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NBA History: 5 Players with most 60-point games

Kobe Bryant is among the NBA stars that have recorded multiple 60-point games
Kobe Bryant is among the NBA stars that have recorded multiple 60-point games
Tristan Elliott

During the history of the NBA, there have been dozens of incredibly talented offensive players to grace the league, although even many of the best have struggled to post a 60 point game. Throughout the history of the NBA, a 60+ point game has been recorded just 73 times - with just twenty-six different players accomplishing the feat.

Big names such as Carmelo Anthony, Shaquille O'Neal, Allen Iverson, and Klay Thompson have all enjoyed 60-point games, however, they managed to do so on just one occasion - and only five players have managed to top 60 points more than once.

So, here we will take a look at the five players that have defied the odds to record the most 60-point games in NBA history.


#5 Elgin Baylor - 3

Elgin Baylor spent his entire career with the Lakers
Elgin Baylor spent his entire career with the Lakers

Often the forgotten member of the multiple 60-point game club, Elgin Baylor accomplished the feat on three occasions during his illustrious career. Baylor spent his whole career with the Minneapolis/Los Angeles Lakers, averaging 27.4 points per game, and he first reached the haul as he dropped 64 points on the Boston Celtics during the 1959-60 season.

By the 1960-61 season, the dynamic forward was firmly in his prime, and Baylor dropped a career-high 71 points during the Lakers' 123-108 win over the New York Knicks. Baylor would also reach the 60-point threshold for a third time in the following season as he recorded 63 points during a thrilling 151-147 3OT win over the Warriors.

Despite coming close on a number of other occasions, Baylor could never add to his tally of three regular-season 60 point games, although he dropped 61 points on the Boston Celtics in Game 5 of the 1962 NBA Finals - and is still the only player in NBA history to score at least sixty points in the NBA Finals.

#4 Michael Jordan - 4

Michael Jordan accomplished the feat on four occasions with the Bulls
Michael Jordan accomplished the feat on four occasions with the Bulls

Widely regarded as the best to ever play the game, Michael Jordan is also arguably the greatest offensive force in modern NBA history. Over more than 1000 regular-season appearances, MJ averaged an incredible 30.1 points per game, and the 5-time MVP was no stranger to posting huge numbers on a nightly basis.

In terms of 60 point games, the Chicago Bulls star accomplished the feat four times during his career. Jordan reached the 60-point mark twice during the 1986-87 season as he dropped 61 points on the Detroit Pistons and the Atlanta Hawks, and he recorded a career-high 69 points during an overtime win over the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 1989-90 campaign.

Jordan also posted 64 points during a defeat to the Orlando Magic in the 1992-93 season, although the Hall of Famer was unable to repeat the feat upon his return to the league in 1995.


#3 James Harden - 4

James Harden is the only active NBA player with multiple 60 point games
James Harden is the only active NBA player with multiple 60 point games

James Harden's game continues to split NBA fans, although the Houston Rockets star continues to put up historic offensive numbers. Harden seems to now score at least 40 points on most nights, and the shooting guard has gone a step further by recording four 60-point performances within the past two seasons.

Harden first reached 60 points during Houston's win over the Orlando Magic during the 2017-18 season, and the 2018 MVP went on to score 61 points against both the San Antonio Spurs and New York Knicks the following season.

Harden also recently drew level with Jordan after recording 60 points in just 31 minutes against the Atlanta Hawks - and the Rockets man looks set to add to his tally over the next few seasons.

#2 Kobe Bryant - 6

Kobe Bryant's efforts included a famous 81-point performance against the Raptors
Kobe Bryant's efforts included a famous 81-point performance against the Raptors

Kobe Bryant's first 60+ point game came in December 2005 as he dropped 62 points on the Dallas Mavericks. It was a huge night for the Lakers star, although just a month later Bryant enjoyed his historic 81 point game against the Toronto Raptors. Bryant finished shooting 28-of-46 from the floor, including 7-of-13 from 3-point range, and 18-of-20 from the foul line - and it still remains as the second-biggest individual scoring night in NBA history.

Bryant's next milestone night came in March 2007 as he dropped 65 points on the Portland Trail Blazers, and the 5-time champion also dropped 60 points on the Memphis Grizzlies less than a week later. Kobe also recorded 61 points against the New York Knicks in early 2009, and Bryant reached the 60-point mark for the sixth and final time during his unforgettable farewell performance against the Utah Jazz in 2016.


#1 Wilt Chamberlain - 32

Wilt Chamberlain's record is unlikely to ever be broken
Wilt Chamberlain's record is unlikely to ever be broken

Wilt Chamberlain holds a significant number of NBA records, although perhaps his most impressive accomplishment is his treasure trove of 60-point games. Throughout his career, Chamberlain reached at least 60 points on 32 occasions - with the majority of those coming during his prime years between 1960 and 1963.

Chamberlain also passed 70 points on five occasions, and his most famous night came on March 2, 1962, as he recorded 100 points against the New York Knicks. Other highlights include a 78 point outing during a 3OT defeat to the Lakers in the 1961-62 season - and Chamberlain last accomplished the feat against the Royals during the 1968-69 campaign.

Ultimately, Chamberlain accounts for just under half of all the 60 point games ever recorded, and his record is unlikely to ever be bettered.

Edited by Prasen Moudgal

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