NBA Playoffs

These 29 players have the most 50 point playoff games in NBA history

Scoring 50 points in any game isn’t an easy feat much less putting up 50 (or more) in an NBA playoff game. Considering the thousands of NBA playoff games in the history of the league and the long list of big name playoff performers, postseason fifties are a rare feat achieved by fewer than 30 players throughout the history of the league’s post season.

A 50 point game represents an extraordinary level of offensive dominance and showcases the ability to rise to the occasion in the most crucial moments and most intense environments.

Players That Have The Most 50 Point Playoff Games

Let’s look at some of the most impressive 50-point performances in NBA playoff history, featuring iconic players such as Michael Jordan, Wilt Chamberlain, Allen Iverson, Donovan Mitchell, Steph Curry, and Giannis Antetokounmpo.

1. Michael Jordan (8)

One of the many arguments for Jordan being the GOAT is that he not only has the most 50 point games in NBA playoff history, but ultimately resulted in six NBA championships with Chicago.

During the 1986 NBA Playoffs, Michael Jordan delivered one of the greatest individual performances in postseason history. Facing the formidable Boston Celtics and their “Big Three,” Jordan erupted for a record-breaking 63 points in a double-overtime game. Despite the Chicago Bulls’ loss, MJ’s scoring outburst against one of the league’s best defensive teams solidified his status as a transcendent talent.

2. Wilt Chamberlain (4)

Known for his dominance and ridiculous scoring records, Wilt Chamberlain had four 50-point playoff games during his illustrious career — and all ended up in wins. Notably, in Game 5 of the 1962 NBA Finals, Chamberlain poured in a 50 points for the Philadelphia Warriors. While Wilt’s dominance and scoring ability remain unparalleled, and holds numerous scoring records, Wilt only has two NBA championships on his resume.

3. Allen Iverson (3)

With three playoff games in which he scored or surpassed 50 points, Allen Iverson is third on this list. Standing more than a foot shorter than the man before him, Iverson’s heart and effort were never questioned (well, save for that one time he was asked about practice) as A.I. led the Philadelphia 76ers squads of the early 2000’s to the top of the league. Though he never ended up with a championship ring, Iverson’s legacy is set as, pound for pound, one of best scorers the NBA has ever seen.

Players With Most 50 Point Games In Playoffs
1 Michael Jordan 8
2 Wilt Chamberlain 4
3 Allen Iverson 3
4 Jerry West 2
4 Donovan Mitchell 2
4 Jamal Murray 2
4 Jayson Tatum 2
8 Bob Cousy 1
8 Bob Petit 1
8 Charles Barkley 1
8 Damian Lillard 1
8 Dirk Nowitzki 1
8 Dominique Wilkins 1
8 Elgin Baylor 1
8 Giannis Antetokounmpo 1
8 Isaiah Thomas 1
8 Jimmy Butler 1
8 John Havlicek 1
8 Karl Malone 1
8 Kevin Durant 1
8 Kobe Bryant 1
8 LeBron James 1
8 Nikola Jokic 1
8 Ray Allen 1
8 Rick Barry 1
8 Russell Westbrook 1
8 Sam Jones 1
8 Steph Curry 1

4. Donovan Mitchell (2)

In his playoff debut for the Utah Jazz, showcased his scoring prowess and ability to take over games. In the 2020 first-round series against the Denver Nuggets, Mitchell would explode for over 50 points twice in the series; 57 points in a Game 1 loss and then 51 points in a Game 4 win. These two games aren’t the only huge offensive performances in Donovan’s career, but are the only two that surpassed the fifty point mark.

4. Jayson Tatum (2)

When Jayson Tatum scored 51 in Game 7 of the second round series between the Celtics and Sixers, he joined Mitchell, Jerry West and Jamal Murray for fourth place in terms of the most 50 point NBA playoff games of all-time. In that rout, Tatum’s scoring was an NBA record for a Game 7 surpassing Steph Curry’s who just set the record two weeks ago.

Here’s a list of 50 point games in NBA playoff history.

Most Points in an NBA Playoff Game (Player)
1 Michael Jordan 63 04/20/1986 CHI BOS
2 Elgin Baylor 61 04/14/1962 LAL BOS
3 Donovan Mitchell 57 08/17/2020 UTA DEN
4 Wilt Chamberlain 56 03/22/1962 PHI SYR
4 Michael Jordan 56 04/29/1992 CHI MIA
4 Charles Barkley 56 05/4/1994 PHX GSW
4 Jimmy Butler 56 04/24/2023 MIA MIL
8 Rick Barry 55 04/18/1967 SFW PHI
8 Michael Jordan 55 05/1/1988 CHI CLE
8 Michael Jordan 55 06/16/1993 CHI PHX
8 Michael Jordan 55 04/27/1997 CHI WAS
8 Allen Iverson 55 04/20/2003 PHI NOH
8 Damian Lillard 55 06/1/2021 POR DEN
14 John Havlicek 54 04/1/1973 BOS ATL
14 Michael Jordan 54 05/31/1993 CHI NYK
14 Allen Iverson 54 05/9/2001 PHI TOR
17 Wilt Chamberlain 53 03/14/1960 PHI SYR
17 Jerry West 53 04/23/1969 LAL BOS
17 Isaiah Thomas 53 05/2/2017 BOS WAS
17 Nikola Jokic 53 05/08/2023 DEN PHX
20 Jerry West 52 04/5/1965 LAL BAL
20 Allen Iverson 52 05/16/2001 PHI TOR
22 Sam Jones 51 03/28/1967 BOS NYK
22 Ray Allen 51 04/30/2009 BOS CHI
22 Russell Westbrook 51 04/19/2017 OKC HOU
22 LeBron James 51 05/31/2018 CLE GSW
22 Donovan Mitchell 51 08/23/2020 UTA DEN
22 Jayson Tatum 51 05/14/2023 BOS PHI
28 Bob Cousy 50 03/21/1953 BOS SYR
28 Bob Petit 50 04/12/1958 STL BOS
28 Wilt Chamberlain 50 03/22/1960 PHL BOS
28 Wilt Chamberlain 50 04/10/1964 PHL BOS
28 Dominique Wilkins 50 04/19/1986 ATL DET
28 Michael Jordan 50 04/28/1988 CHI CLE
28 Michael Jordan 50 05/11/1990 CHI CLE
28 Karl Malone 50 4/22/2000 UTA SEA
28 Dirk Nowitzki 50 06/01/2006 DAL PHX
28 Kobe Bryant 50 05/04/2006 LAL PHX
28 Kevin Durant 50 04/19/2019 GSW LAC
28 Jamal Murray 50 08/23/2020 DEN UTA
28 Jamal Murray 50 08/30/2020 DEN UTA
28 Jayson Tatum 50 05/28/21 BOS BKN
28 Giannis Antetokounmpo 50 07/01/2021 MIL PHX
28 Steph Curry 50 04/30/2023 GSW SAC

Other notable 50 point playoff performances

Steph Curry’s 50-Point Showcase vs. Sacramento Kings (2023)

In the 2023 NBA playoffs, Steph Curry continued to captivate audiences with his long-range shooting and scoring prowess. Curry’s 6-seeded Warriors team would go onto upset the 3-seeded Sacramento Kings in Game 7 in which Curry would have his lone NBA playoff game that reached the half-century mark.

Giannis Antetokounmpo’s 50-Point Statement in the NBA Finals

Giannis etched his name in NBA playoff history during Game 6 of the 2021 NBA Finals. In a contest between the Milwaukee Bucks and the Phoenix Suns, Giannis delivered an astonishing 50-point performance, securing a crucial victory that clinched the 2021 NBA championship. His dominant scoring, along with his defensive contributions, cemented Giannis’ status as a generational talent. Antetokounmpo famously went to drive thru the following day and ordered a 50 piece chicken nugget and posted it on TikTok.

Scoring 50 points in an NBA playoff game is something truly special. As you can see by the list above some of the league’s most legendary playoff performers never cracked the 50 point threshold in a playoff game: Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Tim Duncan. Dwyane Wade, Hakeem Olajuwon, and James Harden just to name a few players that never got to 50 points.

Even talented scorers like LeBron James, Steph Curry, Kobe Bryant, Karl Malone, Elgin Baylor, Dirk Nowitzki, Kevin Durant, and Rick Barry have only surpassed 50 points once in their storied NBA playoff careers. That makes it even more impressive that Jordan has recorded eight playoff games with at least 50 points – more than double the next player on the list.

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