by-fives since the 1984–85 season.
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