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10 NBA Stars Who Have Beaten The Most 50-Win Teams In Playoffs History

10 NBA Stars Who Have Beaten The Most 50-Win Teams In Playoffs History

It is a great achievement to have a 50-win season for any team and player. But it is even more exciting to take down a team with this record in the playoffs, not to mention winning a championship all over these competitive ones.

In NBA’s long history, 50 wins in 82 games is a symbol of an elite team. The Boston Celtics and the Los Angeles Lakers are the two NBA teams with the most 50 or more win seasons. And the highest regular season winning record, 73-9, was created by the 2015-16 season Golden State Warriors.

For an individual player, the number of 50-win teams taken down may mean the difficulty of one’s championship road and the length of one’s prime. Let’s take a look at who has made the list.


1. Only a player who is on the 75-anniversary team.

2. Only a player who was drafted after 1966 because NBA ultimately settled on 82 games for the 1967-68 season.

3. If two players are tied at the number of 50-win teams, then the number of 60-win teams beaten will be compared.

(Including lockout seasons, 1998-99 season over 30 wins, 2011-12 season over 40 wins)

10. Magic Johnson

Magic Johnson

50-win Teams: 13

60-win Teams: 2

Playoff Career Stats: 19.5 PPG, 7.7 RPG, 12.3 APG, 1.9 SPG, 0.3 BPG

There’s no doubt that if Magic Johnson had played more seasons, he would easily climb to a higher place on this list. The legendary point guard only played 13 seasons due to illness, but it was good enough to define him as one of the greatest of all time.

Johnson was the general of the 1980s Showtime Lakers, leading the team to make playoffs every year he played, including nine appearances in the NBA Finals and five NBA championships.

One of Johnson’s most untouchable achievements might be winning the Finals MVP in his rookie season. Along the way, he and the Lakers defeated three 50-win teams to lift the trophy, including 55-27 Phoenix Suns, 56-26 Seattle SuperSonics, and 59-23 Philadelphia 76ers.

9. Kevin Durant

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50-win Teams: 13

60-win Teams: 4

Playoff Career Stats: 29.4 PPG, 7.8 RPG, 4.1 APG, 1.0 SPG, 1.2 BPG

Kevin Durant is one of three current players on this list, who remains the possibility to eliminate more 50-win teams. Actually, if Durant hadn’t left the Golden State Warriors or if the Brooklyn Nets roster had worked, he would be in a higher place, too.

However, there’s no time machine for the two-time Finals MVP. Durant still has eliminated 13 50-win teams, including the San Antonio Spurs, the Houston Rockets, the Los Angeles Lakers, etc.

In the 2017-18 season, Durant and his Warriors took down the 65-17 Rockets in the Western Conference Finals. The No. 1 regular season team pushed the Warriors to their absolute limit because no team forced a Game 7 against the Warriors with Durant. But eventually, Durant won his second ring that season.

8. Stephen Curry

Stephen Curry

50-win Teams: 15

Playoff Career Stats: 26.6 PPG, 5.4 RPG, 6.2 APG, 1.6 SPG, 0.3 BPG

The 2021-2022 Finals MVP just beat three 50-win teams last season, including 56-26 Memphis Grizzlies, 52-30 Dallas Mavericks, and 51-31 Boston Celtics, which has put him into the top 8 on this list.

When it comes to high-winning rate teams, Curry’s Warriors have been the highest-winning regular season teams for three consecutive years from 2015 to 2017, including the NBA's highest regular season winning record, 73-9 Warriors.

Maybe that is how good a team has to be to build a dynasty, winning four championships in eight seasons. Curry is the one who the Warriors built around and also the reason why the legendary stories continue.

7. Dennis Rodman

Dennis Rodman

50-win Teams: 16

Playoff Career Stats: 6.4 PPG, 9.9 RPG, 1.2 APG, 0.6 SPG, 0.6 BPG

Dennis Rodman is really one of a kind. He is the only player on this list scoring lower than 10 points per game, but he owns the record for the highest regular season rebounds per game on this list. Rodman’s commitment to rebounds and defense is what makes him so unique.

Playing for the prime Chicago Bulls with Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen, it is difficult to not defeat a large number of 50-win teams. It took the Bulls only three years to accumulate eight 50-win teams.

However, don’t forget about Rodman’s 7-seasons with the Detroit Pistons, where the team made the playoffs six times and eliminated eight 50-win teams, including the Atlanta Hawks, the Chicago Bulls, and the Boston Celtics, etc.

6. Shaquille O’Neal

Shaquille O’Neal

50-win Teams: 19

Playoff Career Stats: 24.3 PPG, 11.6 RPG, 2.7 APG, 0.5 SPG, 2.1 BPG

Shaquille O’Neal is considered the most dominant player in the modern NBA due to his freaking athleticism and strength. During O’Neal’s prime, he was the nightmare of every other 29 teams in the league.

It is no secret that O’Neal’s golden years were wearing the purple and gold, where he helped the Los Angeles Lakers make playoffs in all eight seasons, including four appearances in the NBA Finals, and three consecutive championships.

In the 1994-95 season, when O’Neal was playing for the Orlando Magic, they eliminated the 47-35 Chicago Bulls in the Eastern Conference Semifinals, which became Michael Jordan’s last losing series in his career.

5. LeBron James

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50-win Teams: 20

60-win Teams: 3

Playoff Career Stats: 28.7 PPG, 9.0 RPG, 7.2 APG, 1.7 SPG, 0.9 BPG

LeBron James is the highest-ranked current player on this list. Based on his longevity, he is expected to challenge the top 4 players. Though James will move into his 20th season soon, he has the ability to knock down any team as long as the Lakers are well-prepared.

James made the playoffs 15 times in his 19-season career, including 10 appearances in the NBA Finals and four NBA championships. Considering his playoff resume, however, 20 is not that impressive, mainly because the Eastern Conference was less competitive in some years.

In the 2015-16 season, James led the Cleveland Cavaliers into the Finals and took down the 73-9 Golden State Warriors in seven games. More importantly, the Cavaliers were once down 1-3, and they managed to come back and win.

4. Michael Jordan

Michael Jordan

50-win Teams: 20

60-win Teams: 7

Playoff Career Stats: 33.4 PPG, 6.4 RPG, 5.7 APG, 2.1 SPG, 0.9 BPG

It is unbelievable that Michael Jordan only beat 50-win teams 20 times. But considering his 15-year career, including two seasons in the Washington Wizards, 20 is a remarkable record for any player in such a time span.

Though Jordan had two 3-consecutive championships, his early years didn’t develop as smoothly as people would expect. Instead, Jordan was constantly taken down by 50-win teams until the first round of his fifth season, when he eliminated the 57-25 Cleveland Cavaliers.

Since then, Jordan gradually stepped into his prime and led the Bulls to build their dynasty in the 1990s. During the Bulls’ championship run, they beat convincing teams like Magic Johnson’s Los Angeles Lakers, Clyde Drexler’s Portland Trail Blazers, Charles Barkley’s Phoenix Suns, etc.

3. Scottie Pippen

Scottie Pippen

50-win Teams: 22

Playoff Career Stats: 17.5 PPG, 7.6 RPG, 5.0 APG, 1.9 SPG, 0.9 BPG

People may wonder why Scottie Pippen beat more 50-win teams than Michael Jordan? This is because Pippen played for the Portland Trail Blazers from 2000 to 2003, where he added the 1999-00 Minnesota Timberwolves and the Utah Jazz to his record.

Pippen was named to the NBA All-Defensive First Team eight consecutive times and the All-NBA First Team three times. He was a seven-time NBA All-Star and was the NBA All-Star Game MVP in 1994.

Winning six NBA championships with the Chicago Bulls, Pippen was considered one of the greatest small forwards of all time. Pippen, Jordan, and Rodman turned the Bulls into one of the best sports organizations in the world.

2. Tim Duncan

Tim Duncan 2009

50-win Teams: 23

Playoff Career Stats: 20.6 PPG, 11.4 RPG, 3.0 APG, 0.7 SPG, 2.3 BPG

It is surprising that Tim Duncan didn’t knock down more 50-win teams, considering the longevity and dominance of the San Antonio Spurs over two decades. Head coach Gregg Popovich and Duncan were the main reason.

Duncan is widely considered the greatest power forward of all time because of his resume, including 19 playoff appearances in his 19 seasons, six appearances in the NBA Finals, and five NBA championships.

During Duncan’s five-time championship runs, he was the core on both ends of the floor, leading the team to their glories. The Spurs took down teams like the 2013-14 season Miami Heat and the 2004-05 season Detroit Pistons.

1. Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant

50-win Teams: 26

Playoff Career Stats: 25.6 PPG, 5.1 RPG, 4.7 APG, 1.4 SPG, 0.7 BPG

There are two simple reasons why Kobe Bryant is at the top of this list. First, the Western Conference was competitive enough to produce that many 50-win teams. More importantly, Bryant and his team were good enough to beat them.

Bryant made 15 times playoffs in his 20-season career, including eight appearances in the Western Conference Finals, seven appearances in the NBA Finals, and five NBA championships.

Among Bryant’s lifetime opponents, the San Antonio Spurs and the Boston Celtics were probably two of the toughest ones who gave him some losing series. Fortunately, Bryant was able to complete his revenge.


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