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The 25 NBA players that have the most 40 point games in their careers

The NBA has been blessed with a plethora of prolific scorers that can heat up in an instant and dominate the game with the many ways they can put the ball in the basket. Whether it’s Wilt Chamberlain, Michael Jordan,  Allen Iverson, , and Kevin Durant  are just some of the more unstoppable players who have wowed NBA fans with their propensity for scoring throughout the years.

Scoring 30 points in a game is impressive, but the best scorers often surpass 40 points in a game.  One of the statistics to determine who the NBA’s best scorers are, are the ones  that  have scored the most 40-point games in NBA history.


1. Wilt Chamberlain (271)

From the Archives: Wilt Chamberlain saves the ball - Los Angeles Times

It should come as a surprise to no one to see Wilt Chamberlain top this list. It seems that there isn’t a record in the NBA that doesn’t have Wilt’s name next to it. Chamberlain managed to score 40 points a whopping 271 times according to stat muse

The Philadelphia 76ers legend needed only 1,045 games to achieve this feat, which is the lowest among all the top 12 scorers in the NBA according to Sportskeeda. He also holds the record for most 40-point games in a season with 63 games in the 1961-1962 season.

2. Michael Jordan (173)

In second place on this list is the GOAT himself Michael Jordan. Jordan managed to score 40 points or more on 173 occasions. He led the Chicago Bulls to 6 championships and was named the MVP 5 times. Even though Jordan is second on this list, he’s won the scoring title a record 10 times compared to Chamberlain’s 7.

3. Kobe Bryant (122)

These dudes really don't work that hard!": Kobe Bryant talked about how his childhood shaped his outlook on the NBA and the Lakers - The SportsRush

The late great Kobe Bryant is 3rd on this list and rightfully so. He managed to score 40-points 122 times in his career.

Kobe’s game is modeled after Jordan’s and for the longest time, Kobe considered Jordan to be his big brother. See where Kobe ranks among the NBA’s top 75 players.

4. James Harden (101)

James Harden is one of the most prolific scorers the league has ever seen. He lands 4th on this list with 101 40-point games in his career. Harden’s step-back 3, crafty footwork, and lefty finish have made him almost unguardable back in his prime. 

Things might be a bit different for Harden now, but the man deserves his flowers.

5. Elgin Baylor (88)

Elgin Baylor, first of the airborne, blazed vertical trail of basketball artistry | NBA.com

Elgin Baylor scored 40-points 88 times in his career with the Los Angeles Lakers and even managed to do it 4 times in the NBA finals. His most remarkable achievement was scoring 61 points against the Boston Celtics in the Finals of 1962. 

Check out the top 25 all-time list below:


Rank Player Number of Games with 40+ Points
1 Wilt Chamberlain 271
2 Michael Jordan 173
3 Kobe Bryant 122
4 James Harden 101
5 Elgin Baylor 88
6 Allen Iverson 79
7 Oscar Robertson 77
8 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 70
9 Rick Barry 70
10 Lebron James 69
11 George Gervin 68
12 Jerry West 66
13 Kevin Durant 62
14 Bob McAdoo 58
15 Stephen Curry 56
16 Dominique Wilkins 56
17 Adrian Dantley 52
18 Russell Westbrook 50
19 Shaquille O'Neal 49
20 Larry Bird 47
21 Bob Pettit 47
22 Tracy McGrady 45
23 Bernard King 45
24 Karl Malone 44
25 Damian Lilard 40

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