The Top 10 scoring performances (In the Past Decade)
The 2020-2021 NBA season has finally come to start, which is a little weird in December, but at this point us basketball fans are happy to see the NBA back in action again. There’s been so many great scoring performances from Luka Doncic recording record numbers on a consistent basis, to James Harden recording records as well. The NBA has changed so much in the past decade and now everyone looks to be a scorer. Now it’s about how many three’s you can drain from the farthest distance and we’ve seen some of the best scorers perform to the highest caliber. Today’s topic is “The Top 10 Scoring Performances (from the past decade)”
There’s been so many great scoring performances by some of the greatest to ever play the game. We can’t forget Kobe’s great performance on January 22, 2006 scoring 81 points against the Toronto Raptors. He shot 28 of 46 from the field and made 18 out of 20 free throws, and also grabbed 6 rebounds. And of course the great Wilt Chamberlain who holds the record for scoring 100 points in one NBA game. He was so good that he actually scored over 70 points in 5 games, not including his 100 point performance. So before we start the Top 10, I want to remind you these are in no particular order.
#10 Klay Thompson
In Game 6 of the 2016 Western Conference Finals, Klay was on fire and scored 41 points. The Warriors were coming out of the regular season with the best season record in NBA history, but they struggled against KD and the OKC Thunder. They were down 3 games to 1, but that didn’t stop Klay from doing what he could to save his team from elimination. He recorded, and broke the playoff record for making 11 out of 18 three-pointers and actually his final three he sank is what brought the Warriors on top to the game 104-101. This was a very impressive performance from one of the Splash Bros, and with his help he helped the Warriors advance to the Finals once again.
#9 James Harden
Harden has always been known for his scoring abilities, and has sometimes been criticized for it as well. It’s tough to be recognized when the team you play for can’t ever get past a certain level, but during the 2017-2018 season he broke multiple records. Harden dropped a 60 point triple-double against the Orlando Magic, and they won. Along with 60 points, he recorded 10 rebounds, 11 assists, and 4 steals and set a franchise record for the most points scored in a game. Harden usually likes to score from a distance, but most of his scoring came from inside the arc this game. He shot 14 of 16 from inside the arc and 19 of 30 from the field. Also, to help secure the bag he made 17 of 18 from the free throw line. With this historic performance he won his first regular season MVP award.
#8 Carmelo Anthony
Although Carmelo isn’t among the top players in the NBA currently, he used to be a scoring machine! In the 2013-2014 season, he delivered a performance that could easily put him in the Hall of Fame. He scored 62 points on shooting 23 for 35 from the field. He also made 6 out of 11 from beyond the arc and grabbed 13 rebounds. He could’ve kept raising his numbers, but he was subbed out early in the fourth quarter with more than seven minutes left. This double-double was definitely one for the books and this is why it is one of the best scoring performances in the past decade.
#7 Lebron James
So Lebron is always putting on a show, but in Game 6 in the 2012 Eastern Conference Finals, he played with a chip on his shoulder. Lebron is probably one of the most criticized players in the NBA and he received a ton of hate for leaving Cleveland and chasing a ring. In his second season at Miami, he had the best game of his career and recorded 45 points, 15 rebounds, and 5 assists. He was focused on finally winning a NBA title and did whatever it took to get one. He shot 73% from the floor, which is absolutely insane! While Bosh and Wade only combined for 24 points, Lebron did what he did best, and put the team on his back finally leading the Heat to defeat OKC in Game 7 of the Finals.
#6 Kevin Durant
KD has always been an amazing scorer but in Game 3 of the 2018 NBA Finals he recorded a double-double scoring 43 points and grabbed 13 rebounds, and don’t forget the 7 assists. He scored higher than all of the Warriors starters as they only combined for 41 points. He shot 15 of 23 from the field and his huge three-pointer put the Warriors up 106-102 with 49 seconds left. With this big performance from KD, the Warriors went on to winning their second consecutive title and KD’s first title.
#5 Kyrie Irving
Kyrie scored an unbelievable 57 points against the Spurs on March 12th, 2015. The game was forced in overtime, but Kyrie continued to get buckets and scored 11 more points in OT. He hit a clutch three with 31 seconds left to go in the game, which put the Cavs up by 3. He shot 20 of 32 from the field and made 7 three-pointers. Who knew this would be possible for someone who was playing on the same team as Lebron James, but that’s how good Kyrie is. Lebron always knew Kyrie was something special, but he was happy to see him perform to this level. This 57 point game topped Lebron’s 56 point game in a Cavs uniform from 2005.
#4 Devin Booker
Devin Booker became the youngest player in NBA history to score 71 points in a game and also broke the franchise record. His 70 point performance is the most ever against the Celtics, which breaks the previous record holder Elgin Baylor who scored 64 points in 1959. Booker is also the first player since Kobe Bryant to score 70 points, since his 81 point performance in 2006. Some aren’t too ecstatic about the performance because towards the end the players would purposely foul him just to see his numbers go up. But, nevertheless this is outstanding for someone who was only 20 years old at the time.
#3 Anthony Davis
Anthony Davis broke the franchise record for the Pelicans and scored 59 points and grabbed 20 rebounds on February 21st, 2016. He went 24 of 34 from the field, made two three-pointers and went 9 out of 10 from the free throw line. He went against Andre Drummond, who was one of the best centers in the league, but Drummond played off of him and gave him the space he needed to score. AD joined Shaq and Chris Webber as the only NBA players to have 50 points and 20 rebounds in a game since 1983. Although the Pelicans struggled even with AD’s performances, that never stopped him from being a dominant scorer on the floor at any position. Good thing AD now has the help that he needs to continue to have more performances like these.
#2 Damian Lillard
Before the 2019-2020 NBA season got moved to “The Bubble”, Dame had the game of his career and scored a career-high 61 points against the Golden State Warriors on Martin Luther King Day. Portland defeated the Warriors in OT winning 129-124. He broke his own franchise record previously of 60 points against the Nets. Dame has become the 6th player in NBA history having three 60+ point games. More recently, in “The Bubble” Dame tied his career high scoring 61 points again, now against the Mavericks. This win helped Portland enter the playoffs as the number eight seed.
#1 Russell Westbrook
Of course it’s no surprise that Westbrook is on this list. He comes in second for the most triple-doubles under Oscar Robertson, having 146 as of November 2020. On April 2nd, 2019, Westbrook became the 2nd player ever to have 20 points, 20 rebounds and 21 assists. The only other person to do this was Wilt Chamberlain back in 1968. Westbrook shot 8 for 23 from the field and led the Thunder to a win over the Lakers. And just to exclaim on how impressive Westbrook is, Lebron James only has 94 triple-doubles and James Harden has 46. This is such an impressive stat and even though I only highlighted one, he has tons of them in career.
So these are the Top 10 scoring performances in the past decade. There’s been so many great performances by these elite players, but these are the ones we thought were worthy of bringing back up. Who’s had the best scoring performance in your eyes in the past 10 years? Let us know in the comments below.