Daily Archives: May 16th, 2017

NBA Stats: Scoring 40 points in an NBA playoff game

Steph Curry had 40 points in leading his Golden State Warriors to a Game One come-from-behind victory over the San Antonio Spurs in the Western Conference Finals on Sunday.

For Curry, it was his fifth career 40-point playoff game which made him the 22nd player since 1964 to have five or more career playoff games with 40 or more points. The Warriors are now 4-1 in these 40-point games by Curry, and it was the first home playoff game where Curry had 40+ points.

It should come as no surprise that Michael Jordan has the most 40-point playoff games since 1964. Jordan has 38; LeBron James is second on the list with 18.

Following are the 22 players who have had five or more 40-point playoff games since 1964.

38: Michel Jordan

18: LeBron James

16: Jerry West

13: Kobe Bryant

12: Shaquille O’Neal

11: Hakeem Olajuwon

10: Allen Iverson

9: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

8: Rick Barry

7: Kevin Durant, Bernard King, Dirk Nowitzki, Dwyane Wade

6: George Gervin

5: Steph Curry, Charles Barkley, Wilt Chamberlain, Larry Bird, John Havlicek, Bob McAdoo, Russell Westbrook, Dominique Wilkins

Did you know:

  • Of the 12 players who scored 40 or more points in this year’s playoffs, their teams are only 4-8 in those games.
  • Curry scored his 40 points last Sunday in 39 minutes. Of the last 100 games (dating back to 2005) where a player scored 40 or more points in a playoff game, only 16 played under 40 minutes in that game.
  • Four of the five 40-point playoff games in Curry’s career saw him take 14 or more three-point shots. In the other game he took nine three-point shots.
  • Jerry West in 1965 had the most 40-point playoff games in one season, eight. Jordan had seven 40-point games in the 1989 playoffs for second on the list.
  • Only two non-starters have scored 40 or more points in a playoff game since 1964. Nick Van Exel did it on May 10, 2003 when he scored 40 coming off the bench for the Dallas Mavs in a playoff contest versus Sacramento. Curry is the only other non-starter on this list… he did it last year in a playoff game where he didn’t start on May 9 against Portland. He tallied 40 points in that game.
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