Posted by Mike Lynch on August 15, 2018
For several years, many of the tools in the Basketball Reference Play Index have allowed for game-level searches back to the 1963-64 season. However, since we have at least a basic box score for every game in NBA/BAA history (established in 1946-47), we have now opened up game-level Play Index searches back to 1946-47.
Please note that this does not mean that you can search for, say, most 20/10 games in the Player Game Finder and expect complete results back to 1946-47. As before, our box scores are only 100% complete in all relevant categories back to 1983-84. But back to 1946-47 we do have points, FG, FT and FTA for all player games. So if you search for most points in a game since 1946-47, you will get a full list. Searching for most 50-pt games in NBA history also yields a full list.
While things like rebounds are only 100% complete back to 1983-84, you'll notice if you run a search for most 20-Rebound games since 1946-47 that many pre-1983-84 results will show up. This is because we are constantly adding fleshed out old box scores to the site. So while Wilt Chamberlain's 688 20-rebound games are the most in our DB, there are still many of his games that we don't yet know the rebound totals for. If you restrict your search for 20-rebound games since 1983-84, however, your results will be inclusive of all player games in that time frame. Hopefully, as we add more box score data to the site, we will eventually have 100% coverage for some seasons earlier than 1983-84, but we're not there yet.
Other tools that allow for search back to 1946-47 include:
Player Streak Finder - So you can look up things like the most consecutive double-digit scoring games in NBA history.
Head2Head Finder - So you can see details on every meeting between Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain during their careers.