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How many 60-point games have taken place in NBA history? A look at some of the best

Michael Jordan is one of two players to have scored 60 points in a playoff game.
Michael Jordan is one of two players to have scored 60 points in a playoff game.
ANALYST
Modified 02 May 2021
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During the NBA’s long and illustrious history, multiple stars have produced 60-point games for their teams.

As many as 30 players have scored at least 60 points in an NBA game, with Wilt Chamberlain’s iconic 100-point performance against the New York Knicks in the 1961-62 season the most scored by any player in one game.

Chamberlain, a 13-time NBA All-Star, is widely recognized as the most prolific scorer the NBA has ever seen. He ended his career with a staggering total of 32 games in which he scored at least 60 points.

On that note, let's take a look at some of the most iconic 60-point performances in NBA history.

A look at some iconic 60-point performances in NBA history

There have been 76 NBA games where a player scored at least 60 points. Nine NBA players have produced at least one 60-point outing in their careers. That includes the likes of Bradley Beal, Stephen Curry and Jayson Tatum, three stars who have achieved the feat during the ongoing 2020-21 NBA season.

On that note, lets' take a look at some of the most iconic 60-point performances in the NBA over the years.

LeBron James has 1, while James Harden has scored at least 60 points 4 times in the NBA.
LeBron James has 1, while James Harden has scored at least 60 points 4 times in the NBA.

The 1961-62 season is arguably the single greatest campaign in Wilt Chamberlain's legendary career.

He spent the entirety of the season averaging more than 50 points per game as he became the only NBA player to score at least 4000 points in a single season. Wilt Chamberlain ended up producing a whopping 100 points against the New York Knicks at the then Hershey Sports Arena.

The Philadelphia Warriors won that game 169-147.

The big center had a total of 63 shots attempted during the game, converting 36 of them. His dominance at both ends of the court was such that Chamberlain was only the third most efficient shooter on the night and had a total of 25 rebounds. The then 24-year-old Chamberlain was a dominant force at both ends as he announced himself as the best shooter the NBA had ever seen.

Meanwhile, Michael Jordan is one of two NBA players to have produced more than 60 points in a playoff match. During the 1986-87 season, long before he had won his six NBA titles, Jordan registered what proved to be his best ever points-return in an NBA season.

In game 2 of the playoff series against the Boston Celtics, Jordan produced a dominating 63-point performance that stunned the basketball world as the player announced his GOAT credentials.

He took a whopping 41 shots and 21 free throws and also had three steals and two blocks. Jordan was only 23 years old at that time as he helped his team to a 2-0 lead. However, the Boston Celtics, led by the likes of Larry Bird and Danny Ainge, fought back and won the series.

After Wilt Chamberlain, the record for the second-most prolific scoring performance in an NBA game goes to Kobe Bryant, who famously achieved the feat during the 2005-06 season against the Toronto Raptors.

Bryant went on a 46-shot rampage, getting seven of his 13 3-point attempts on target. The LA Lakers had trailed at half-time by 14 points, but Bryant produced a 55-point performance in the second half to help his team pull away to a lead in the fourth quarter.

The third in the all-time list of most points in an NBA game belongs to Wilt Chamberlain, who produced 78 points (once), 73 points (thrice) and 72 points once. Elgin Baylor and David Robinson produced 71-point performances, while David Thompson makes the top 5 with a 73-point outing.

David Thompson's performance stands out due to his high efficiency of 73.7% and the fact that he took only 38 shots to get to that figure. Thompson’s record-breaking performance came in a losing cause for the Denver Nuggets against the Detroit Pistons in April 1978.

Five of seven players who scored in double digits for the Detroit Pistons in that game against the Nuggets scored at least 20 points on the night.

Finally, Elgin Baylor has scored at least 60 points in the NBA on three occasions. An 11-time All-Star and an NBA champion with the LA Lakers, Elgin Baylor is recognized as one of the best players in competition history.

He produced a then-record 71 points against the New York Knicks in November 1960. Baylor also scored 61 points in game 2 of the 1962 NBA Finals, which remains the best points haul by any player in NBA Finals history.

In his 71-point performance, Baylor had 48 shots with an efficiency of 58.3% and also tallied 25 rebounds.

Published 02 May 2021
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