The league is all about scoring right now. However, there have always been fierce scorers that almost single-handedly carry their team’s offensive loads.
The only difference is that it’s more common to see players averaging 30+ points per game and logging triple-doubles nowadays because of the fast-paced offense and the more three-point shots.
Still, a handful of players have completely dominated the offense throughout these past two decades, averaging way more points per game than the average superstar. Today, we’ll let you know everything about those players:
10. LeBron James – 31.4 PPG (2005-06)
If you’d ask me to describe LeBron James’ career in just one word, I’d probably say consistency. However, he had a breakout year during his third season that really put the world on notice about his true skills and domination.
Bron averaged 31.4 points per game with a 52-point performance and led the Cleveland Cavaliers to the playoffs for the first time on his career thanks to a 50-32 record. They clinched the 4th spot in the Western Conference, but the Detroit Pistons beat them 4-2 in the second round.
9. Allen Iverson – 31.4 PPG (2001-02)
Allen Iverson was already a superstar back in 2002, when he won his third scoring title in just six seasons in the NBA and led the Philadelphia 76ers to a 43-39 record despite their lack of depth and other stars.
Iverson was an unstoppable force in the offensive end. He embarrassed defenders with his crossover and quick-trigger night in and night out. However, he struggled to get by with little-to-none help and couldn’t get past the Boston Celtics, who beat them in the first round of the playoffs.
8. Kobe Bryant – 31.6 PPG (2006-07)
Kobe Bryant was coming off a scoring title last year, but he was still on a mission during the 2006-07 campaign. With a better team but still lacking a true supporting cast, he had to do it all by himself if he wanted to take the Lakers back to the top of the world. That year, he scored 50+ points on 4 straight games.
Bryant, however, wasn’t able to single-handedly get past the almighty Steve Nash Phoenix Suns, who beat them 4-1 in the first round. Luckily for him and the Lakers, that loss was a breaking point that led to them trading for Pau Gasol next season.
7. Russell Westbrook – 31.6 PPG (2016-17)
Kevin Durant left the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2016, so Russell Westbrook had to do it all next season if they wanted to keep their hopes alive. Needless to say, he embraced his role at the fullest and ended up winning the scoring title and averaging a triple-double for the season.
He even broke Oscar Robertson’s record for most triple-doubles on a season with 42 and scored a season-high 58 points. Still, James Harden and the Houston Rockets were just too much to handle for him and the Thunder, beating them in 5 games in the first round of the playoffs.
6. Kevin Durant – 32.0 PPG (2013-14)
Ever since he made it to the league Durant was a walking bucket. However, 2013-14 was when he was truly at his peak, and the last time he won the scoring title. Led by Durant, the Thunder clinched the 2nd seed in the Western Conference and looked like a prime candidate to win it all that season.
However, Durant, Westbrook, and Ibaka couldn’t get the job done in the playoffs and ended up losing 4-2 in the Western Conference Finals at the hands of the San Antonio Spurs, which ended up winning the NBA Championship vs. the Miami Heat.
5. Tracy McGrady – 32.1 PPG (2002-03)
Tracy McGrady is one of the most unstoppable offensive forces to ever set foot on an NBA hardwood. However, his lack of playoff success and injury proneness took a toll on his legacy, but there was a time when he was the league’s deadliest scorer and it wasn’t even close.
T-Mac won his first of back-to-back scoring titles in 2003 when he was playing for the Magic. Still, his team finished with an average 42-40 record and they lost to the Detroit Pistons in the first round of the playoffs, despite him averaging 31.7 points on that series and a 46-point performance.
4. Allen Iverson – 33.0 PPG (2005-06)
The 2005-06 season was quite frustrating for Allen Iverson and the Philadelphia 76ers. Not only he didn’t win the scoring title despite his 33.0 points per game, but his team didn’t even make the playoffs this time.
The Sixers finished with a mediocre 34-88 record and the 9th seed in the Eastern Conference and it was the beginning of the end for Iverson. That’ll be his final full season at Philadelphia before being traded to the Denver Nuggets.
3. James Harden – 34.4 PPG (2019-20)
It seems like we’re just taking James Harden for granted. I mean, we’re so used to him scoring 30+ points per game that we don’t seem that impressed anymore. However, it should be duly noted that he’s the most unstoppable scorer the league has seen in years.
Harden is averaging 34.4 points per game on 43% shooting while going to the line 11.8 times a game. He’s got a 61.6% true shooting percentage and just keeps on creating crafty moves to draw contact and bend the rules on his favor. Show him some respect.
2. Kobe Bryant – 35.4 PPG (2005-06)
Kobe Bryant was determined to prove that the Lakers were his team and he didn’t need Shaquille O’Neal to get things done. He played with a chip on his shoulder all year long but other than Andrew Bynum and Lamar Odom, he didn’t have much help.
So, Bryant ended up winning his first scoring title and even recorded his legendary 81-point performance vs. the Toronto Raptors. Still, Mike D’Antoni’s Suns got the best of him in the first round of the playoffs, although it took them seven games to get past them.
1. James Harden – 36.1 PPG (2018-19)
James Harden had a pretty strong argument for being the MVP last season. He led the Rockets to a 53-29 record despite most of his teammates being injured throughout the season and put together one of the most impressive scoring streaks in the history of the game.
Harden averaged 41.1 points per game during a 32-game run, scoring at least 30 points per game in the meantime. Also, he took the Rockets from 14 to 4th with a 21-11 record over that span. Still, they fell again at the hands of the Golden State Warriors, this time in the Western Conference Semifinals.