Coby White’s career-high points won’t count due to bizarre Play-In rule

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Coby White’s tremendous performance on Wednesday night helped his Chicago Bulls beat the Atlanta Hawks to move on in search of the final NBA Playoffs spot in the east. 

However, White’s career-best performance won’t count in the record books. 

Yes, White’s 42 points is the best he’s ever done in a single game – seven points better than the 37 points he dropped on March 4 against the Sacramento Kings. But the Play-In Tournament, which determines the No. 7 and No. 8 seeds of each conference for the playoffs, doesn’t count toward season or career records. 

Coby White dribbles

Coby White, #0 of the Chicago Bulls, brings the ball up court during the second half of the 2024 Play-In Tournament against the Atlanta Hawks at the United Center on April 17, 2024, in Chicago, Illinois. (Melissa Tamez/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The odd rule for the NBA isn’t changing White’s mind about his night on the court. 

“I’m definitely counting that as my career high,” he told reporters after the game. “It’s on the stat sheet right here.”


Now, stats totaled in the Play-In games don’t just vanish into thin air, but they are only considered as records in those specific games – not for the regular season or playoffs. 

White was highly efficient from the field in the 131-116 win for the Bulls, shooting 15-of-21 and 9-of-10 from the free throw line to tally his 42 points. He also had nine rebounds, six assists and two steals on a night when Chicago needed to win to keep its season alive. 

Coby White hugs Garrison Matthews

Garrison Mathews, #25 of the Atlanta Hawks, greets Coby White, #0 of the Chicago Bulls, after the 2024 Play-In Tournament at the United Center on April 17, 2024, in Chicago, Illinois. (Melissa Tamez/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The Bulls now have a chance to win that No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference Playoffs if they defeat the Miami Heat, who fell to the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday night, 105-104. 

White also saw his teammates DeMar DeRozan and Nikola Vucevic drop 22 and 24 points, respectively, to help the cause. 

The Bulls will hope that White, a favorite for Most Improved Player this season, can continue to bring his stellar play to the court Friday night in search of that playoff spot. 

Coby White shoots free throw

Coby White, #0 of the Chicago Bulls, shoots a free throw during the game against the Atlanta Hawks during the 2024 Play-In Tournament  on April 17, 2024, at United Center in Chicago, Illinois. (Jeff Haynes/NBAE via Getty Images)

But if White were to break the 42-point total he set on Wednesday, just know that it still won’t count toward the official records. 

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