Most fans don’t realize how good NBA players really are. For 99% of the population, if they came across a no-name 15th man on an NBA roster, that player would be the most talented basketball player they ever came across. Every NBA player is the most elite on some level. And the superstars of the NBA are the best of these super elite athletes.
These legendary players’ ability to create and make their own shot have elite footwork, excellent fundamentals, incredible basketball intelligence, rare shooting ability, and layup packages that not even the league’s best defenders can slow down. To be one of these great ones, you have to do it every night, consistently, and against all kinds of defenses.
NBA Players With Most Career 30 Point Games
If you can score 10-15 points a night in the NBA will get you 20 minutes a game. Putting up 20 a game puts you in the conversation as an NBA All-Star that season, but if you are approaching or surpassing 30 points in a game year after year, you’re an NBA superstar by any definition of the term. In the history of the game, there’s only been a few dozen players that have dominated the game season after season. Here are the top 15 players with the most 30 point games in their NBA career. Scroll down further for the top 25.
15. Shaquille O’Neal (313)
Strong, agile, and powerful in the low post, Shaq was the definition of dominance. He stands as one of the most dominating forces ever seen on a basketball court. His board-breaking, thunderous dunks struck fear in the hearts of the opponents and made the crowds go wild from Orlando to Los Angeles. During his NBA career, Shaq scored 30 or more points 313 times.
14. James Harden (314)
The Beard’s shifty moves, foul-drawing ability, step back three and shot-making have had a massive effect on the NBA game. His patented step-back move is now an integral part of the game of every modern player. James Harden is the only player in the history of the NBA to ever record a 60-point triple-double in a match. The few injuries affected James’s performance negatively – based on NBA odds, he isn’t considered one of the favorites for league MVP for the first time in several years.
13. Adrian Dantley (314)
Adrian Dantley’s is one of the game’s most underrated players and his name more often than not gets lost in the NBA history books. Playing for the Utah Jazz, Dantley averaged over 30 points per game in four straight seasons in the NBA. He was one of the greatest scorers in his generation.
12. Elgin Baylor (343)
Elgin Baylor was one of the best scorers to have ever played the game, with a career average of 27.4 points per game. His best season as a scorer in the NBA was 1961-62, playing for the Los Angeles Lakers, in which he averaged 38.3 points per game. An absolute legend of the game that often doesn’t get the credit he deserves.
11. Allen Iverson (345)
Fearless, with outstanding ball-handling skills and swagger, Allen Iverson was a true icon of the NBA in the 2000s. He averaged more than 30 points per game in five seasons. Iverson’s crossovers and difficult shot-making inspired the likes of Kyrie Irving and Steph Curry to become what they are in today’s NBA and continue his legacy.
10. Dominique Wilkins (346)
Dominique Wilkins is one of the best athletes the league has ever seen. His aerial ability and electrifying dunks earned him the nickname “The Human Highlight Film.” He was one of the superstars in the NBA, and one of the greatest scorers in his generation.
9. Jerry West (350)
The Logo of the NBA, Jerry West, is one of the most respected basketball people in the World. He played 14 seasons for the Los Angeles Lakers in the 60s and 70s, averaging 27 points per game in his career. A born leader and one of the best basketball minds in the World.
8. Kevin Durant (358)
At seven feet and one of the best touches from the perimeter, Kevin Durant is of the best shooters to ever play the game. He combines impressive ball-handling skills, height and shooting touch that makes Durant the most-deadliest, unstoppable scorers… maybe ever. With a career average of 27.2 points per game and 350 games with 30 or more points (and counting), Kevin Durant will go down in history as the original unicorn.
7. Oscar Robertson (387)
Oscar Robertson is more known to the basketball World for his triple-doubles and overall basketball play than his scoring. However, the big O has averaged more than 30 points in 6 seasons of his career and an impressive 25.7 points for his entire career. Oscar is not only one of the greatest NBA players ever, but easily one of the best 15 of all-time.
6. Kareem Abdul-Jabar (429)
Kareem Abdul Jabbar played 18 seasons in his storied NBA career with a career-scoring average of 24.3 points. His signature move, the sky hook, remains the most un-guardable shot in NBA history.
5. Kobe Bryant (431)
Fadeaways, buzz-beaters, breathtaking dunks, an 81-point game — these are only a part of the legacy of Kobe Bryant. He had an answer for every difficult situation and was one of the best shot-creators and shot-makers ever. With a career average of 25 points per game, Kobe Bryant goes down in history as one of the greatest scorers and players ever.
4. Karl Malone (435)
A true warrior, a pick-and-roll maestro, and a real leader on the basketball court, Karl Malone is one of the best power forwards to ever play the game. He put the Utah Jazz on the World’s basketball stage. In his outstanding career, he averaged 24.7 points a game.
3. Wilt Chamberlain (516)
An imposing figure, Wilt Chamberlain, is the only player in NBA history to ever score 100 points in a game. He holds many absurd NBA records, and I am surprised to find him ranked at number 2. For his career, he averaged 30.1 points per game.
2. Lebron James (530)
A freak athlete with an out-of-this-world basketball intelligence, Lebron James is one of the best players to ever play the game. More known by his passing abilities, Lebron is one of the greatest scorers to ever touch a basketball as well, with an impressive career average of 27.1 points per game.
1. Michael Jordan (562)
While Wilt has more 40 point games than Jordan, somehow Mike has more 30 point games than Wilt. That consistency over the years, the NBA championships, and the way he changed the game is a few of the reasons why Jordan is considered the greatest player of all time. MJ was a freak of an athlete with exceptional fundamentals, balance, competitiveness and agility.
Jordan was successfully at every stage of his career. Even when his scoring dipped his last couple seasons in the league, he still has an career average of 30.1 points per game. Unfathomable.