NBA

Which current NBA player is most likely to challenge Wilt Chamberlain's single-game scoring record of 100 points?

On March 2, 1962, Wilt Chamberlain set an NBA record that may never be touched, scoring 100 points in a single game.

It has been 59 years to the date since that moment, and no player has really even challenged that milestone.

Kobe Bryant came somewhat close in 2006 when he scored 81 points against the Toronto Raptors, the second-most points ever in an NBA game. The next closest after that are David Thompson (73 points in 1978) and Elgin Baylor (71 points in 1960).

The only other player that has even crossed that 70-point threshold is Phoenix Suns All-Star Devin Booker, who put up 70 on the Boston Celtics back in 2017.

So while it's extremely unlikely that Chamberlain's record ever gets broken, it's fun to imagine, isn't it?

Our NBA.com Staff discusses which current player we believe has a chance to rewrite scoring history.

Kyle Irving (@KyleIrv_): Give me Damian Lillard.

While his current career-high is 61 points - which he notched on two separate occasions last season - I truly feel like if a player in today's game were to catch fire to the point that they're flirting with dropping 100, it's going to be Lillard. While Stephen Curry is, of course, another player that comes to mind in that sense, Lillard just feels like the right answer to me.

When it's Dame Time, the All-Star guard has a tendency to get into this rhythm where he simply cannot miss. It would certainly take some record book collateral damage, meaning Lillard would have to also break Klay Thompson's single-game 3-point record of 14 3s in the same night.

The willingness to jack up as many 3s as possible with the greenest of green lights in terms of shot attempts, who's to say Lillard can't get a gamebreaker and bury 20 3s in a game and flirt with Wilt's record?

I'd like to see him try, that's for sure.

Scott Rafferty (@crabdribbles): Lillard is a good one, but Luka Doncic sticks out in my mind.

There's a chance that Doncic is too unselfish of a player to ever come close to scoring 100 points in a single game, but to flirt with Chamberlain's record, you have to be a versatile scorer and one who can heat up in a hurry.

Doncic checks both boxes.

Not only is he one of the league's best finishers around the basket, he's a knockdown midrange shooter and is more than capable of creating his own shot from the perimeter. Sure, he's not as accurate of a 3-point shooter as you'd expect given how many he jacks up from there, but he's proven that he can get hot from 3-point range.

And when he does, there's almost nothing that can be done to slow him down.

Additionally, Doncic is one of the league's best at drawing fouls. He's actually getting to the line less this season than he was last season, and yet there's still only five players currently averaging more free throws per game than him. Already at the age of 22, he has all the tricks of the trade.

The way I like to think about it is the easiest way for someone to score 100 points in today's NBA would be something along the lines of making 10 3-pointers, 20 2-pointers and 30 free throws. Absurd as that would be, there aren't many players who I think could do something like that, but Doncic is one of them.

Yash Matange (@yashmatange2694): I'm going with the active player who came closest to Wilt Chamberlain's record - Devin Booker.

He's just 24 years old and has already scored 50 or more thrice in his career - all in losses. Two of those came in back-to-back games, making him the youngest ever to do so.

However, things are changing in Phoenix with the arrival of Chris Paul and the veteran has made it clear that Booker is the engine of the team's offense.

The composition of the team's roster around Booker for the 2020-21 season, also includes players that would be more of a threat rather than ones who would keep the ball away from him. So, more competitive games could mean more open, cleaner and better touches for Booker, which could mean more points.

When he gets hot, he can be unstoppable. In 2018, en route to winning the JBL Three-Point Contest, he set a round record of 28 points.

So watch out for this young gun!

BenyamKidane (BenyamKidane): He might be more of a playmaker now, but James Harden is still a bucket.

Harden has settled into the point guard role in Brooklyn with seamless ease, but let's not forget he is still one of the best scorers in the NBA of all-time.

He's led the league in scoring three times and has the most 50-point performances (23) and 60-point performances (4) among active players, with his 61-point effort against the Atlanta Hawks in 2019 coming in just 31 minutes.

Between his combination of 3-point scoring and his ability to get to the free-throw line, he can fill it up quick!

Playing alongside Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant doesn't lend itself to getting enough shots to score 100 points, but on the occasion the Nets' other two stars are out, if anyone's going to erupt for 100 points, it's The Beard.

The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA or its clubs.

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