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Less than a month after inserting himself as the Wine and Gold’s all-time leader in games-played, Zydrunas Ilgauskas was again rewriting the record books.
On December 2, 2009, Big Z passed his friend (and then-general manager) Danny Ferry – playing in his 724th game as a Cavalier. The Large Lithuanian was limited to just 29 games over a three-year span early in his career, but bounced back to play more games than anyone else in franchise history.
In March of the previous season, Ilgauskas topped the 10,000-point plateau, becoming just the fourth Cavalier in team history to do so. And on December 29, he upped the ante – passing another legendary franchise big man, Brad Daugherty – scoring point number 10,405 to pass the five-time All-Star.
Big Z would go on to score 211 more points before wrapping up his career in Cleveland. He is just one of four Cavaliers to have topped the 10K mark, joining Austin Carr (10,265), Daugherty (10,389) and LeBron James (15,251).
On the night he topped Daugherty, the Cavaliers were once again winners – and Big Z played a large part in the victory. On a night when neither team was especially sharp, the Hawks cut an 11-point Cleveland lead to just five late in the affair, but with less than a minute to play, Ilgauskas canned a three-pointer to seal the 95-84 win.
(During his 12-year career, Z attempted exactly 100 three-pointers, hitting 31. In the season [2009-10] that he passed Daugherty, he was actually 11-for-23 [.478] from beyond the arc.)
One member of the 10,000-point Cavaliers club is still playing ball and the other two have their numbers immortalized in the rafters at Quicken Loans Arena. On Saturday night, Big Z will make it three.