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.
Here’s a couple of NBA stats that I hope you will find interesting…
Forty-something scorers. It goes without saying that the NBA is a league of “young” talent. There was, however, a game this week that went largely unnoticed that showcased a 40-something player reliving his heyday.
Memphis Grizzlies player Vince Carter on March 13 scored 24 points in 30 minutes. Big deal, right? Well, at age 40 years and 46 days, Carter became the sixth player 40 years of age or older since the 1963-64 NBA season to score 20 or more points in an NBA regular season game. Carter did it against the Milwaukee Bucks. Prior to Carter’s game, the last time a player 40 years of age or older had 20 or more points in a regular season game was on April 1, 2004 when Karl Malone had 20 points for the L.A. Lakers in a contest versus the Houston Rockets.
There have been 56 games since the ’63-’64 season that a 40-something player tallied 20 or more points in a contest (teams were 36-20 in those games, if it matters to you). Michael Jordan tops the list with 20 of those games. Here’s a look at the six players who at age 40 (or older) had 20 or more points in an NBA regular season game since 1963-64.
20: Michael Jordan
16: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
9: John Stockton
6: Robert Parrish
4: Karl Malone
1: Vince Carter
The most points by a player in his 40’s (since 1963-64) was 43 by Jordan on February 21, 2003. In fact, Jordan has the four highest point games for a 40-year-old since ’63-’64, and is the only player to score 30 or more at age 40+. The oldest player to score 20 or more in an NBA game is Jabbar; he had 21 points in a game at age 41 years, 331 days.
Most NBA games without scoring a point. Imagine getting into an NBA game and not scoring. You’d be a little frustrated that your name didn’t appear with a point or two in the box score. Now image playing over 200 games in your NBA career where you didn’t score a point… yes, 200 or more games where you didn’t get in the scoring column.
Twelve players have played in 200 or more regular season games where they did not score a point. Two players, DeSagana Diop and Charles Jones both had 259 games in their NBA careers where they did not score a point. Following are those 12 players; also listed in parenthesis is their last year in the league.
Most career NBA regular season games with no points
259: DeSagana Diop (2013) and Charles Jones (1998)
256: Jud Buechler (2002) and Greg Kite (1995)
235: Tree Rollins (1995)
220: Manute Bol (1995)
207: Ryan Bower (2009)
206: Jason Collins (2014)
204: Mark Madsen (2009)
203: Greg Dreiling (1997)
200: Chris Dudley (2003) and Scott Hastings (1993)
There are another 16 players who have 170 or more career games with no points scored. Three of those players were active in the 2017 season: Joel Anthony (195 games), James Jones (183 games) and Steve Novak (170 games).
Of the players in the Basketball Hall of Fame, Dikembe Mutumbo tops the list with 84 career games with no points. He is followed by Robert Parrish with 65 and Dennis Rodman with 62.
For you Bucks fans out there, Dan Gadzuric tops the team’s list of players with the most games as a Buck with no points with 106. He is followed by Dick Cunningham (98 games), Ervin Johnson (94 games), Harvey Catchings (91 games) and Paul Mokeski (91 games).
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On March 7, Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook tallied 58 points in a 126-121 loss to the Portland Trailblazers. It was the 10th time this season that a player scored 50 or more points in a game; it was Westbrook’s second time this season and third in his career.
With his third career 50-point game, Westbrook became the 29th player since 1963-64 to have three or more career 50-point games. Here’s a look at the Top 10 for most career 50-point games since 1963.
Michael Jordan, 31
Wilt Chamberlain, 30
Kobe Bryant, 25
Rick Barry, 14
Allen Iverson, 11
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, 10
LeBron James, 10
Bernard King, 8
Dominique Wilkins, 7
Adrian Dantley, 6
Pete Maravich, 6
With the Thunder losing the game where Westbrook scored 58, it was the second time in his career that Westbrook’s team lost when he scored 50+. He became the 14th player since 1963 to score 50 or more points in two or more games where his team lost. Jordan tops this list with eight games where his team lost when he scored 50 or more points. Others who saw their teams lose two or more games when they scored 50+ points: Kobe and Wilt (7), Iverson (5), Bernard King (4), Bob McAdoo and Dominique Wilkins (3), and Jabbar, Tiny Archibald, Adrian Dantley, LeBron, Hakeem Olajuwon, Michael Redd and Westbrook, each with two.
Since the 1964 playoffs, teams that had a player score 50 or more points in a game have won 22 games and lost 5. Of those 27 games, Jordan, again, tops the list. He had eight 50-point games in the playoffs. Iverson is second with three playoff games, followed by Jerry West with two. Of the five losses, Jordan had two of them, with Ray Allen, Kobe and Billy Cunningham each scoring 50 or more points in a playoff games were their team lost.
Let’s start this blog with a quiz…
Of the 10 NBA Hall of Fame players listed below, who scored less than 10 points in his NBA debut and who scored more than 20 points in their first game in the NBA? Here’s a hint: Four of the players listed scored less than 10 points; three of those listed scored 20 or more.
The answer is at the end of this column.
This blog is about NBA debuts. The NBA season got started earlier this week and a couple of rookies got their careers off to a great start. Michael Carter-Williams, the 11th pick of the Philadelphia 76ers (from Syracuse) had a big game in the 76ers upset of the Miami Heat. Carter-Williams had 22 points in his NBA debut. Two other first-year players tallied 10 or more points in their first games. Vitor Faverani, the 25-year-old Brazilian who played professionally in Spain from 2005-13, had 13 points in his NBA debut with the Boston Celtics. Victor Oladipo, the second pick of the 2013 draft (Indiana University) by the Orlando Magic had 12 points in his first game in the league.
Based on research on basketball-reference.com dating back to the 1963-64 NBA season, 21 different players scored 25 or more points in their NBA debut. Topping the list is John Drew who scored 32 points for the Atlanta Hawks on October 18, 1974 against the Chicago Bulls. Here’s a look at the players who scored 25 or more points in their NBA debut since 1963-64.
Points in NBA debut, players
32: John Drew
31: Isiah Thomas
30: Willie Anderson, Allen Iverson, Lamar Odom
29: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Gordon Giricek
27: Ron Anderson, Bobby Jackson, Jerry Stackhouse
26: Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf, Darrell Griffith, Magic Johnson, Donyell Marshall, Mitchell Wiggins
25: Willie Burton, Ron Harper, Elvin Hayes, Grant Hill, LeBron James, Rudy Macklin
Trivia answer: The four players who scored less than 10 points in their NBA debut were Dave Bing (0), Clyde Drexler (2), Karl Malone (8) and Pete Maravich (7). The three Hall of Famers who scored 20 or more in their first NBA game were Bob Lanier (22), Bob McAdoo (20) and Dominique Wilkins (23). The other three players on the list were Larry Bird (14), Michael Jordan (16) and Bill Walton (18).
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Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a sports statistics blog published daily that focuses on stats that go beyond the numbers.
Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook not only outscored the whole Miami Heat team by themselves in the second half of Tuesday’s Game 1 win, but the high-scoring duo from Oklahoma City also joined an elite group of teammates that have scored 27 or more points in an NBA Finals game.
Durant had 36 points and Westbrook had 27 making them the first teammates in eight years to both score 27 or more points in an NBA Finals game. The last duo to accomplish this feat were the Lakers Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal on June 8, 2004.
Miami’s LeBron James had 30 points in last night’s game, making it the first NBA Finals game since the June 8, 2004 game mentioned above that three players scored 27 or more points. (Detroit’s Chauncey Billups had 27 points in the Pistons loss to the Lakers in that game.) Three players scored 27+ in an NBA Finals game eight times since 1986.
Going back to 1986, there have been 17 sets of teammates that scored 27 or more points in a NBA Finals game. The last set of teammates to score 27+ in a finals game and their team lose was in 1998 when the Bulls Toni Kukoc (30) and Michael Jordan (28) lost to Utah.
Following are the teammates that scored 27 or more points in an NBA Finals game since 1986.
Date, Team, teammates with 27+ points
June 12, 2012: Oklahoma City, Kevin Durant (36), Russell Westbrook (27)
June 8, 2004: L.A. Lakers, Kobe Bryant (33), Shaquille O’Neal (29)
June 9, 2002: L.A. Lakers, Kobe Bryant (36), Shaquille O’Neal (35)
June 10, 2001: L.A. Lakers, Kobe Bryant (32), Shaquille O’Neal (30)
June 8, 2001: L.A. Lakers, Kobe Bryant (31), Shaquille O’Neal (28)
June 14, 2000: L.A. Lakers, Shaquille O’Neal 36, Kobe Bryant (28)
June 12, 1998: Chicago, Toni Kukoc (30), Michael Jordan (28)
June 10, 1998: Chicago, Michael Jordan (34), Scottie Pippen (28)
June 1, 1997: Chicago, Michael Jordan (31), Scottie Pippen (27)
June 9, 1995: Orlando, Shaquille O’Neal (33), Penny Hardaway (32)
June 9, 1995: Houston, Hakeem Olajuwon (34), Sam Cassell (31)
June 9, 1993: Chicago, Michael Jordan (31), Scottie Pippen (27)
June 12, 1991: Chicago, Scottie Pippen (32), Michael Jordan (30)
June 12, 1990: Portland, Clyde Drexler (34), Jerome Kersey (33)
June 7, 1987: L.A. Lakers, Magic Johnson (32), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (27)
June 2, 1987: L.A. Lakers, James Worthy (33), Magic Johnson (29)
June 8, 1986: Boston, Larry Bird (29), Kevin McHale (29)
Did you know? The last time two sets of teammates scored 27+ in an NBA Finals game was June 9, 1995 when Orlando’s O’Neal (33) and Hardaway (32) lost to the Rockets Olajuwon (34) and Cassell (31).
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