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This Day in Buffalo Sports History: Putting in the time

   January 11, 1972 - The Buffalo Braves did some rewriting of their record book over the course of a few days in 1972.

   Earlier that week, the Braves set a team record for consecutive losses that lasted until the franchise's departure. Here Elmore Smith played 53 minutes to set a Braves record in a game against the Cincinnati Royals.

   No Brave ever played more in a game, and the team needed everyone one of those minutes to end a 12-game losing streak.

   Smith might be the most underrated player in Braves history. He played well right away as a rookie, but when knee problems sidelined him the following season it gave Bob McAdoo a chance to play center. McAdoo grabbed the position and never looked back.

   "The Big E" was traded to the Lakers for Jim McMillian, who teamed with several new faces such as Ernie DiGregorio to give the Braves a new look. Smith's knees never allowed him to fulfill his potential.

   Check out the story of that 1971-72 season here.

 --- Budd Bailey

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