Skip to main content

Almost Wilt! How Close Did Daniel Gafford Come to Record in Mavs' Loss vs. Thunder?

Dallas Mavericks center Daniel Gafford fell two shots short of tying Wilt Chamberlain's record of 35-straight baskets made.

Dallas Mavericks center Daniel Gafford entered Thursday night's matchup vs. the Oklahoma City Thunder with a chance at history, as he was three shots shy of breaking Wilt Chamberlain's NBA-record 35-straight baskets made. 

That bid for history fell short at 33 straight shots made, as Gafford's first putback attempt hit off the backboard and rolled off the rim just over 30 seconds into the game. Dallas ultimately fell short as well without Luka Doncic, losing to the Thunder 126-119 at the Paycom Center. 


With Gafford's first run at making history for consecutive shots made falling just short, he has his sights on making another run at Chamberlain's record from 1967. Even with falling short, though, Gafford said being mentioned in the same breath as one of the greatest centers to ever play the game has brought him joy.

Daniel Gafford

Mar 14, 2024; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA; Dallas Mavericks center Daniel Gafford (21) shoots as Oklahoma City Thunder forward Chet Holmgren (7) defends during the first half at Paycom Center.

"I'm smiling ear-to-ear on the inside because the simple fact is I had a chance to do it," Gafford said. "It's not my only chance, I don't know how many games we got left in this season, but I'm for sure going to try to do that before the regular season is over with, no doubt."

Gafford had a double-double with 19 points and 15 rebounds against Oklahoma City (46-20). The Mavs' (38-29) loss was also their first with Gafford in the starting lineup. Dallas is now 6-1 when he is in the starting five. 

Through 15 games, Gafford has averaged 11.2 points, 7.5 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game for the Mavericks.

Even with Gafford's chance at etching his name into basketball immortality falling by the wayside, Mavs head coach Jason Kidd had high praise for the center's accomplishment and impact on the team since arriving at the trade deadline. 

"What he's done and what he's brought to this team, not [just] on the offensive end about the streak, but the streak is very impressive," Kidd said. "When you're talking about the likes of Wilt Chamberlain, not too many people are in that air. For Gafford to be there, to be mentioned with Wilt is pretty special but also on the defensive end, he's a big part of that, being able to protect the rim and also being able to rebound the ball."

Gafford will have a shot to start a new streak on Sunday when Dallas hosts the Denver Nuggets (46-20) at the American Airlines Center at 2:30 p.m. CT.