LeBron James has a realistic chance to end his career as the highest-scoring player in NBA history, but for such a dominant scorer, James only has 14 career 50-point games across the regular season and playoffs, including one in the NBA Finals.
Wilt Chamberlain leads all players with an absurd 118 50-point games, ahead of modern-era leaders Michael Jordan (31 in the regular season), Kobe Bryant (25) and James Harden (23).
James’ total seems surprisingly small by comparison, but there’s something even stranger about LeBron’s most epic scoring nights: Almost all have taken place on the road. On March 3, 2014, James erupted for a career-high 61 points at home in Miami, but all of his other 50-point games have occurred on the road.
“They have a guy who’s playing basketball at a level that I’m not sure anyone’s ever seen before when you consider everything he’s doing,” Steve Kerr said afterward.
One day after an episode of The Shop dropped in which LeBron James said he was “pissed off” about not being considered an all-time great scorer, the man with the most points in NBA history unloaded for 56 points in the Los Angeles Lakers win over the Golden State Warriors. It was tied for the third-highest single-game total of his 19-year NBA career and marked his 14th 50+ point outing (including playoffs) — seventh-most ever.
The highlight-reel, while spectacular, doesn’t adequately capture the will and all-around dominance of LeBron’s epic performance. But, if you watched this game live, you remember. It’s a “tell your grandkids” game.
Unfortunately for LeBron — and fortunately for the Warriors, NBA Twitter, and the meme ecosystem — his masterpiece was defiled by J.R. Smith.
You can go here for more on LeBron’s incredible performance vs. the Warriors. In summation: not only was Saturday’s spectacle amongst the most voluminous scoring nights of his career — and his high with Los Angeles — he nearly single-handedly carried the Lakers to a much-needed win over Steph Curry and Co.
12March 13, 2009: 51 points at Sacramento Kings
Stat line: 16-of-30 FG, 4-for-11 from 3, 4 rebounds, 9 assists, 2 steals, 3 blocks
6Dec. 10, 2005: 52 points at Milwaukee Bucks
Stat line: 19-for-29 FG, 5-for-9 from 3, 7 rebounds, 7 assists, 2 steals
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