While most sporting leagues around the world stop for Christmas every year, the NBA is not one of them. Instead, some of the most memorable games have come on NBA Christmas Days, with quite a few exceptional scoring performances to look back at. For the 2020-21 season, whose schedule you can check right here, many notable stars are set to play on the NBA Christmas Day. This includes Giannis Antetokounmpo, Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, and LeBron James. Therefore, it will not be a surprise if one of the above names breaks into the list below.
In this article, we look at the NBA players who have scored the highest points on an NBA Christmas Day.
Highest scorers in a single NBA Christmas game
#1 Bernard King
Bernard King played for six NBA teams in a prolific scoring career spanning 14 seasons. However, the 4-time NBA All-Star had his best years for the New York Knicks, a team which he joined after a brief stint at the Golden State Warriors. Three of his four All-Star seasons came for the New York Knicks and he broke quite a few scoring records.
On NBA Christmas Day 1984, Bernard King scored 60 points against the New Jersey Nets in a game that his team ended up losing. King also became the tenth player in the NBA to scored 60 or more points in a single game.
In an explosive scoring performance, King went off for 40 points in the first half!
#2 Wilt Chamberlain
NBA legend Wilt Chamberlain has a number of scoring records to his name. He is the only player in NBA history to average more than 40 and 50 points in a season.
While his best scoring seasons came for the Philadelphia Warriors, Wilt Chamberlain won his two NBA championships for the Philadelphia 76ers and the Los Angeles Lakers.
During the 1961 NBA Christmas Day games, Wilt Chamberlain scored 59 points in a losing effort against the New York Knicks. The game finished 136-135 to the Knicks and Chamberlain, who was a rookie, put up 59 points and 36 rebounds.
#3 Rick Barry
Another bonafide NBA legend who finds his name on this list is Rick Barry. He had two different stints with the San Francisco Warriors/Golden State Warriors, as he returned to the franchise after a initial two-year stay.
While the NBA Championship win came during his second stint in 1975, the NBA Christmas Day game that helped him make this list came during the 1966 season.
In his second season, Rick Barry scored 50 points along with 4 assists and 6 rebounds in a 124-112 victory over the Cincinnati Royals on Christmas Day.
Barry went on to have a terrific season in which he averaged 35.6 points per game.
#4 Jerry West
Jerry West was a 14-time NBA All-Star and won the championship with the LA Lakers in 1972. West played for the LA Lakers for 14 years and was nicknamed “Mr. Clutch” due to his ability to come up with big plays under pressure.
It was on NBA Christmas Day in 1963 that Jerry West went for an astounding 47 points during the LA Lakers’ game against the New York Knicks. The LA Lakers won the game by 8 points(134-126), as Jerry West came up with one of his innumerable memorable performances for the franchise.
#5 Tracy McGrady
Tracy McGrady is the most recent NBA star on this list and his record that warrants his name here came on the 2002 NBA Christmas Day.
Tracy McGrady became a free agent after a three-year stint with the Toronto Raptors and joined the Orlando Magic. The move was made because he did not want to be the second option in the team behind Vince Carter.
During his third season with Magic, Tracy McGrady went off on the NBA Christmas Day as he scored 46 points and registered 6 rebounds in a narrow 104-99 victory over the Detroit Pistons. The following season Tracy McGrady was traded in a seven-player deal with the Houston Rockets.Published 21 Dec 2020, 02:04 IST