NBA single-game scoring reaches new heights in 2022-23 season


It's safe to say we may never see an NBA player surpass Wilt Chamberlain's legendary 100-point scoring performance. Chamberlain is still sitting pretty at the top with the single-game scoring record after leading the Philadelphia Warriors to victory over the New York Knicks on March 2, 1962.

The only player that has even come close to Chamberlain’s record in the last six decades of NBA history is Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant, who scored 81 points on Jan. 22, 2006, in a 122-104 win against the Toronto Raptors. 

While the 100-point plateau has been hard to reach, there has been no lack of high-scoring single-game performances in recent basketball history as players have begun to lean on the 3-point shot more and more. 

This season is no different – as of March 21, there have been 23 games in the 2022-23 NBA season where players have scored 50 points or more.

Here's a look at the NBA stars who have scored 50-plus points in a single game this season, in descending order from the highest total:

T-1. Damian Lillard (71) - Feb. 27, 2023 

Damian Lillard erupted for 71 points against the Houston Rockets on Feb. 27, making it a career-best for the Portland Trail Blazers star guard. Lillard became the eighth player in NBA history to score 70 points in a game and at 32 years old, he became the oldest player in league history with a 70-point game.

After scoring 41 in the first half, he finished the night shooting 22 of 38 from the field and made a franchise-best 13 3-pointers while playing 39 minutes.

T-1. Donovan Mitchell (71) - Jan. 2, 2023 

Donovan Mitchell scored 71 points -- the highest single-game total since Bryant’s 81 -- when the Cleveland Cavaliers defeated the Chicago Bulls 145-134 in overtime on Jan. 2. Mitchell put the fans – and the league – on such high notice that Mitchell found himself on the receiving end of a random performance-enhancing drug test.

T-3. Luka Doncic (60) - Dec. 27, 2022

Luka Doncic is no stranger to high-scoring games. And, after the European star stated that it’s easier to score in the NBA than the EuroLeague, it’s no shock that he continues to rake in points. He did just that when he scored 60 points in the Dallas Mavericks’ 126-121 victory against the Knicks in December.

T-3. Damian Lillard (60) – Jan. 25, 2023

Less than two weeks after scoring 50 points and a month before scoring 71, Lillard dropped 60 in a win over the Utah Jazz. He was masterful shooting the ball, burying 21 of 29 field goals, 9 of 15 3-pointers and 9 of 10 free throws in 40 minutes.

5. Joel Embiid (59) – Nov. 13, 2022

The Philadelphia 76ers star center scored a career-high 59 points as he led the Sixers to a 105-98 win over the Jazz in November. It also marked the fifth-highest-scoring game in 76ers history, trailing performances by Chamberlain (68, 65, 62) and Allen Iverson (60).

6. Devin Booker (58) – Dec. 17, 2022

Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker dropped 58 points in the team's comeback win over the New Orleans Pelicans in December. It was Booker’s third-most scored points in his career and the fifth 50-point game of his career. He also became the youngest player to record five 50-point games since Bryant. 

7. Julius Randle (57) – March 20, 2023

Julius Randle approached Carmelo Anthony’s Madison Square Garden scoring record when he posted 51 points in just three quarters against the Minnesota Timberwolves. He got all the way up to 57, but he fell five points shy of Melo’s mark as the Knicks lost 140-134.

T-8. Giannis Antetokounmpo (55) – Jan. 3, 2023

Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo scored a career-high 55 points as he led the Bucks to a thrilling 123-113 win over the Washington Wizards on Jan. 3. This marked the third straight game in which the two-time league MVP collected at least 40 points, 10 rebounds and five assists. 

T-8. Anthony Davis (55) – Dec. 4, 2022

Lakers big man Anthony Davis poured in 55 points in his team’s 130-119 win over the Wizards. The 55-point performance marked the fifth 50-point performance of Davis’ career and his first since 2019.

T-10. Klay Thompson (54) – Jan. 2, 2023

Klay Thompson dropped 54 points in the Warriors’ thrilling, and high scoring, 143-141 double-overtime win over the Atlanta Hawks in January. Thompson went 21 of 39 from the field and 10 of 21 from 3-point range. 

T-10. Giannis Antetokounmpo (54) – Feb. 2, 2023

The Greek Freak continued his January tear into February. Antetokounmpo eclipsed 50 points for the third time in an 11-game stretch with a 54-point onslaught against the Clippers. The Bucks needed every bit of it, too, as they eked out a 106-105 comeback win.

T-12. Joel Embiid (53) – Dec. 11, 2022

Embiid scored 53 points as he led the Sixers to a dominant 131-113 win over the Charlotte Hornets. Embiid shot 20 of 32 from the field and added 12 rebounds in only 34 minutes on the night. This was just the 22nd time in the last decade that a player scored 50 points playing fewer than 35 minutes. 

T-12. Luka Doncic (53) – Jan. 30, 2023

Doncic put the Mavs on his back in a home win over the Detroit Pistons, nearly scoring half of his team’s points in a 111-106 victory. After dropping 53 points on 17 of 24 shooting to go along with eight rebounds and five assists, Doncic summed up his performance by saying “I ain’t scared.”

T-14. Pascal Siakam (52) – Dec. 21, 2022

Toronto Raptors forward Pascal Siakam scored a career-high 52 points in the Raptors’ 113-106 win over the Knicks on Dec. 21. Siakam became the fifth player in franchise history to score 50 or more points in a game during the win. 

T-14. Joel Embiid (52) – April 4, 2023

The 76ers beat the Celtics 103-101, and Embiid was responsible for 52 of those. He converted 20-for-25 shots to go with 13 rebounds and six assists to continue to heat up the MVP race.

T-16. Jayson Tatum (51) – Jan. 16, 2023

Jayson Tatum joined this season’s 50-point club on Jan. 16 during a matinee Boston Celtics victory over the Hornets. It was the seventh 50-point game of his career as he tallied 51 points on 15 of 23 shooting with seven 3-pointers.

T-16. Luka Doncic (51) – Dec. 31, 2022

Luka picked up 51 points in the Mavs’ 126-125 nail-biting win over the San Antonio Spurs on New Year’s Eve. Doncic made 18 of 29 shots from the field and added nine assists and six rebounds in 37 minutes and 14 seconds of playtime. 

T-16. Devin Booker (51) – Nov. 30, 2022

Booker scored 51 points in the team’s 132-113 victory over the Bulls. Booker scored 25 points in the first half and then followed up with 26 points in the third quarter of the game. 

T-16. Darius Garland (51) – Nov. 13, 2022

Cleveland Cavaliers guard Darius Garland scored a career-high 51 points in the team’s 129-124 loss to the Timberwolves. The performance was impressive as Garland dropped 27 points in the fourth quarter.

T-16. Jrue Holiday (51) - March 29, 2023

Holiday dropped a career-high 51 points as the Bucks topped the Pacers 149-136 in Indiana. The guard shot 20-for-30 overall (3-for-6 3P) and converted 8 of 10 at the foul line to go with eight rebounds and eight assists.  

T-21. Damian Lillard (50) – Jan. 12, 2023

Lillard had dropped a then-season-high 50 points against the Cavs on Jan. 12. But it wasn't enough for the Blazers, who lost their fifth straight in the 119-113 defeat. Lillard went 16 of 28 from the floor and was 13 of 15 from the free throw line.

T-21. Luka Doncic (50) – Dec. 23, 2022

Luka Doncic notched 50 points on 30 shots for the Mavs in the team’s 112-106 victory over the Rockets. Doncic joined the legendary Dirk Nowitzki as the only two Mavs players to record multiple 50-point games.

T-21. Giannis Antetokounmpo (50) – Jan. 29, 2023

Antetokounmpo scored 50 points in a 135-110 win over the Pelicans. He also added 13 rebounds on 20 of 26 shooting in just 30 minutes of action from the floor. This performance marked the fifth 50-point regular-season game of Antetokounmpo's career and his second during the month of January.

T-21. Stephen Curry (50) – Nov. 16, 2022

Warriors All-Star guard Steph Curry is no stranger to dropping buckets and he did that in his 50-point performance against the Suns. But it wouldn't be enough as the team fell to Phoenix 130-119.

T-21. Stephen Curry (50) – March 15, 2022

For the second time this season, Curry dropped 50 points in a Warriors loss. The second one came against the Clippers on March 15 as he hit 20 of 28 shots, including eight 3-pointers, in the 134-126 defeat.

Who scored 100 points in a single NBA game?

Wilt Chamberlain, as aforementioned, set the single-game scoring record with a whopping 100 points after leading the Warriors to victory over the Knicks on March 2, 1962. 

What is Michael Jordan's record for points scored in a single game?

Michael Jordan scored his most points in a game against the Cavaliers on March 28, 1990, with 69 points.

Who scored 70 points in an NBA game this season?

Donovan Mitchell and Damian Lillard each have a 71-point game in 2022-23, leading the NBA for the most points scored in a game this season.

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