As the 2010s draw to a close, it’s important to look back at the biggest moments of the decade. Which players shaped NBA basketball in the past 10 years? What miraculous performances were we able to witness?
While it’s impossible to compress all of these highlights into one singular list, we know a good place to start.
Often, only the NBA’s most elite stars can put up 40 and 50 point games. Those performances are rare and quite special, even in today’s fast-paced, three-point heavy playstyle.
So what about 60? Since there has only been a handful of players in the past decade to post 60+ point games, we thought it’d be fun to look back on those performances and celebrate the greatness it took to post them. So, buckle-up as we take a look at the NBA decade 60-point club.
Devin Booker deserves first-mention as a result of his miraculous 70-point performance on March 24, 2017. Pitted up against the Boston Celtics, Booker dropped 70-points, 8 rebounds, and 6 assists in 45 minutes of play, going 21-40 from the field and 24/26 at the line. The Suns took the loss in the end, but Booker did make history as the only Suns player to ever reach the 70-point mark.
Carmelo Anthony may be a victim of Father Time now, but there was a time when he was considered the best scorer in the NBA. He helped make that point in a game against the Hornets on January 24, 2014. He dropped a whopping 62 points in the Knicks’ 125-96 win. Going 23-for-35, 6-for-11 on three-pointers and 10-for-10 from the foul line, he set the franchise and MSG scoring record for points in a game.
James Harden is not only one of the greatest scorers of this generation, but he may also be one of the greatest scorers of All-Time. As the lone member to have 4 60-point games this decade alone, his ability to put the ball in the hoop cannot be denied. His first came in the 201-18 season when he dropped 60 in a win against the Orlando Magic. His second came against the Knicks the next season when he dropped 61 in a win. Two-month slater, he dropped 61 again in a March win against the Spurs. His latest, and arguably most impressive performance, was this season against the Hawks when Harden dropped 60 in three-quarters in a blowout win.
No list in this decade would be complete without LeBron James. As one of the all-time greats, it shouldn’t be surprising to find him here. Back in the 2013-14 season, his last with the Heat, a masked Bron dropped a career-high 61-points vs the Bobcats on March 3rd. Of course, the Heat went on to win that game, with the King going 22-33 from the field, 8-10 from beyond the arc, and 9-12 at the line.
Kobe Bean Bryant is one of the most beloved players in NBA history. He’s also one of the best. And although he’s no longer an active NBA player, he still made his mark on the decade. After torching the league for 20 long years, he went out with a bang on April 13, 2016. In his last game as a pro, he dropped 60-points against the Utah Jazz, leading the lowly Lakers to a win, going 22-50 from the field, 10-12 from the line, and 6-21 from three.
Damian Lillard likely isn’t the first name that comes to mind when talking about the biggest stars of the decade. But perhaps it’s one that should. Very little guards in the league have Dame’s wide-range of scoring capabilities, and he proved it on a November 8th game against the Brooklyn Nets this season. Although the Blazers walked away with a loss, he kept the game close, putting the team on his back to drop a career-high 60-points on 57% shooting.
Without Klay Thompson on the floor, the Warriors are struggling to keep their heads above the water. Consider his track record of scoring, it’s easy to see why. Amongst a host of other insane scoring performances is his career-high 60-pointer against the Pacers in 2016. He shot 63% from the field (in just 11 dribbles) and made 8 out of his 14 3-pointers, resulting in a Warriors’ win over Indiana.
Kemba Walker may not be the All-Time greatest player ever, but he certainly has a case for being the best Charlotte player ever. In 8 seasons with the Hornets (formerly known as the Bobcats), Walker put on a number of dominating scoring displays. On November 17, 2018, he had his best game as a pro to date, dropping 60-points in 45 minutes on 61/42/100 shooting splits. Unfortunately, the Hornets lost in overtime to the 76ers and Walker left the team the following season.