Daily Nugget: Alex English’s 51-point performance against Miami

by Eric Spyropoulos
Staff Writer

Alex English was a prolific scorer throughout his 15-year career. With a career scoring average of 21.5 points per game (and an even more illustrious 25.9 points per game average as a member of the Denver Nuggets), English knew how to get buckets.

On March 10, 1989, English dropped 51 points on the Miami Heat in a 131-130 double-overtime shootout that Denver would ultimately lose. Although 51 points didn’t mark a career-high (English scored 54 points a few years earlier), the eight-time All-Star was 35 years old when he dropped 51 against Miami.

The wildest aspect of English’s performance given the makeup of today’s NBA is that the Nuggets legend didn’t attempt a single 3-pointer that night. English went 24-of-35 from the field (good for 68.6 percent shooting) and only went to the charity stripe four times.

In his 51 minutes of play, English also added nine assists and two steals to go along with his prolific scoring, while he only committed three turnovers.

The advanced numbers from that March game back in 1989 are even more absurd. English posted a 69.4 true shooting percentage on a 33.8 usage percentage in the game, numbers that would be eye-popping even in today’s NBA.

During that 1988-89 season, the 35-year-old English would go on to average 26.5 points per game and make his final All-Star appearance. The Hall-of-Famer showcased incredible durability and stamina to be one of the league’s best scorers at that age. English would play two more seasons in the league before retiring after the 1990-91 season.

Bonus performance: Nuggets legend Dikembe Mutombo recorded 10 blocks during an 89-82 victory over the Orlando Magic on March 10, 1992. It was one of 13 games in which Mutombo recorded at least 10 blocks, as he cemented himself as one of, if not the best shot blockers in league history.


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