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NBA Finals

NBA Finals 2019: Top 10 single-game scoring performances in Finals history

LeBron James, Michael Jordan, and Jerry West
(NBA Getty Images)

The NBA Finals is the grandest stage the game has to offer and we have witnessed numerous unforgettable scoring performances.

Take a look back at the 10 highest-scoring games in NBA Finals history.

#1 61- Elgin Baylor [Game 5, 1962]

Result: 126-121, W

Elgin Baylor holds the record for the most points scored in a single Finals game.

He dropped 61 points and grabbed 22 rebounds while playing all 48 minutes of the game.

Baylor's historic performance gave the Lakers a 3-2 series lead but the Celtics rallied to win the next two games and thus the 1962 NBA Championship.

#2 55 - Michael Jordan [Game 4, 1993]

Result: 111-105, W

In a rare occurrence, the 1993 NBA Finals began with the road team winning the first three games of the series. Leading the series 2-1, the Bulls rode a 55-point performance by Jordan to overcome a triple-double by Charles Barkley in Game 4 to take a 3-1 series lead.

Jordan and the Bulls went on to win the 1993 Finals, clinching their third championship in franchise history with a three-peat.

Rick Barry [Game 3, 1967]

Result: 130-124, W

After the Philadelphia 76ers raced to a 2-0 series lead, Rick Barry helped the San Francisco Warriors pull a game back. Going off for 55 points, 12 rebounds, and 5 assists, Barry led the Warriors to a narrow five-point Game 3 win.

The Warriors would go on to lose the 1967 Finals in six games.

#4 - 53 - Jerry West [Game 1, 1969]

Result: 120-118, W

Jerry West began his historic 1969 NBA Finals with a Finals career-high 53 points.

He also finished Game 1 with 10 assists and three rebounds on 21-of-41 shooting from the field, leading the Lakers to a Game 1 win.

West went on to average 37.9 points, 7.4 assists and 4.7 rebounds over the 7-game series which the Lakers lost.

For his spectacular series, he received the first-ever Finals MVP award, becoming the first and only player till date to win a Finals MVP award from the losing side.

#5 51 - LeBron James [Game 1, 2018]

Result: 124-114, L [OT]

Going up against the star-studded defending champions in the Golden State Warriors, LeBron James put up a performance for the ages.

Recording eight rebounds and eight assists along with his Finals career-high 51 points (19-32 FGs), James ensured Game 1 would need an extra five minutes of play to determine a winner.

Tied at 107 at the end of regulation, James' superhuman effort went in vain as the Cavaliers were outscored 17-7 in the overtime period to lose Game 1.

The Warriors would go on to sweep the James and the Cavaliers in the 2018 Finals for the sixth championship in franchise history.

#6 50 - Bob Petit [Game 6, 1958]

Result: 110-109, W

From 1957 to 1969, the Boston Celtics won 11 out of a possible 13 NBA titles and lost just once in the Finals.

That loss came in 1958 at the hands of Bob Petit and the St. Louis Hawks.

Petit erupted for 50 points, while also grabbing 19 rebounds in the championship-clinching Game 6 win.

#7 48 - Allen Iverson [Game 1, 2001]

Result: 107-101, W [OT]

While a majority of the performances on this list came in victories, this performance by Allen Iverson might be among the most historic victories on this list.

Iverson and the Philadelphia 76ers didn't end up winning the 2001 NBA Finals, but their Game 1 win goes down in the history books as the only postseason loss suffered by the 2001 Los Angeles Lakers.

Heading into the 2001 NBA Finals, the Lakers, on a quest to repeat as Champions, had not lost a single game in the playoffs.

Playing 52 minutes of a possible 53, Iverson also recorded 6 assists, 5 rebounds and 5 steals, en route to leading the 76ers to the overtime upset win.

#8 47 - Stephen Curry [Game 3, 2019]

Result: 123-109, L

It was a shorthanded Golden State Warriors squad suiting up for this game. They were playing without Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson and Kevon Looney.

Right from the tip, Curry took charge. He scored 17 points in the first quarter and finished the game with 47, the second-most in Finals history in a loss.

In his 43 minutes on the court, the two-time MVP nearly registered a triple-double with eight rebounds and seven assists.

#9 46 - Michael Jordan [Game 5, 1992]

Result: 119-106, W

Jordan began the 1992 NBA Finals with the Shrug Game [39 points, 11 assists] against the Portland Trail Blazers and he came up huge once again.

In a pivotal Game 5 win, he delivered with a super-efficient 46 points (14-23 FG's).

#10 45 - Michael Jordan [Game 6, 1998]

Result: 87-86, W

What a way to sign-off!

In Jordan's final game with the Bulls, he knocked down the game-winner in the series-clinching Game 6 of the 1998 NBA Finals. The shot took him to 45 points for the night but more importantly, a second three-peat.

Wilt Chamberlain [Game 6, 1970]

Result: 135-113, W

In a must-win Game 6 of the 1970 Finals, Wilt Chamberlain exploded for a monster double-double of 45 points and 27 rebounds to help the Lakers force a Game 7.

In Game 7, the New York Knicks came out victorious and clinched the franchise's first-ever title.

Jerry West [Game 4, 1966 & Game 2, 1965]

Result: 117-122, L [Game 4, 1966]

Jerry West's 45 points were eventually inconsequential as the Boston Celtics won Game 4. Playing 47 minutes, West also recorded 10 assists and four rebounds.

The series did go to seven games but West could not overcome the tough hurdle that was the Celtics.

Result: 123-129, L [Game 2, 1965]

Another 40-plus point showing by West on the Finals stage but this one went in vain as well.

The Lakers lost Game 2 and lost the Finals in five games.

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