This Week In History: Milwaukee Bucks, Seattle Sonics stage 5OT classic

When the Seattle Supersonics visited the Milwaukee Bucks on Nov. 9, 1989, who would have known the teams would engage in one of the longest games in NBA history. Six different players scored 20 or more points in the Bucks’ 155-154 victory that took five overtimes to complete.

The game, at the time, was the longest in NBA history in the shot-clock era and wasn’t sealed up until the Bucks’ Tony Brown and Jeff Grayer got hot in the fifth overtime period. The duo helped score nine consecutive points in that frame that put Milwaukee up 155-146 with 34 seconds remaining. The Sonics put forth one last spurt of their own — an 8-0 run — but it fell short of forcing a sixth OT period.

For the losing Sonics, Dale Ellis led the way with 53 points on 18-for-39 shooting (he was also 14-for-17 from the free throw line). His teammates Xavier McDaniel and Derrick McKey added 37 and 24 points, respectively. McDaniel had a chance to win the game at the buzzer, but his 3-pointer bounced off the back iron.

For the Bucks, Ricky Pierce led the way with 36 points on 15-for-21 shooting, while Alvin Robertson (28 points) and Jack Sikma (23 points) chipped in as well.

The longest game in league history was played on Jan. 6, 1951, when the Indianapolis Olympians beat the Rochester Royals, 75-73, in six overtimes.