It’s hard to say if this is going to be the first and last time LeBron James reaches 60 points in a game, but it’s rare for a player to do it more than once. Only four: Elgin Baylor, Kobe Bryant, Wilt Chamberlain and Michael Jordan have been able to do it.
This season alone we’ve had two players reach 60 points (James, Anthony) and there’s no doubt that Kevin Durant is quite capable of hitting that mark as well. But it takes a special set of circumstances to make it happen; something that might not be too common in today’s game.
Elgin Baylor – 4 Games
Elgin Baylor never won an NBA championship, having too many times of the Boston Celtics to play against in the NBA finals. But he might be the prototypical small forward, finishing his career averaging 27.4 points and 13.5 rebounds a game. He made the All-Star team 11 times and is a Hall of Famer & part of the NBA’s 50th Anniversary All-Time Team. His highest scoring game is 71 points, then the NBA record, coming after setting the record at 64. He also scored 61 points in the NBA finals (1962), still the highest scoring game ever in a Finals series.
Kobe Bryant – 5 Games
Kobe Bryant had five games of at least 60 points in a relatively short time span: All coming from 2006 to 2009, including his 81 points performance against the Toronto Raptors, which included him outscoring the Raptors 55-41 in the second half. He also had a 62-point game against the Mavs, sitting out the entire fourth quarter which probably hurt his numbers quite a bit. On March 22, 2007, he scored 60 points against the Grizzlies, the 3rd game of a four-game 50+ streak.
Michael Jordan – 5 Games
Michael Jordan’s highest scoring game is 69 points, in the regular season, tormenting the Cavs and especially Craig Ehlo, but his most famous 60-point game came in the playoffs. In 1986, after missing most of the season, the Bulls had to play the eventual champions Boston Celtics in the first round. Jordan scored 63 points that night, still a playoffs record. The game went into double overtime, and after it Larry Bird made his famous “God” quote about Jordan.
Wilt Chamberlain – 32 Games
And then there’s Wilt. A 4-time MVP, 7-time scoring champion and obviously hall of famer & part of the 50 selection. He has the famous 100-points game, which wasn’t televised. He scored 59 points in the second half and was the last in a streak of four consecutive games of 60 points or more. He is the only player with multiple games of 70 points or more, passing that mark six times. He had a streak of seven consecutive games of more than 50 points when he scored 60 for the Warriors in 61, which also part of 14 games with 40 points or more. He made 60 for the last time in 1969, playing for the Lakers, reaching it at the age of 32 years and 162 days, a record. Of his 29 field goals, 22 were dunks.