Gordon Hayward just missed out on his chance at NBA history

Thursday November 21st, 2013

This photo captures Gordon Hayward's single make from the field on Wednesday...in 17 tries. (Layne Murdoch/NBAE via Getty Images) This was Gordon Hayward's single make from the field on Wednesday ... in 17 tries. (Layne Murdoch/NBAE/Getty Images)

Wednesday night was not kind to Utah's Gordon Hayward. In a 105-98 loss to the Pelicans that dropped the Jazz to 1-12, Hayward put together a truly tragic and rare shooting performance.

He whiffed a few layups. He clanked all eight of his three-point attempts. He botched every one of his catch-and-shoot jumpers. He double-clutched into Tyreke Evans' arm:

Hayward finished 1-for-17 from the field (he made a layup off an offensive rebound), completing not only the worst shooting performance of his career but also one of the worst volume shooting performances in modern NBA history. The 23-year-old swingman was a single attempt short of securing a comfy spot in basketball lore. According to Basketball-Reference, the standing record* for most field-goal attempts with one make or fewer belongs to one Chris Bosh, who went 1-of-18 for Miami against Chicago on Feb. 24, 2011. Also sharing Hayward's 17-attempt plateau are Jason Kidd (1-of-17 in 2002), Tim Hardaway (0-for-17 in 1991) and Quentin Richardson (1-of-17 in 2004).

What was most peculiar about Hayward's nearly historic shooting misery, though, was the "it could happen to anyone" vibe. In general, Hayward is a terrific player and a fine shooter. He's connected on 44.5 percent from the field and 39 percent from three-point range in his four-year career. On this occasion, too, nothing was much out of the ordinary. Hayward worked hard to get open and had a fairly typical game in terms of the type and difficulty of his looks -- a few misguided attempts to shoot over the elastic, outstretched arms of Anthony Davis aside. The on-ball defense (primarily supplied by Eric Gordon) was decent enough, though it yielded plenty of unbothered looks as a result of Hayward's persistent curl cutting. (Hayward did finish with 11 assists and only one turnover.)

The entire night was just a baffling string of shooting misfortune, in which Hayward couldn't get any shot to stick no matter how hard -- or often -- he tried.

*Full game logs -- featuring field goals made and attempted -- only stretch back to the 1985-86 season on Basketball-Reference.
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