Golden State Warrior Stephen Curry: A look back at his 54-point game on Wednesday

Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors

Stephen Curry (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a sports statistics blog published with a focus on stats that go beyond the numbers. Postings appear on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Golden State’s Steph Curry on Wednesday became the second player in this 2012-13 NBA season to score 50 points in a game when he had 54 in his team’s loss to the Knicks in Madison Square Garden. OKC’s Kevin Durant had 52 points in a game in Dallas against the Mavericks in January.

Curry was the first Warriors player to reach the 50-point mark since Jamal Crawford had 50 in a game on December 20, 2008 (more on that in a moment). It was also the 103rd time since 2000 that a player had 50 points in an NBA game, and Curry became the 40th player since 2000 to reach that mark.

In the 103 times that a player had 50-plus points, 59 of those occurred at the player’s home arena, while teams that had a player score 50 points or more won 71 and lost 32 in such games (.689 winning percentage). Curry was the 17th player since 2000 to reach the 50-point mark in a loss on the road; he was the first player to do so since Minnesota’s Kevin Love scored 51 in a loss in an away game to the Oklahoma City Thunder.

As mentioned above, Curry was the first Golden State player to get 50 points in a game since Crawford’s 50 in 2008. Two franchises, Charlotte and Memphis, have never had a player score 50-plus points in a game. Of the other 28 NBA teams, the Los Angeles Clippers have the longest drought when it comes to a player scoring 50 points in a game. The last time a Clippers player scored 50 in a game was back on December 1, 1990, more than 23 years ago, when Charles Smith had 52 in a contest against the Nuggets.

Following is a look at the last time each NBA team had a player pass the 50-point mark in a game.

Year of last 50-point player, team (player, date)
Never: Charlotte, Memphis
1990: L.A. Clippers (Charles Smith, 12/1)
1996: Houston (Hakeem Olajuwon, 1/18)
2000: Utah (Karl Malone, 4/22)
2001: Toronto (Vince Carter, 5/11); Atlanta (Shareef Abdur-Rahim, 11/23)
2003: New Orleans (Jamal Mashburn, 2/21)
2004: Orlando (Tracy McGrady, 3/10); Chicago (Jamal Crawford, 4/11)
2005: Phoenix (Amare Stoudemire, 1/2); Indianapolis (Jermaine O’Neal, 1/4); Philadelphia (Allen Iverson, 12/23)
2006: Dallas (Dirk Nowitzki, 6/1); Detroit (Richard Hamilton, 12/27)
2007: Washington (Gilbert Arenas, 1/15); N.Y. Knicks (Jamal Crawford, 1/26)
2008: San Antonio (Tony Parker, 11/5)
2009: L.A. Lakers (Kobe Bryant, 2/2); Cleveland (LeBron James, 3/13); Sacramento (Kevin Martin, 4/1); Boston (Ray Allen, 4/30); Milwaukee (Brandon Jennings, 11/14)
2010: Portland (Andre Miller, 1/30)
2011: Miami (LeBron James, 2/3); Denver (Carmelo Anthony, 2/7)
2012: Brooklyn (Deron Williams, 3/4); Minnesota (Kevin Love, 3/23)
2013: Oklahoma City (Kevin Durant, 1/18); Golden State (Steph Curry, 2/27)

Note: Did you notice that two players are listed on two different teams above? LeBron James is the last player to score 50-plus with the Cavs and the Heat; Jamal Crawford is the last player to score 50-plus with the Bulls and Knicks. The interesting thing is that with Curry scoring 54 on Wednesday, he replaced Crawford as the last Warrior player to notch 50 in a game, or else Crawford would have been listed as the last player to score 50 with three different teams.

While this was Curry’s first game with 50-plus points, he’s got a long ways to go to pass the player who has the most 50-point games this century. Kobe Bryant tops that list with 25 games with 50-plus points. He is followed by: Allen Iverson (13), LeBron James (9), Tracy McGrady (4), and Gilbert Arenas, Vince Carter, Jamal Crawford, Dirk Nowitzki and Dwyane Wade (three each).

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp

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