Less than a week into the 2015-16 NBA season, we’ve already had a pair of noteworthy scoring games. First, Oklahoma City Thunder teammates Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook each scored 40 points in an October 30 game. The following day Golden State’s Stephen Curry tallied 53 points in a win over New Orleans.
Let’s look a little deeper into these games and performances.
Teammates that scored 40 points in the same game. There have now been 16 times in NBA history where teammates each scored 40 or more points in a game (regular season and playoffs). For Durant and Westbrook it was the third time in their careers that they have each tallied 40 in the same game (they did it twice within five weeks in the 2011-12 season), the only teammates to do it three times in a career.
Here’s a look at the 16 games where teammates scored 40-plus points each:
10-30-2015: Oklahoma City-Kevin Durant (43), Russell Westbrook (48)
3-23-2012: Oklahoma City-Kevin Durant (40), Russell Westbrook (45)
2-19-2012: Oklahoma City-Kevin Durant (51), Russell Westbrook (40)
5-6-2000: Indiana-Reggie Miller (40), Jalen Rose (40)
2-18-1996: Chicago-Michael Jordan (44), Scottie Pippen (40)
5-5-1995: Houston-Clyde Drexler (41), Hakeem Olajuwon (40)
4-30-1988: Houston-Sleepy Floyd (42), Hakeem Olajuwon (41)
3-19-1984: Utah-Adrian Dantley (43), John Drew (42)
12-13-1983: Detroit-John Long (41), Isiah Thomas (47)
12-13-1983: Denver-Alex English (47), Kiki Vandeweghe (51)
3-6-1982: San Antonio-George Gervin (50), Mike Mitchell (45)
1-5-1978: Phoenix-Walter Davis (40), Paul Westphal (43)
4-10-1977: New Orleans-Pete Maravich (45), Nate Williams (41)
2-11-1970: L.A. Lakers-Elgin Baylor (43), Jerry West (43)
11-14-1964: Baltimore-Walt Bellamy (40), Gus Johnson (41)
3-29-1962: L.A. Lakers-Elgin Baylor (45), Jerry West (41)
Of these 16 teammates listed above, 14 accomplished their milestones in a win. The first loss was the March 29, 1962 playoff game, which the Lakers lost. The other loss was the December 13, 1983 game in which two sets of teammates each scored 40 points, the winning Pistons and losing Nuggets.
One other note of interest: Since 2009 there have been 10 games where a player from one team scored 40 or more points, and an opposing player also tallied 40-plus. The last game was April 15, 2015, when Westbrook had 40 points, and James Harden scored 41 for the Rockets.
Fifty or more points in a game. With his 53-point game on Halloween night, Curry became the 27th player in NBA history to score 50 or more points in three or more games in a career. Curry is only 28 games behind Michael Jordan who scored 50-plus in 31 games, most in league history. Wilt Chamberlain ranks second with 30 such games.
Here’s a list of the players who had six or more career games with 50-plus points.
31: Michael Jordan
30: Wilt Chamberlain
24: Kobe Bryant
14: Rick Barry
11: Allen Iverson
10: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, LeBron James
8: Bernard King
7: Dominique Wilkins
6: Adrian Dantley, Pete Maravich
Since 2006-07, 26 different players have scored 50 or more points in a total of 60 games. Kobe Bryant leads this group with 13; LeBron is second with seven games. Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Durant each have four 50-point games; Gilbert Arenas, Curry and Dwyane Wade each have three games.
Of these 60 games where a player scored 50-plus points in a game since the 2006-07 season:
* The team whose player scored 50-plus points won 45 and lost 15.
* Thirty-two happened on the player’s home court.
* Forty-eight of the 60 shot over 50% from the field in the game.
* Eleven also had 10 or more rebounds in the game.
One more note: Only three players have scored 50 or more points in a playoff game two or more times in their career. Jordan did it eight times; Allen Iverson did it three times, and Jerry West did it twice. The last time a player did so was April 30, 2009, when Boston’s Ray Allen had 51 points against the Bulls.