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The Numbers Game: A History of Stealing

By John Schuhmann,
Posted Dec 18 2008 1:56AM

With a steal in the second quarter Wednesday night against the Spurs, Chris Paul broke Alvin Robertson's record (set from Nov. 6 1985 to Dec. 29, 1986) of consecutive games with a steal at 106.

Paul's streak began on April 13, 2007 in a loss to the Denver Nuggets.

Steals aren't easy to come by, but Paul is blessed with quick hands and a gift to anticipate where his opponents are going with the ball.

"I really pride myself on when I get a deflection not to let the other team come up with it," Paul said recently. "I like to steal the ball."

Steals were first recorded in the 1973-74 season. As Paul makes history, get caught up with some of the NBA's most compelling steal-related numbers ...

NBA record for career steals per game, held by Alvin Robertson.
Teams Paul has victimized six times during the streak: Blazers, Clippers, Rockets and Suns.
Times Robertson recorded 10 steals in a game, including Feb. 18, 1986, when he recorded the only points-rebounds-assists-steals quadruple-double in NBA history against the Suns.
Time remaining in the fourth quarter before Paul picked up his first steal in Sunday's win in Toronto. The streak almost ended at 103 games, but Paul stole the ball from Jermaine O'Neal in the closing minutes.
Record for most steals in a half, held by 11 different players. Michael Jordan is the only one to do it twice and Rafer Alston was the last to do it, vs. Charlotte on Feb. 10, 2007
Record for most steals in a quarter, set by Lafayette Lever of the Nuggets on March 9, 1985 against the Pacers.
Paul's career high for steals in a game, recorded Feb. 20, 2008 in a win over Dallas, game 54 of the streak. His first steal came 40 seconds into the game and he had five by the end of the first quarter.
Times during the streak Paul has recorded five or more steals in a game.
NBA record for steals in a game, held by Larry Kenon (San Antonio @ Kansas City, Dec. 26, 1976) and Kendall Gill (New Jersey vs. Miami, April 3, 1999).
Times in Chris Paul's 242-game career that he didn't record at least one steal.
Times during the streak Paul has recorded just one steal in a game.
Record for most steals in a game by a team, set by the Sonics on Jan. 15, 1997 against the Raptors.
Consecutive games with a steal by Michael Jordan from March 25, 1988 to March 17, 1989, the third-longest streak in NBA history.
Record for most steals in a season, held by Robertson in 1985-86. His season average of 3.67 that year is also a record.
Career steals by all-time leader John Stockton. No one else is even close. Michael Jordan ranks second with 2,514.
Additional games Chris Paul would have to play at his current career pace of 2.33 steals per game to break Stockton's mark. If he never missed a game, he would do it in January of 2023, at the age of 37.
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