The 12 players that scored the most points in an NBA Finals game

The NBA Finals is the peak of competition and intensity in professional basketball. No matter the sport, the pressure and intensity that surrounds any championship series can be overwhelming. Every play or movement is scrutinized, so much that any player can be famous or infamous for one great play or a miscue (whoops, J.R. Smith).

During the regular season you’ll definitely see a few games a season where players score 50+ points in a game, but during the NBA championship series? Not likely and not supposed to happen. Thirty points happens, yes, as the superstars step up. However, with so much focus, planning, familiarity and defense on the opponent’s superstar, it’s rare that they can get going so the level that they score 50 points (or more).

To see the most points scored in an NBA Playoff game, click here.

Of course, it’s happened in the decades the league has been around. Here’s a list of the players that have scored the most points in the NBA Finals game is an exclusive club with no surprises whatsoever.

Players to Score the Most Points in an NBA Finals Game
Player Points Team Finals Game   Opponent Date
Elgin Baylor 61 Los Angeles Lakers Game 5 Boston Celtics 04/16/1962
Michael Jordan 55 Chicago Bulls Game 4 Phoenix Suns 06/16/1993
Rick Barry 55 Golden St. Warriors Game 3 Philadelphia 76ers 04/18/1967
Jerry West 53 Los Angeles Lakers Game 1 Boston Celtics 04/23/1969
LeBron James 51 Cleveland Cavaliers Game 1 Golden St. Warriors 05/31/2018
Bob Pettit 50 St. Louis Hawks Game 6 Boston Celtics 04/12/1958
Allen Iverson 48 Philadelphia 76ers Game 1 L.A. Lakers 06/06/2001
Stephen Curry 47 Golden State Warriors Game 3 Toronto Raptors 06/05/2019
Michael Jordan 45 Chicago Bulls Game 5 Portland Blazers 06/12/1992
Jerry West 45 L.A. Lakers Game Boston Celtics 04/19/1965
Jerry West 45 L.A. Lakers Game Boston Celtics 04/22/1966
Wilt Chamberlain 45 L.A. Lakers Game 6 New York Knicks 05/06/1970
Michael Jordan 45 Chicago Bulls Game 6 Utah Jazz 06/14/1998

The list above is obviously for individual game accomplishments, so if you’re interested in seeing the NBA Final’s all-time leading scorers (total points) — go here.

Elgin Baylor leads the list and the only player to have scored more than 60 points in an NBA championship game when he went off for 61 points (without a three point line, mind you) for the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 5 of the 1962 Finals against the Boston Celtics. That Boston team coached by Red Auerbach and led by Bill Russell, Sam Jones and Bob Cousy, would end up winning the that series 4-3 in seven games.

Jerry West (the Logo) and Michael Jordan (the Brand) make up half the list of the twelve players. No one else on the list appears more than once.

On this shortlist of great players and greater performances, LeBron is the only player to have lost an NBA Finals game after scoring as much as he did in game 1 of the 2018 NBA Finals. No hate on LeBron, if you watched the game, the King played nearly a perfect game over matching whoever was defending him — it was a lack of assistance, shot making and focus by many of his teammates.

Leave a Reply