Are you wondering who scored the most points in an NBA Finals game? Let’s talk about it!
In basketball, there are a lot of ways to make an impact. You can be a big-man who blocks shots and grabs rebounds, or a guard who dishes out assists. Sometimes we see a player who has all the tools to dominate all aspects of the game putting up triple doubles.
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The NBAs biggest stage is undeniably the NBA Finals, the annual championship round matching up the best of the West and the beast of the East. There have been some incredible performances with banners and rings on the line throughout the years. These are the five players with the most points in an NBA finals game.
<code><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/wZGoPMC5zI4" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>","hed1. Elgin Baylor: 61 Points</code>
- Date: 04/14/62
- Statline: 61 points, 22 rebounds, 1 assists
- Final Score: Lakers 126 – Celtics 121
No player in NBA Finals history has scored more in a single game than Los Angeles Lakers great Elgin Baylor, one of the NBA’s most important figures. He helped create a fierce rivalry between the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics across the 60s.
In 1971, Baylor suffered a ruptured Achilles and retired nine games into the 1972-1973 season. What may be most unfortunate is that the Lakers went on to win the title that year, but Baylor did not qualify as being part of the championship team because he did not meet the games played threshold. He technically may not have retired a champion, but he did retire as a basketball legend.
<code><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/-INC7JOQ9mY" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>","hed2. Michael Jordan: 55 Points</code>
- Date: 06/16/93
- Statline: 55 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists
- Final Score: Bulls 111 – Suns 105
Heading into the 1993 NBA Finals, Michael Jordan had already ascended into basketball immortality, leading the Bulls to back-t0-back titles in 1991 and 1992. Claiming the three-peat would put him in a whole new stratosphere and he faced off against the loud-mouth, trash talking Charles Barkley.
Barkley clearly did something to get under Michael’s skin because in game four, he went full flight and dropped the second most Finals points ever. What’s incredible about this performance is how effortlessly Jordan got to his spots. The most simple hop-step and shimmy got Jordan just enough space to knock down those lethal mid-range jumpers. If anybody wants evidence why Jordan is the GOAT, just pull the tape from this game.
<code><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/EU9DkLO1xEY" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>","hed3. Rick Barry: 55 Points</code>
- Date: 04/18/67
- Statline: 55 points, 12 rebounds, 5 assists
- Final Score: Warriors 130 – 76ers 124
Rick Barry scored 55 points in Game 3 of the 1967 NBA Finals. At the time, he was playing for the San Francisco Warriors, who were facing off against the Philadelphia 76ers. Despite Barry’s impressive performance, the Warriors lost the game 125-122.
Nonetheless, Barry’s 55-point game remains one of the greatest individual performances in NBA Finals history. Barry soon left the NBA for the rapidly expanded ABA, which wound up merging back with the NBA shortly afterwards.
<code><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/fzWGnA4Ll-0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>","hed4. Jerry West: 53 Points</code>
- Date: 04/23/69
- Statline: 53 points, 3 rebounds, 10 assists
- Final Score: Lakers 120 – Celtics 118
Jerry West is one of the greatest basketball minds ever, but he was constantly tormented throughout his career. He willed his Lakers to the Finals nine times in fourteen seasons, but lost on eight of those trips.
In game 1 of the 1969 Finals, West exploded for 53 points and a Lakers win. The series went back-and-forth before reaching a pivotal game seven which was played in Los Angeles. The Celtics emerged victorious and despite losing, Jerry West was awarded the leagues first ever NBA Finals MVP (still the only player on a losing team to win the award).
<code><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/RgB5Ub1GNUU" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>","hed5. LeBron James: 51 Points</code>
- Date: 05/31/18
- Statline: 51 points, 8 rebounds, 8 assists
- Final Score: Warriors 124 – Cavaliers 114
LeBron James scored 51 points in Game 1 of the 2018 NBA Finals. At the time, he was playing for the Cleveland Cavaliers, who were facing off against the Golden State Warriors. James’ impressive performance helped keep the game close, but the Cavaliers ultimately lost 124-114 in overtime.
Despite the loss and James’ 51-point performance, this game is largely remembered for a last second rebound by J.R. Smith who dribble out the clock instead of attempting a game winning shot. The Warriors closed out the game and went on to sweep the Cavaliers 4-0.