When we think of the greatest point guard of all time, Magic Johnson is a player that comes to mind. While Johnson is a top-5 player of all time, one cannot simply forget about the great John Stockton. After all, he owns the record for the most assists in his career with over 15,000. Even with Chris Paul slowly making his way towards passing Jason Kidd for second place, it’s unlikely that Paul will break that record.
Stockton had the luxury of playing with one of the greatest scorers in NBA history, Karl Malone. When Malone retired, he had scored the second-most points ever. Having a point guard that can get you the ball certainly helps as well. With Stockton and Malone, the Jazz were a successful franchise for over a decade and a half. Stockton featured many 20-assist games as he helped set up some talented players around him.
These are Stockton’s career highs in assists against every NBA team.
Atlanta Hawks - 19 Assists
Date: January 16, 1992
Stats: 21 Points, 5 Rebounds, 19 Assists, 6 Steals, 0 Blocks
Stockton was just one assist away from having a 20/20 game. He helped Karl Malone finish with 37 points, while Jeff Malone added 21 points in the 116-115 win. Stockton finished with 19 of the team’s 31 assists. The team was able to overcome 29 points from Dominique Wilkins to walk away victorious.
Boston Celtics - 19 Assists
Date: December 20, 1991
Stats: 13 Points, 6 Rebounds, 19 Assists, 2 Steals, 1 Block
It was a rough day for Mark Eaton in the middle, who finished the game with zero points. Malone finished with 39 points to lead the Jazz, but the rest of the starting lineup combined for 34 points. The Celtics came out with the 112-101 victory. Like his effort against the Hawks, Stockton finished with 19 of the team’s 31 assists.
Brooklyn Nets - 16 Assists
Date: March 6, 1992
Stats: 17 Points, 0 Rebounds, 16 Assists, 4 Steals, 2 Blocks
Both Malones combined for 52 points and 21 field goals. Stockton had plenty to do with helping the two players combine for such a high-point total. Despite zero rebounds, Stockton finished with a double-double. He finished with 16 of the team’s 31 total assists as the Jazz easily defeated the Nets 117-96.
Charlotte Hornets - 17 Assists
Date: March 13, 1996
Stats: 6 Points, 2 Rebounds, 17 Assists, 1 Steal, 0 Blocks
The 43-win Jazz team was taking on a 30-30 Hornets squad, and the team had a tough time scoring the basket. The Jazz outscored the Hornets 44-37 in the second half but was still defeated 91-85 due to a slow start. Malone finished with 20 points to lead the Jazz, but Stockton had a tough time shooting the ball as he finished the game 2 of 10 from the field. Larry Johnson’s 22 points led the Hornets while Matt Geiger had a double-double of 11 points and 12 rebounds.
Chicago Bulls - 19 Assists
Date: January 6, 1989
Stats: 5 Points, 2 Rebounds, 19 Assists, 2 Steals, 0 Blocks
The Jazz and Bulls had some historic meetings, which included the 1997 and 1998 NBA Finals. The Bulls won both titles, but that didn’t mean they won every meeting. Stockton shot the ball two times in this matchup, as his focus was feeding Malone and Thurl Bailey. Malone scored 30 points, while Bailey led all scorers with 33 points off of the bench. The Jazz won the game 106-92 to overcome 27 points from Michael Jordan.
Cleveland Cavaliers - 22 Assists
Date: December 11, 1989
Stats: 14 Points, 2 Rebounds, 22 Assists, 4 Steals, 0 Blocks
The Cavaliers used 27 points from Mark Price, as well as two double-doubles from Hot Rod Williams and Chris Dudley to pull out the 113-110 win in overtime. Malone led the Jazz with 32 points while Bob Hansen added 23 points. Stockton shot 66% from the field while he recorded 22 of the team’s 36 assists.
Dallas Mavericks - 20 Assists
Date: April 21, 1989
Stats: 19 Points, 2 Rebounds, 20 Assists, 8 Steals, 0 Blocks
Stockton was one point away from recording a 20/20 game. He was also two steals away from recording a triple-double of points, assists, and steals. Stockton was the key ball handler for the team as he recorded 20 of the team’s 26 assists. The scoring was fairly spread across as Malone did not play in this game. Ultimately, the Jazz came up just short in the 91-89 loss.
Denver Nuggets - 21 Assists
Date: February 14, 1989
Stats: 22 Points, 2 Rebounds, 21 Assists, 3 Steals, 1 Block
The Jazz were clicking on all cylinders on offense in this game. Three players finished with at least 20 points, with Malone leading the way with 28 points. Both Stockton and Bailey added 22 points themselves. Stockton finished with 21 of the team’s 33 assists as the Jazz defeated the Nuggets 119-105. Stockton was one of three players for the Jazz that recorded a double-double.
Detroit Pistons - 19 Assists
Date: November 12, 1993
Stats: 9 Points, 5 Rebounds, 19 Assists, 2 Steals, 0 Blocks
It was the fifth game of the season and Stockton decided to have his best game ever against the Pistons. Stockton had 19 of the team’s 29 assists as five players finished with double-digit scoring. Malone led the way with 28 points and 15 rebounds. The Jazz easily defeated the Pistons 109-89, which included leading 60-43 at halftime.
Golden State Warriors - 23 Assists
November 29, 1991
Stats: 21 Points, 2 Rebounds, 23 Assists, 2 Steals, 1 Block
A high-scoring affair led to the Jazz having three players score more than 20 points. Karl Malone led the way with 31 points while Jeff Malone added 24 points. Stockton’s 20/20 game was headlined by his 21 points on 10 of 13 shooting. Stockton had 23 of the team’s 40 assists as the Jazz defeated the Warriors 135-108.
Houston Rockets - 24 Assists
Date: January 3, 1989
Stats: 26 Points, 1 Rebound, 24 Assists, 6 Steals, 0 Blocks
This was one of Stockton’s best offensive games while also being a playmaker. Stockton shot 12 of 16 from the field, which is good for a 75% shooting mark. He also recorded 24 of the team’s 27 assists. Darrell Griffith had two assists and Jim Les had the lone other. Malone had 35 points to lead the Jazz, who came up just short 104-102 against the Rockets.
Indiana Pacers - 19 Assists
Date: January 16, 1995
Stats: 15 Points, 2 Rebounds, 19 Assists, 2 Steals, 0 Blocks
The Jazz barely came away with the 99-98 win in overtime over the Pacers. Malone scored 42 points to lead the Jazz as Stockton recorded 19 assists. The team had 26 assists in the narrow win. Along with Malone and Stockton, Tom Chambers finished with 14 points as the only other double-digit scorer. The Jazz used a 25-17 fourth quarter to tie the game before outscoring the Pacers 6-5 in the overtime period.
Los Angeles Clippers - 23 Assists
Date: December 8, 1990
Stats: 27 Points, 3 Rebounds, 23 Assists, 4 Steals, 0 Blocks
Stockton tied Malone for leading the team in scoring with 27 points. The difference was that Stockton finished the game with a 20/20. Stockton had 23 of the team’s 30 assists while shooting 9 of 16 from the field. The Jazz defeated the Clippers 105-95 as Jeff Malone added 20 points of his own.
Los Angeles Lakers - 23 Assists
Date: April 12, 1990
Stats: 15 Points, 4 Rebounds, 23 Assists, 3 Steals, 0 Blocks
The Lakers were a versatile group with Magic Johnson, A. C. Green, James Worthy, Byron Scott, and Vlade Divac as the starting lineup. Johnson nearly had a triple-double, but the Jazz were able to pull out the 107-104 win as Malone led the way with 45 points. His 17 of 27 shooting night was assisted by Stockton, who had 23 of the team’s 27 assists.
Memphis Grizzlies - 18 Assists
Date: November 15, 1996
Stats: 10 Points, 1 Rebound, 18 Assists, 1 Steal, 0 Blocks
Stockton just barely made double-double status with his 10 points. He shot 4 of 6 from the field and buried two free throws. Stockton was a part of a balanced scoring attack that saw Malone lead the way with 21 points, Greg Ostertag and Jeff Hornacek added 16 points, while Shandon Anderson added 13 points off of the bench. Stockton had 18 of the team’s 31 assists as the Jazz defeated the Grizzlies 104-96.
Miami Heat - 17 Assists
Date: November 17, 1993
Stats: 11 Points, 5 Rebounds, 17 Assists, 0 Steals, 0 Blocks
It was a rare night for Stockton to finish a game with zero steals, but he made up for it with a double-double of 11 points and 17 assists. Stockton had 17 of the team’s 27 assists as Malone added a double-double of 30 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Jazz to a 115-11 win. Jeff Malone added 21 points, Tom Chambers scored 17 points, and Stockton rounded out the scoring with his 11 points.
Minnesota Timberwolves - 23 Assists
Date: April 17, 1992
Stats: 9 Points, 2 Rebounds, 23 Assists, 5 Steals, 0 Blocks
This time, it wasn’t Karl Malone that led the team in scoring despite having 25 points himself. It was Jeff Malone that scored 35 points to lead the way. Both Malones added a combined seven assists, but it was Stockton that recorded 23 of the team’s 35 assists. However, Stockton surely wasn’t going to complain about the help. The Jazz used these efforts to come away with a 120-106 victory.
Milwaukee Bucks - 19 Assists
Date: March 9, 1990
Stats: 14 Points, 5 Rebounds, 19 Assists, 2 Steals, 1 Block
A fourth-quarter surge by the Bucks nearly led the team to a win over the Jazz, but the team pulled out the 108-100 win. Stockton played a big hand in helping Malone score 40 points to lead the team offensively. Stockton secured 19 of the team’s 28 assists as Bailey added 20 points and Griffith added 10 points as well.
New Orleans Pelicans - 7 Assists
Date: December 12, 2002
Stats: 8 Points, 2 Rebounds, 7 Assists, 2 Steals, 0 Blocks
It was the final season for Stockton, which was the first season for the New Orleans Hornets. The Hornets started the year off strong with a 15-7 record and picked up another win after defeating the Jazz 93-88. In a rare occurrence, Malone tied Stockton for the most assists on the team with seven. Malone also added 18 points, while Matt Harpring led the team in scoring with 21 points.
New York Knicks - 27 Assists
Date: December 19, 1989
Stats: 18 Points, 3 Rebounds, 27 Assists, 2 Steals, 0 Blocks
It was a night that saw the Jazz passing with high efficiency. The team scored 47 field goals and finished with 40 assists. Stockton finished with 27 of those assists to go with 18 points. Malone led the Jazz with 29 points while Bailey scored 20 points. Despite all of those, the Knicks came out with the 115-107 win thanks to 41 points from Patrick Ewing and 25 points from Gerald Wilkins.
Oklahoma City Thunder - 20 Assists
Date: April 10, 1990
Stats: 13 Points, 6 Rebounds, 20 Assists, 0 Steals, 1 Block
Thanks to 33 points from Malone and 22 points from Bailey, the Jazz defeated the Seattle SuperSonics 114-102. Stockton finished with 20 of the team’s 28 assists. The Jazz scored a lot of their points at the free throw line too, shooting 35 of 40 at the line. That included Stockton shooting 70%.
Orlando Magic - 18 Assists
Date: March 14, 1995
Stats: 18 Points, 8 Rebounds, 18 Assists, 4 Steals, 0 Blocks
Stockton was as efficient as you could get in the team’s 107-95 win over the Magic. Stockton shot 7 of 12 from the line to shoot 58% from the field. He also shot 2 of 3 from three-point range as well as making both of his free throw attempts. Stockton made up 18 of the team’s 29 assists as Malone led the way in scoring with 27 points, while Stockton was the team’s second-leading scorer.
Philadelphia 76ers - 22 Assists
Date: December 18, 1992
Stats: 17 Points, 2 Rebounds, 22 Assists, 2 Steals, 0 Blocks
The Jazz needed a big second half to pull out the 112-98 win. Thanks to outscoring the 76ers 67-53, the team was able to drop the 5-15 team at the time. The Jazz used seven players scoring in double digits and finished with a combined total of 42 assists. Both Malone and Jay Humphries each had five assists to help out Stockton, who still finished with over 20 for the game.
Phoenix Suns - 21 Assists
Date: March 13, 1990
Stats: 18 Points, 5 Rebounds, 21 Assists, 2 Steals, 0 Blocks
Malone scored 37 points, while Stockton and Bailey added 18 and 16 points, respectively. In the end, 21 turnovers hampered the team in the 114-106 loss. The Suns used a 35-25 fourth quarter to pull away as Kevin Johnson and Eddie Johnson combined for 52 points. Stockton finished with 21 of the team’s 34 assists and shot 7 of 16 from the field.
Portland Trail Blazers - 26 Assists
Date: April 14, 1988
Stats: 17 Points, 3 Rebounds, 26 Assists, 2 Steals, 0 Blocks
This was a high-octane night for the offense. Malone scored 39 points for the Jazz, while Bailey added 33 points off of the bench. Stockton secured 26 of the team’s 38 assists as Bob Hansen added five of his own. With that said, the Trail Blazers used 42 points from Clyde Drexler, 26 points from Kevin Duckworth, and 25 points from Terry Porter to win 128-123 in a battle of two 40-win teams.
Sacramento Kings - 19 Assists
Date: January 5, 1991
Stats: 19 Points, 2 Rebounds, 19 Assists, 1 Steal, 1 Block
The Kings were not a very good team at the time, but the team competed down to the wire. The Jazz escaped with a 106-98 win on the road. Malone scored 26 points and Blue Edwards added 20 points. Stockton had a rare night of 19 points and 19 assists. He recorded 19 of the team’s 28 assists.
San Antonio Spurs - 28 Assists
Date: January 15, 1991
Stats: 20 Points, 3 Rebounds, 28 Assists, 8 Steals, 0 Blocks
Two steals and Stockton could have had a triple-double. Instead, he recorded a 20/20 game of 20 points and 28 assists. The team recorded 39 assists as three of the team’s starters scored at least 20 points. Along with Stockton, Jeff Malone scored 26 points as Karl Malone led the team with 32 points and 18 rebounds. The Jazz made easy work of the Spurs with a 124-102 win.
Stockton was just two assists short of tying the NBA record for assists in a game, which was 30 assists set by Scott Skiles on December 30, 1990.
Toronto Raptors - 14 Assists
Date: January 9, 1997
Stats: 13 Points, 1 Rebound, 14 Assists, 5 Steals, 1 Block
The Raptors were 12 games under .500 when the team took on the visiting Jazz but ultimately won the contest 110-96. Two Jazz players nearly finished with double-digit assist totals. Stockton secured 14 of the team’s 31 assists, but Malone nearly had a triple-double with 24 points, 10 rebounds, and eight assists. Ultimately, a 33-18 fourth quarter doomed the Jazz as the Raptors came out with the surprise win.
Utah Jazz - None
Stockton never recorded any type of statistic against the Jazz because he played his entire career with the team. He was drafted in 1984 and finished as the NBA’s all-time leader in assists. He recorded double-digit averages for 10 consecutive years and ended with a career average of 10.5 per game. His lowest average was 5.1, which was his rookie season.
Washington Wizards - 20 Assists
Date: December 7, 1988
Stats: 18 Points, 2 Rebounds, 20 Assists, 5 Steals, 0 Blocks
The play of Stockton, Malone, Bailey, and Griffith helped the Jazz easily put away the Washington Bullets. Malone led the way with 34 points and 13 rebounds, while Mark Eaton had a strong rebounding game of 17 to go with six blocks and six points. Bailey scored 19 points off of the bench and Griffith added 17 points. Stockton recorded 20 of the team’s 33 assists as the Jazz defeated the Bullets 111-94.