NBA scoring: Most points in a game… by age

 

Kyrie Irving

Kyrie Irving

Back on January 28, Cleveland Cavalier point guard Kyrie Irving scored 55 points in a win over Portland. The 55 points in a game are the most scored by an NBA player in a game this season.

The 22-year-old Irving, who turns 23 later this month, just missed a mark by two points in that game. According to research done on basketball-reference.com, Irving’s 55 points fell two points short of the most points scored by a 22-year-old, 57, by Rick Barry in an October, 1966 NBA game.

Just two months earlier, the Lakers’ Kobe Bryant scored 44 points in a loss to Golden State. Kobe’s 44 points as a 36-year-old fell one point short of Shaquille O’Neal’s 45 points he scored at the age of 36 in a February, 2009 contest against Toronto.

Let’s take a look at the most points scored in an NBA game by players ages 18 through 44. Note: Since the research for this stat was done on basketball-reference.com, these stats only go from the 1963-64 season until today. Obviously a 25-year-old Wilt Chamberlain would top the list of most points scored by an NBA player age 25 when he tallied 100 on March 2, 1962.

Here’s a look at the most points scored in an NBA game by each age group from 1963-64 to today.

Age, Player, Points Scored
18: LeBron James, 37
19: Cliff Robinson, 45
20: LeBron James, 56
21: Rick Barry, 57
22: Rick Barry, 57
23: David Thompson, 73
24: Tracy McGrady, 62
25: George Gervin, 63
26: Karl Malone, 61
27: Kobe Bryant, 81
28: David Robinson, 71
29: Pete Maravich, 68
30: Kobe Bryant, 61
31: Wilt Chamberlain, 68
32: Wilt Chamberlain, 66
33: Rick Barry, 55
34: Karl Malone, 56
35: Alex English, 51
36: Shaquille O’Neal, 45
37: Karl Malone, 41
38: Michael Jordan, 45
39: Michael Jordan, 45
40: Michael Jordan, 43
41: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, 25
42: Robert Parrish, 16
43: Robert Parrish, 12
44: Kevin Willis, 6

Note: The totals above reflect only regular season games. If we include playoff games, there would be a handful of changes on the leaderboard: Karl Malone scored 50 points in a playoff contest at age 36; Kareem Abdul-Jabbar scored 26 points at age 41 in a playoff game; and Abdul-Jabbar scored 24 points at age 42 in another playoff game.

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp

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3 responses

  1. Where is Wilt’s 100?

    1. The fourth paragraph mentions Wilt’s 100-point game. The stats reflect points scored from the 1963-64 season forward and obviously do not include Wilt’s 100-point game in 1962.

  2. Michael Jordan scored 51 points at age 38…

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