The NBA Finals is where good players turn into legends. It's the stage where not many guys can thrive and prove their worth, and it's also the place to build a legacy.
Throughout NBA history, some players have been completely unstoppable in the NBA Finals. And even though scoring a lot of points not always guarantees you a win, they still do whatever it takes to win.
Today, we're going to honor these incredible scorers by letting you know about the top 10 players with the most points scored in a Finals series.
T-10. Giannis Antetokounmpo - 35.2 PPG (2021)
Giannis Antetokounmpo is coming off one of the most incredible playoff performances of all time. Two weeks after his knee bent the wrong way, he put up 50 points and 5 blocks on a closeout game.
People were questioning Giannis' ability to thrive in the playoffs, going as far as to say that he had no bag or skills. He responded by completely dominating on both ends of the floor and leading the Bucks to their first ring in 50 years.
T-10. Kevin Durant - 35.2 PPG (2017)
A lot of people will always be petty towards Kevin Durant and his accomplishments. Some say that he's yet to win a 'real' ring because of the superteams he's played for but that's just false.
Durant was one of the main reasons why the Golden State Warriors won the title in 2017 and 2018, as you can tell by his insane 35.2 points per game average during the 2017 Finals.
9. Allen Iverson - 35.6 PPG (2001)
Allen Iverson might as well be the most talented player never to win a ring in NBA history. He did so much for the game and the culture and was just an unstoppable scorer from all three levels.
Iverson's crossovers, crafty moves, and unlimited resources weren't enough to get past Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O'Neal, and the Los Angeles Lakers, though; and he could never get back to the NBA Finals.
T-8. Michael Jordan - 35.8 PPG (1998)
Michael Jordan is the greatest performer in NBA Finals history. He was so good and incredibly dominant that he never even had to play a Game 7 to win any of his six NBA Championships.
Also, he holds the record for the highest points-per-game average in the playoffs (33.45) and is second all-time in points-per-game in the NBA Finals (33.60) to this isn't a surprise.
T-8 LeBron James - 35.8 PPG (2015)
LeBron James owns most of the playoff-related records and for very good reasons. Playing with him pretty much means that you're going to play in the NBA Finals, and he's given us some performances for the ages at that stage.
Peak Finals LeBron came during his three-year stint vs. the Golden State Warriors. Sadly, he could only take one Larry O'Brien trophy home but he did it in the highest fashion, by overcoming a 3-1 deficit to take down the 73-9 Warriors.
6. Shaquille O'Neal - 36.3 PPG (2002)
Shaquille O'Neal was an unmatched force of nature. If it wasn't for injuries, he had a strong shot of retiring as the greatest player of all time, especially considering how much he stepped up in the NBA Finals.
Opposing defenses knew what Shaq was going to do, yet they couldn't stop him from doing it. He was stronger, more athletic, faster, and more focused than everybody else on the court.
5. Jerry West - 37.9 (1969)
Jerry West was one of the first superstars in basketball, up to the point where he -unofficially - became the logo of the league. Sadly, that didn't always translate into playoff success.
West was barely able to win a ring throughout his career even though he was a dominant two-way force in the NBA Finals. In fact, he's the only player to win Finals MVP despite being on the losing team.
4. Shaquille O'Neal - 38.0 PPG (2000)
Shaquille O'Neal knew what it was like to lose in the NBA Finals so he made sure that, once he got there again, he wasn't going to lose again. That mentality was in full display in 2000 when he averaged a whopping 38.0 points per game.
Even though some people say that Shaq was just strong, he was way more gifted and crafty than they want to make you think. He was smart, agile, and had elite footwork and post moves.
3. Elgin Baylor - 40.6 PPG (1962)
Elgin Balor has a strong shot of being the unluckiest player to ever set foot on an NBA hardwood. He was the best small forward in the league and a walking bucket but he could never win a ring.
Like West, Baylor had to endure a time when the Boston Celtics completely dominated the league, and the Lakers won the NBA Championship as soon as he retired. That's just some tough luck.
2. Rick Barry - 40.8 PPG (1967)
Remember when we said that Jordan held the second-highest points-per-game average in NBA Finals history? Well, Rick Barry actually leads that category with a whopping 36.30 PPG.
Barry was one of the most dominant scorers in NBA history but not even he could stop the Philadelphia 76ers from winning the NBA Championship in just 6 games in 1967.
1. Michael Jordan - 41.0 PPG (1993)
Unsurprisingly, Michael Jordan sits at the top of this list. While he was always an unstoppable scorer, hence the NBA record 10 Scoring Titles, the 1993 NBA Finals were peak Jordan.
Jordan was at his best from start to finish and even scored 55 points in Game 4 in one of the most incredible performances in NBA Finals history, topping reigning MVP Charles Barkley.
Credit: Cross N Poster