NBA players with the most 50-point performances in the last 20 years

The NBA has seen a 20.1% increase in scoring over the last 20 seasons, from 95.1 PPG to 114.2 PPG. This is due to the rise of three-point shooting and the freedom of movement era.

The 15 NBA stars who have had the most 50-point games are listed below. These are the players that have dominated individual games by having all-time incredible nights shooting the ball and writing their names in the record books. 50-point performances are becoming increasingly common these days, even among the top five MVP candidates for the 2022-23 season. The players listed below have shown the potential to produce big-scoring nights while also being productive and essential to their teams.

Bradley Beal – 5 50-Point Games

Bradley Beal has been a consistent scorer in the NBA over the last 7 seasons, averaging 25.6 PPG. He was a 20.0 PPG scorer by 2016-17 and had a career-high 31.3 PPG in the 2021-22 season. He had 5 career 50-point games, including a 60-point game against the 76ers. In 2022-23, he is averaging 22.4 PPG and has a season-high of 34 points.

Devin Booker – 5 50-Point Games

Devin Booker has evolved as a scorer and player since entering the NBA in 2016. He went from an underrated player to a solid scorer who excels at mid-range scoring and drawing contact to make tough shots. He has averaged 25.5 PPG since 2016-17 and recorded 5 career 50-point games, including a career-high 70 points in 2017. He had two 50-point games in 2019 and two in 2022. He was averaging a new career-high of 27.1 PPG before being injured earlier this season.

Jayson Tatum – 5 50-Point Games

Jayson Tatum was a Top Three pick in the 2017 NBA draft and quickly established himself as a future franchise cornerstone. He increased his scoring from 23.4 PPG in 2019-20 to 30.9 PPG in 2022-23. Tatum led the Celtics to Conference Finals and an NBA Finals appearance in 2022 and has five career 50-point games, including a career-high 60 points in 2021. He is expected to continue to rise up the list of 50-point games in the future.

Luka Doncic – 5 50-Point Games

Luka Doncic, a young star from the Dallas Mavericks, has made a quick impact in the NBA and is currently at number 10 on the list of players with the most 50-point games. In the last two seasons, he has shown his high-scoring ability and all-around play, with four 50-point games in the 2022-23 season alone. His best performance was a 60-point, 21-rebound, and 10-assist game in an overtime win over the Knicks. He is expected to climb up this list in the coming years.

Anthony Davis – 5 50-Point Games

Anthony Davis is one of the best two-way bigs in basketball, with a three-level offensive game and elite rim protection. He won an NBA championship in 2020 with the Lakers and had a career-high 59 points in 2016 and 55 points earlier this season. Despite injury struggles, he remains a dominant player.

Russell Westbrook – 5 50-Point Games

Russell Westbrook is a valuable point guard who has played with relentless attack and other-worldly athleticism for 20 years. He has won an MVP award, shattered the NBA’s all-time triple-double record, and recorded five 50-point games, including a career-high 58 points in a 2017 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers.

Kyrie Irving – 6 50-Point Games

Kyrie Irving has had 6 50-point games in the past 20 years and is tied for the 5th spot in the list of players with the most such games. He was named Rookie of the Year with the Cavaliers and has established himself as a talented player with exceptional handles, shot-creating, finishing at the rim, and has even been a member of the 50/40/90 club. He recorded his first two 50-point games in 2014-15 with 55 and 57 points, respectively and had three more before hitting his career-high of 60 points in a 42-point win over the Orlando Magic in 2022.

Allen Iverson – 6 50-Point Games

Allen Iverson recorded 11 career 50-point games, most of which came after the 2002-03 season. He won four scoring titles and an MVP in 2001, and averaged 26.4 PPG from 2002-03 to 2009-10. He had six 50-point games during this period, including a career-high 60-point game in 2005 against the Orlando Magic.

Giannis Antetokounmpo – 6 50-Point Games

Giannis Antetokounmpo was drafted 15th overall in 2013 and has become the best player in the world. He has won two MVP awards, a Defensive Player of the Year award, an NBA championship, and Finals MVP in 2021. Giannis has had two 50-point games, with a career-high of 55 points in a win over the Washington Wizards. Expect more 50-point games from him in the future.

Kevin Durant – 9 50-Point Games

Kevin Durant is a superstar basketball player who won Rookie of the Year in 2007-08. Over his 16-year career, he has won four scoring titles, two NBA championships (2017, 2018), and was named MVP in 2014. He has nine career 50-point games, including his career-high 55 points in a loss against the Atlanta Hawks.

Stephen Curry – 11 50-Point Games

Stephen Curry is considered the face of the three-point era in the NBA and has won four championships with the Golden State Warriors. He won the only unanimous MVP award in 2016 and has changed the game with his high-scoring and efficient three-point shooting. Curry has recorded 11 50-point games throughout his career, including a career-high of 62 points in a win against the Trail Blazers. Expect more 50-point games from Curry in the future.

Damian Lillard – 14 50-Point Games

Damian Lillard is a superstar known for his three-point shooting ability. He is a true three-level threat with a three-point range and accuracy among the best in basketball. Lillard recorded his first 50-point games in 2016 and became the third player in NBA history to have multiple 60-point games in a single season in 2020. He had a career-high of 61 points in two separate games in 2020, and two more 50-point games in 2023. Expect more 50-point games from Lillard in the future.

LeBron James – 14 50-Point Games

LeBron James has been a consistently great player over the last 20 years, averaging over 25 PPG every season since 2004-05. He has won four MVP awards, led three different franchises to NBA championships and is on the verge of breaking Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s record as the NBA’s all-time leading scorer. James recorded his first two 50-point games in 2005 and went on to record 12 more between 2005 and 2022, including two within a week of each other at age 37 in 2022. His career-high in a game came in 2014, when he dropped 61 points in a win over the Charlotte Bobcats.

James Harden – 23 50-Point Games

James Harden is one of the most talented offensive players of the past 20 years. During his prime with the Houston Rockets, he won three straight scoring titles and had seasons averaging over 30.0 PPG. He is remembered for his deadly Eurostep, step-back three-pointer and ability to manipulate both the rules and defenses. He has 23 50-point games and four 60-point games, including a career-high of 61 points reached twice in the 2018-19 season when he averaged 36.1 PPG in 78 games. Despite not having won an NBA championship, Harden is still considered one of the most offensively talented players in recent history.

Kobe Bryant – 23 50-Point Games

Kobe Bryant is one of the best offensive players in the last 20 years with 25 50-point games in his career. He had a unique style and unrelenting desire to win which earned him 5 NBA championships and 2 Finals MVPs over 20 seasons with the LA Lakers. He was a master of scoring from all three levels, including post and mid-range, and recorded the second-highest game total ever in 2006 with 81 points against the Toronto Raptors.

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