Daily Nugget: Michael Adams’ 54 points vs. the Bucks
Michael Adams might not be discussed among the Nuggets all-time greats, but the former Denver point guard was important player for the team in the late 80s and early 90s. No moment epitomized that more than his historic outing 29 years ago to this day.
On March 23, 1991, Michael Adams would almost lead his 18-50 Nuggets to an upset over a talented 42-27 Milwaukee Bucks team as Adams dropped 54 points in a 140-136 overtime loss. The feat remains tied for the second-highest single-game scoring output from a Nuggets player, tying Alex English’s 54-point night on Nov. 19, 1985 in a win against the Houston Rockets. Only David Thompson, who dropped 73 points against the Pistons in a loss, has put up more points for Denver.
Adams had a unique shooting form that remains a point of intrigue for longtime NBA fans. He was dominant against Milwaukee from long range, hitting 7 of 16 threes. He would end up finishing the night shooting 17 of 31, including converting 13 of 17 free-throw attempts. He also added nine assists, five boards and three steals.
Adams was a bridge of sorts between the English and Doug Moe era and the next phase of the Nuggets that featured young stars such as Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf. He arrived toward the end of Moe’s 11-year run as the Nuggets’ head coach and broke out in the Mile High City after stops in Washington and Sacramento. During his four seasons in Denver, Adams averaged 18.2 points, 7.2 assists, 3.2 rebounds and 2.0 steals a game. After the Nuggets decided to rebuild following the departures of Moe and English, Adams elevated his game to an All-Star-caliber season, putting up 26.5 points and 10.5 assists in 1990-91
Following that campaign, the Nuggets would trade Adams along with a first and second round picks in exchange for the No. 8 overall selection in the 1991 draft, which would end up being Mark Macon. Denver would also select Dikembe Mutombo in the same draft, helping start another competitive run for the franchise.
To watch highlights of Michael Adams' career, check out the video below: