While there are so many parts of the NBA that can bring excitement to fans, there's no doubt that one statistic stands out over the rest. Scoring. It's something basketball fans rush to see on a nightly basis. How many points did a player score in a given game? How many points is a team star averaging on a nightly basis? Without question, basketball fans love to see when players can put the ball in the basket at a high rate.
The game of basketball has given us some of the most lethal scoring threats to ever step foot on the hardwood. With such a rich history of talent taking to the court over the years, there's an elite collection of players that have simply gone on to wow fans with their ability to put up impressive scoring nights. Let's take a look at the top five NBA players with the most 40-point games in the regular season.
#5 Elgin Baylor
Some say that Hall of Fame forward Elgin Baylor was one of the most dominant scoring threats of his time. Baylor was known for his physicality and ability to score all over the floor. Over the course of his 14-years in the NBA, Baylor went on to have a career average of 27.4 points and 13.5 rebounds a game. He was known as a lethal wing who imposed his will on opponents. Baylor went on to have 88 games in which he scored more than 40 points in a regular season game. The 11-time All-Star will go down as one of the true dominant wings in the history of the game.
#4 James Harden
Although the NBA game has had a rich history of scoring threats, that hasn't stopped current Brooklyn Nets superstar James Harden from finding his name towards the top of the list. Harden has become one of the most gifted scoring threats to ever play the game of basketball. He's a multiple-level scorer who is no stranger to putting up some eye-opening numbers on a nightly basis. Even playing alongside Kevin Durant, Harden is still a threat to light up the scoring columns at any time. Harden is the only active player near the top of the list, and currently has 101 games of scoring 40 or more points in a regular season outing.
#3 Kobe Bryant
It shouldn't be much of a surprise to see Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant near the top of this list. The "black mamba" was one of the most dangerous offensive weapons in NBA history. Kobe Bryant will always be known for his dangerous versatility as a scorer. He was a gifted shot creator, who awed basketball fans with his ability to takeover games with his shooting ability from all over the floor. One of the game's most ferocious competitors, Bryant was always a threat to flip the switch and dominate his opponents with his craft. Kobe went on to score 40 or more points in a regular season game, an eye-opening 122 times.
#2 Michael Jordan
You didn't really think you weren't going to see Michael Jordan on this list, did you? Arguably the greatest player to ever play the game of basketball, Michael Jordan was one of the most dominant scorers the game will ever see. Jordan was lethal all over the court. He could put the ball all on the ground and float to the rim with his athleticism, or he could score from multiple levels. While Jordan will always be known for his high-flying acts above the rim, his arsenal of midrange moves remains legendary to this day, and is often studied by some of the game's top stars today. Jordan would go on to score 40 or more points in a regular-season game a total of 173 times during his career.
Also Read: How many rings does Michael Jordan have?
#1 Wilt Chamberlain
There's no doubt that Wilt Chamberlain will go down as one of the most dominant forces the game of basketball has ever seen. Chamberlain was a marvel to watch as an NBA player. He brought a rare combination of size, athleticism, and pure power to the game that hadn't been seen in the NBA at the time. The numbers over the course of his career are remarkable to look at, as he went on to average 30.1 points and 22.9 rebounds per game over a span of 14 years. When it came to scoring 40 or more points in the regular season, Chamberlain went on to accomplish the feat a jaw-dropping 271 times.