Anybody can score, but how many players can do it efficiently? I mean, if you’re an NBA player and you take 15-20 shots, you’re likely to score at least 10 points. In fact, even some of the best scorers ever have off nights and manage to put up 25+ points but need 20+ shots to do it.
That’s what makes some of the greatest scorers ever so good. They stand out from the rest of the pack because they don’t need to take that many shots to score a bunch load of points, and making the most of every possession is a must if you want to win basketball games.
Not many players could put up 40 points in the NBA, let alone do it efficiently. That’s why today, we’re going to honor some of the best to ever do it, by letting you know about the top 5 players with the most 40+ point games with 50/40/90 shooting splits (50% from the floor, 40% from three, and 90% from the free-throw line).
5. Kevin Durant – 21
Well, once it’s all said and done, it’s pretty normal to think that Kevin Durant will sit at the top of this list. Durant is the ultimate cheat code and the fact that he’s such a great shooter and ball-handler despite being a seven-footer is just unfair to the rest of the league.
Kevin Durant is one of the few members of the exclusive 50/40/90 club, meaning he kept up those averages throughout a full season. We know Durant could score 40 points on a nightly basis if that were his mindset, that’s for sure.
4. Larry Bird – 23
Larry Bird just doesn’t get enough credit nowadays. He was considered the greatest small forward of all time before LeBron James came around and for very good reasons. When it came to an efficient scorer, perhaps no one did it better than him.
A multiple-time member of the 50/40/90 club, Larry Bird was such an incredible scorer that he even ‘saved’ his right (dominant) hand for the Lakers and still put up a 47-point triple-double. His game was perfectly suited for the modern NBA.
3. James Harden – 26
James Harden isn’t exactly the most efficient scorer you’ll see. If anything, he’ll find multiple ways to send the rock through the net, regardless if it comes from crazy step-back, fadeaway three-pointers, or if he has to go to the line 20 times.
Harden is one of the most unstoppable scoring forces to ever do it. Once he gets going, there’s just no stopping him. Ever. So, on those days that his shot starts falling more often, he can put up 40 or 50 in limited attempts from the floor with ease.
2. Michael Jordan – 28
No list of top-scorers is ever complete without the greatest scorer – and perhaps player – of all time. The one and only Michael Jeffrey Jordan, the guy who still holds the record for the highest points-per-game average in the history of the Association (30.17).
Some people argue that Jordan wouldn’t fare that well nowadays because he never relied on the three-pointer as a weapon. He barely took threes and was somewhat efficient from beyond the arc, but if you let him catch fire, he could turn into Ray Allen from deep all of a sudden.
1. Stephen Curry – 29
Stephen Curry is one of the league’s finest entertainers. Ever. I mean, he’s one of those few players that is always must-watch television because you never know when he’s going to go off and just torch his rivals from everywhere on the court.
Curry has limitless range but perhaps the most impressive thing about his game is the fact that he’s such an efficient scorer. He’s taken more threes than entire teams over a full season, yet he’s also a member of the 50/40/90 club. A lot of players can shoot from the logo, but just Steph can score 40+ as efficiently as he does.