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Listing the all-time top-5 scoring performances in an NBA All-Star game: Featuring Steph Curry, Anthony Davis and more

Stephen Curry celebrates during the 2022 NBA All-Star Game.
Stephen Curry celebrates during the 2022 NBA All-Star Game.

The NBA just concluded its 71st edition of the All-Star Game, and millions of fans around the world watched the greatest players in the sport put on a show. Once the biggest attraction of the exhibition weekend, the dunk contest was quite underwhelming this year. Karl-Anthony Towns became the first center in league history to win the 3-point contest, and a trio of Cavaliers won the Skills Challenge.

However, the biggest show of the weekend is the All-Star Game. Some of the greatest players of all time have put on performances for the ages during All-Star weekends. Kobe Bryant is the winner of four All-Star game MVP awards while Michael Jordan is a three-time recipient. Fans in the 1980s and '90s would watch Magic Johnson's passing and Jordan's high-flying dunks.

Let's relive some of the biggest NBA All-Star game performances of all time.

Top 5 highest scoring performances in an NBA All-Star game

Steph Curry sank 16 3-pointers in the 2022 All-Star Game, and the crowd, which initially booed him, started cheering with all their energy. He ended up with 50 points and won the All-Star Game MVP award, but Joel Embiid had 36 points on 70% shooting of his own. Giannis Antetokounmpo also had 30 points on 71% shooting along with 12 rebounds and six assists Sunday.

With the plethora of talent on the floor, it is quite difficult to stand out with a huge performance as everyone is capable of going nuclear. Curry is just the second player in NBA history with a 50-point game and just the seventh ever to score above 40.

Here are the top five scoring performances in NBA All-Star game history.

Note: The 4th-, 5th- and 6th-highest scoring games are tied for 41 points. Russell Westbrook's 2015 performance was edged out of the top five compared to his 2017 game. Paul George, on the other hand, set a then-All-Star record in that game, so he cracks the top five.

#5 Russell Westbrook – 41 points – 2017, New Orleans

Russell Westbrook at the 2017 NBA All-Star weekend
Russell Westbrook at the 2017 NBA All-Star weekend

This isn't Russell Westbrook's only 41-point performance on All-Star weekend. He did so in 2015 as well, winning All-Star game MVP honors for that night. However, he didn't lift the MVP hardware after his significantly better 2017 performance, because Anthony Davis exploded for 52 points.

Nevertheless, "Brodie" dropped 41 points on 16-for-26 (61.5%) shooting, including 7-13 (53.8%) from beyond the arc, while making both his free-throw attempts.

Russell Westbrook in the 2017 #NBAAllStar game41 PTS (16/26 FG, 7/13 3PT), 7 AST, 5 REB in 19 MINS off the bench https://t.co/xA5b8k0gco

The reason his 2017 game was picked over his 2015 one was because he attempted fewer shots, made more 3s, took fewer free throws and also did it in just 19 minutes and 42 seconds. Westbrook also had five rebounds, seven assists and a steal off the bench. It was the first All-Star game without Kobe Bryant since 2000, and the Western Conference defeated their counterparts from the East 192-182.

#4 Paul George – 41 points – 2016, Toronto

Paul George during the 2016 NBA All-Star Game
Paul George during the 2016 NBA All-Star Game

Paul George dropped 41 points in the 2016 All-Star Game while representing the Eastern Conference. He played for the Indiana Pacers at the time, and this was his third All-Star appearance and second start. He set a then-NBA record for the most 3-pointers in an All-Star game with nine triples on 19 attempts (47.4%).

Paul George returned to the All-Star Game this year & erupted with 41 pts! Only ONE shy of Wilt Chamberlain's record https://t.co/i5GJrF09Ti

Surprisingly, he did not win the All-Star Game MVP for this performance despite going just one point shy of the all-time All-Star game record at the time. The Western Conference won 196-173, so OKC's Russell Westbrook won the award with 31 points, eight rebounds, five assists and five steals.

George scored 41 on 16-for-26 (61.%) shooting and attempted zero free throws. He also had five rebounds, an assist and a steal in 26 minutes of action.

#3 Wilt Chamberlain – 42 points – 1962, St. Louis

Wilt Chamberlain during the 1962 NBA All-Star Game
Wilt Chamberlain during the 1962 NBA All-Star Game

Wilt Chamberlain set the then-NBA record for most points in an All-Star game in this showcase with 42 points – a record that stood for 55 years. Yet he didn't win All-Star game MVP honors because the Western Conference won 150-130, and "The Big Dipper" represented the Philadelphia Warriors from the East.

Bob Pettit won the award with 25 points and 27 rebounds. Chamberlain had 24 rebounds of his own along with one assist in 37 minutes.

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He scored 42 points on an incredible 17-for-23 (73.9%) shooting while making 8 of 16 free throws (50%). (The NBA did not track blocks and steals in 1962, and the 3-point line didn't exist until 1979.)

Chamberlain was in the middle of, arguably, the most statistically impressive season in NBA history. He averaged 50.4 points and 25.7 rebounds that season, including a 100-point game in March 1962.

#2 Stephen Curry – 50 points – 2022, Cleveland

Steph Curry during the 2022 NBA All-Star Game
Steph Curry during the 2022 NBA All-Star Game

Steph Curry is the first player on this list so far to win the All-Star Game MVP award for his performance. Team LeBron bested Team Durant 163-160, and Curry earned the award after dropping 50 points. He did so while shooting 17-for-30 (56%) and attempting zero free throws to get to his enormous tally.

The highlight of the evening was Curry's 16 long-range bombs that obliterated the previous All-Star game record (nine) by a whopping seven.

50 PTS, new record 16 three-pointers, Steph Curry is the 2022 Kobe Bryant All-Star Game MVP ✨#NBAAllStar https://t.co/nhWsd2oXVF

Curry missed his last six shots in a row after his legs got fatigued, so he effectively went 16-for-21 (76%) from beyond the arc until he started missing. He put on a show unlike any other and millions of fans, Hall of Famers and all-time greats had their jaws dropped that evening.

He was so scorching hot that his MVP-caliber teammates were willingly feeding him the ball, and he kept knocking them down, often from beyond 40 feet. The two-time MVP also had five rebounds, two assists, two blocks and a steal in 36 minutes.

#1 Anthony Davis – 52 points – 2017, New Orleans

Anthony Davis celebrates with the 2017 All-Star Game MVP trophy,
Anthony Davis celebrates with the 2017 All-Star Game MVP trophy,

Anthony Davis holds the record for the most points in an NBA All-Star game with 52 points. He did so during the 2017 NBA All-Star Game in New Orleans, and the fans loved that their favorite Pelican went off on their home court.

He broke Chamberlain's 55-year-old record that night, and everyone on the court was excited for Davis to break the record. His teammates fed him the ball, and he kept going in the paint to hammer it down. He attempted four 3-pointers, making none, but he also didn't attempt any free throws.

4 years ago today, Anthony Davis broke a lot of NBA #AllStar Game records:52 PTS30 in a half20 in a quarter39 FGA26 FGM15 FGM in a half10 FGM in a quarterWEST 192 - EAST 182https://t.co/arl2Pu4hr4

Davis scored 52 on 26-for-39 (66.7%) shooting while adding 10 rebounds and two steals. He scored a record 30 points in one half and also attempted a record 39 shots in the game. Davis had only one mission in this game, and that was to score buckets, so he registered no assists. The Western Conference won192-182, and Davis was undoubtedly named the All-Star Game MVP.

Poll : Who's night was more impressive?

Steph Curry - 50 pts on 30 shots (with 16 threes)

Anthony Davis - 52 pts on 39 shots (with 10 rebounds)

59 votes

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Edited by Joseph Schiefelbein
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