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Mavericks’ Daniel Gafford Finally Misses Shot, Falls Just Short of Wilt Chamberlain Record

NBA history was nearly made on Thursday night at the Paycom Center in Oklahoma City. 

Dallas Mavericks center Daniel Gafford made a valiant run at a 57-year-old record set by Wilt Chamberlain, a Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame member and 13-time NBA All-Star. 

Gafford, who had made 33 consecutive shots heading into Thursday night's game against the Oklahoma City Thunder, finally missed a field-goal attempt with 11:28 remaining in the first quarter during the Mavericks’ 126–119 loss, leaving him just two made shots shy of Chamberlain's record of 35 consecutive makes, set during the legendary big man's four-game stretch with the Philadelphia 76ers back in 1967. 

Gafford finished the game shooting 8 of 11 from the field, contributing 19 points, 15 rebounds and a blocked shot in 26 minutes. The El Dorado, Ark. native’s run came during a five-game period from March 5 to March 13, which, unsurprisingly, saw the Mavericks compile a 4–1 record. 

While speaking to reporters after the game, Gafford joked that he was a little hurt by his run at the record coming to an end, but acknowledged it was an honor to be in the same sentence as Chamberlain. 

“I’m smiling ear-to-ear on the inside just because of the simple fact. It’s just like, you know, I had a chance to do it, you know,” Gafford said. “And it’s not just like, my only chance, I know for a fact.”

The five-year NBA veteran, who was dealt from the Washington Wizards to the Mavericks at February's trade deadline, leads the NBA in field-goal percentage and is averaging 11 points, 7.9 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per game in 60 contests.