NBA Finals

Top 10 single-game scoring performances in Finals history

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.

No. 1: 61- Elgin Baylor (Game 5, 1962)

Result: 126-121, W

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.

T-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.

T-2: 55 - 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 five 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.

No. 4: 53 - Jerry West (Game 1, 1969)

Result: 120-118, W

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 to date to win a Finals MVP award from the losing side.

No. 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, 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.

T-6: 50 - Bob Pettit (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 Pettit and the St. Louis Hawks.

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

T-6: 50 - Giannis Antetokounmpo (Game 6, 2021)

Result: 105-98, W

Antetokounmpo saved his best for last, exploding for 50 points on 16-for-25 shooting in Game 6 of the 2021 NBA Finals to lead the Bucks to their first championship in 50 years. The two-time MVP also had 14 rebounds and five blocks in the title-clinching game.

Antetokounmpo made some more history in the process.

No. 8: 48 - Allen Iverson (Game 1, 2001)

Result: 107-101, W (OT)

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

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 six assists, five rebounds and five steals, en route to leading the 76ers to the overtime upset win.

No. 9: 47 - Stephen Curry (Game 3, 2019)

Result: 123-109, L

It was a short-handed 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.

No. 10: 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 FGs).

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

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