NBA players are judged not on a single performance, but on their consistency throughout the season. Of course, that includes both the regular season and the playoffs because both set a player and his team up for success. Looking throughout NBA history, the most consistent players are often regarded as the best in the world at their positions.
That is why it is imperative for NBA players to work on their games until they can get to a stage where things happen like poetry in motion. When a player is not thinking and just acting, consistency soon follows. That is accentuated on the offensive side of the ball, where the best scorers often do it game after game with or without expectation.
That is often what separates All-Star players from truly elite superstars and Hall of Famers because remaining consistent has to be the hardest part of being a professional basketball player. Especially over the course of a regular season, where teams can plan for a particular player and set up schemes to stop him thanks to the availability of game tape.
We have collected a list of the greatest scorers of all time, taking into account the longest streaks of scoring 10,20,30, and 40 points in a row. This list takes into account what a player did in a specific timeframe including both the regular season and the playoffs. Here are the longest scoring streaks in NBA history in both the regular season and playoffs since 1983-84.
5. James Harden - 523 Games (2015-2021)
Two years after landing in Houston and becoming the man on the franchise, James Harden became a superstar player. He dropped 27.4 PPG during the year and would soon kickstart a reign of offensive dominance in the league. Starting from the 2015 season and ending in the 2021 season with the Brooklyn Nets, Harden had 523 games of scoring in double figures. The streak was broken when he scored 0 points in 4 minutes against the Knicks in April 2021 and also had 5 points in 25 minutes against the Bulls in May 2021.
4. LeBron James - 637 Games (2014-)
LeBron James is still going strong at age 37, and he has shown no signs of slowing down as an offensive superstar. The King is still one of the most physically dominant players in the league and he can score at the basket practically anytime he wants. The King started in 2014 with his streak of 10-point games and has not let up one bit. Expect James to climb this list as the weeks go by next season.
3. Kevin Durant - 653 Games (2009-2017)
Kevin Durant will appear on here more than one time because he is truly one of the most exceptionally gifted scorers ever. Standing close to 7 feet tall and armed with an elite shooting stroke, Durant has made scoring jumpers look so easy every night. That is why he had a 9-year streak of 10+ points scored until the 2017 season, when he dropped 0 points in 2 minutes against the Washington Wizards on February 28, 2017. Injuries aside, KD would probably rank close to first place.
2. Karl Malone - 675 Games (1991-1999)
Karl Malone was not only a dominant physical specimen and a top-two power forward of all time, but he was automatic as a scorer on a consistent basis. The Mailman benefited from playing alongside one of the all-time great playmakers in John Stockton, and that earned him at least 10 PPG with extreme ease. Malone still had to make his shots, and he did at an alarming rate by going 9 years with 675 games of at least 10 points scored.
1. Michael Jordan - 1,041 Games (1986-2001)
Michael Jordan is not only the greatest player of all time but the greatest scoring talent we have ever seen. The legendary shooting guard had over 1,000 games of scoring at least 10 points, and that streak almost ran his entire career. Jordan scored 8 points in a game against the Cleveland Cavaliers in March of 1986, and then his streak started and lasted until the 2002 season when he was 38 years of age. Simply remarkable stuff from the GOAT.
5. Kobe Bryant - 64 Games (2005-2006)
Kobe Bean Bryant was the second-greatest shooting guard of all-time behind Michael Jordan, and his legacy would have taken an even bigger leap if it wasn’t for the Bulls’ superstar that came before him. Still, Bryant is regarded as a top-two scoring talent ever and he had a streak of at least 20 points that lasted 64 games during the 2005-2006 season. That streak was broken on Nov 5, 2006, against the Seattle SuperConics when he had 15 points.
4. Kevin Durant - 67 Games (2015-2016)
Kevin Durant appears again, and he managed to usurp Kobe Bryant with an amazing record of 67 straight games of at least 20 points. A member of the Oklahoma City Thunder, Durant averaged 28.2 PPG during the season and he finished the season with his streak still running. But that run ended on Nov 10, 2016, against the Denver Nuggets, when Durant only managed 18 points in 30 minutes of play.
3. James Harden - 68 Games (2018-2019)
What James Harden did in 2018 and 2019 was nothing short of incredible, because we were witnessing a single player destroy defenses with pure skill. Harden was able to beat any defender one-on-one and made it look extremely easy, which is why he managed to beat Kevin Durant with 68 straight games of at least 20 points. His streak ended Oct 25, 2019, against the Milwaukee Bucks when The Beard could only muster 19 points in a 117-111 loss.
2. Michael Jordan - 69 Games (1990-1991)
Jordan managed to have 69 games of scoring at least 10 points during the ‘91 season, a year where the shooting guard 31.5 PPG to win the scoring title for the 5th straight time and also captured his first NBA title at the end of the year. His streak lasted until the final game of the season, where Jordan dropped 18 points against the Detroit Pistons in a 108-100 victory on Apr 21, 1991.
1. Michael Jordan - 82 Games (1987-1988)
Michael Jordan set the record for most 20-point games in consecutive fashion during the 1988 season when he completed it over 82 games. That was not all done during the 1988 season, as that bled into the 1988-1989 season as the streak was broken on Dec 7, 1988, against who? The Detroit Pistons stopped his streak, holding the GOAT to 18 points in a 102-89 loss for the Chicago Bulls.
5. Michael Jordan - 11 Games (1987), Shaquille O’Neal - 11 Games (2001), Stephen Curry - 11 Games (2021)
Scoring 30 points in a single game is not easy, but three players have managed to have a streak that lasted 11 games. The first was Michael Jordan, the elite shooting guard who managed an 11-game streak during February and March of the 1987 season when his first game constituted 45 points and the last 61 points on Mar 4, 1987.
Shaquille O’Neal was the most dominant force for the Los Angeles Lakers during the 2001 season, as there was no answer for stopping the gigantic center in the paint. O’Neal knew he was stronger than any other player in the league and had an 11-game streak of scoring at least 30 points starting on March 28 and ending on the last day of the season. The Lakers went 9-2 during that streak.
Stephen Curry recently added his name to the elite class during the 2021 season when he carried an injury-ridden Golden State Warriors throughout the season. The superstar point guard started his streak on Mar 30, 2021, against the Chicago Bulls and it ended against the Washington Wizards on Apr 22, 2021, when he dropped 18 points.
4. Kevin Durant - 12 Games (2014)
Kevin Durant is back, and he managed 12 straight games with at least 30 points during the 2014 season, the same season KD won his first MVP award. The scoring machine also won his 4th scoring title by averaging a career-high 32.0 PPG. KD’s streak was broken thanks to a 26-point performance against the Brooklyn Nets on January 31, 2014. During that streak, KD had highs of 54 points and 48 points.
3. Tracy McGrady - 14 Games (2003)
Tracy McGrady was honored into the Hall of Fame, even if his career was cut short due to injuries. The reason? He was one of the most spectacular scoring threats we have ever seen. The legendary shooting guard was on a tear during the 2003 season, averaging 32.1 PPG which earned him his first scoring title. T-Mac had a 14-game streak of at least 30 points end in 2003, but he placed his name in the elite by falling behind only two players in that regard.
2. Kobe Bryant - 16 Games (2003)
The only man to possibly challenge T-Mac during the 2003 season as the league’s most spectacular scorer was Kobe Bryant. Even if Kobe did not win the scoring title over McGrady, he might have won a mini-battle by having a streak of at least 30 points that lasted 16 games. On Mar 5, 2003, against the Indiana Pacers, Bryant scored 20 points to break his streak.
1. James Harden - 32 Games (2018-2019)
Somehow, James Harden managed to double Kobe Bryant’s incredible streak of 16 games with at least 30 points. The Beard was unstoppable with the ball in his hands, tearing apart defenses with his elite handles and patented step-back three-point jump shot. James was spectacular during the 2019 season, winning his second-straight scoring title by averaging a career-high 36.1 PPG. Harden’s streak broke on Feb 26, 2019, against the Atlanta Hawks (28 points).
5. LeBron James - 9 Games (2006)
Scoring 35 points in a game is not easy, which is why only the best players of all time have managed to do it consistently. Kicking off the list of players with the most consecutive 35-point games is LeBron James, one of the most underrated scorers ever. James is not mentioned among the all-time great scorers, even though he had a 9-game streak of 35+ points during the 2006 season.
4. James Harden - 10 Games (2018-2019)
James Harden’s 2019 season will continue to be record-breaking because while he managed 32 games with at least 30 points, he also had 10 straight games of at least 35 points. The Beard was on another level during the year, forcing the referees to blow the whistle with clever and shifty play with his hands and the ball. James’ streak started on Dec 18, 2018, against the Utah Jazz and ended on Jan 8, 2019, when The Beard scored 32 points against the Denver Nuggets. The Houston Rockets went 8-2 during the streak.
3. Michael Jordan - 10 Games (1986)
Michael Jordan also managed a 10-game streak of at least 35 points, and it surprisingly came during his third season. Michael was already considered the most talented player in the game by his rookie season, but he only played 18 games the following year with an injury. He returned during the 1987 season and managed to start his streak on Nov 26, 1986, and ended with an 11-point performance against the Milwaukee Bucks. During the streak, Jordan had 9 games of 40+ and 1 game of 37 points.
2. James Harden - 11 Games (2019)
James Harden’s name appears again because his 2019 season was simply incredible. The Beard's 35-point streak came just one game after his 10-game streak. After his 32-point performance against the Denver Nuggets on January 8, Harden kickstarted an 11-game run of 35+. During that streak, James had a back-to-back 50-point game, and a 60-point game. Since Jordan and Kobe, we have not seen a scorer go ballistic as Harden did in 2019.
1. Kobe Bryant - 13 Games (2003)
Kobe Bryant is one of the all-time greats, and when he was feeling it, defenses would feel the wrath. The legendary Lakers shooting guard had a 13-game run of at least 35 points during the same 2003 season he dropped 16 games of at least 30 points. Bryant was getting comfortable as the man on his team, and Shaq would soon be pushed out the door. The Lakers went 11-2 during Kobe’s offensive explosion.
5. James Harden - 5 Games (2018-2019)
James Harden’s 2019 season once again comes into play on the list, this time thanks to his incredible 5-game streak of scoring at least 40 points. It is extremely difficult to score 40 points in an NBA game, let alone do it more than once in a row. The Beard made it look easy, going ballistic with a run that included: 41,45,41,43,44. All games resulted in wins for the Rockets.
4. Allen Iverson - 5 Games (1997)
Allen Iverson burst onto the scene as a rookie, because he did some spectacular things at the end of the year. The talented and quick guard put up these numbers with only 3 games left to spare in the season: 44, 40, 44, 50, 40. There was already no way defenders could keep up with the lightning-quick guard because he made scoring the ball look extremely easy because he could get to any spot he wanted to. Of course, he would eventually become a 4-time scoring champion.
3. Michael Jordan - 5 Games (1987)
Michael Jordan managed to have a streak of 5 games where he dropped a minimum of 40 games. The legendary shooting guard put up these numbers: 40, 40, 46, 56, and 40 points. The Bulls only managed to go 3-2 over these games, but there was no stopping the superstar shooting guard from going off against defenders.
2. Kobe Bryant - 5 Games (2005), (2007)
Kobe Bryant also has a 5-game streak of at least 40 points, but he did it over two seasons. The first came in 2005 and 2006 when Shaquille O’Neal was no longer dominating the paint. The Lakers guard went off, scoring 45, 48, 50, 45, and 41. Bryant’s Lakers went 3-2 over that span as the squad was being rebuilt to cater to Bryant’s elite offense. The second time Bryant had a 5-game streak came in 2007 when he had arguably the most impressive offensive run in NBA history. Kobe had these 5 games: 65,50,60,50,43. The Lakers won all 5 games.
1. Kobe Bryant - 9 Games (2003), Michael Jordan - 9 Games (1986)
Kobe Bryant was on a tear during the 2003 season, as he started to gain the confidence that would ultimately make him a multiple-time champion once Shaquille O’Neal left his side. Kobe had an unbelievable 9-game streak in 2003, putting up monster numbers that included 2 50+ point games. The Lakers went 7-2 in those games.
Michael Jordan joins Kobe Bryant as the only player with at least 9 games of 40+ points, and he did it in 1986 when he literally carried the Chicago Bulls but it wasn’t enough. Somehow, the Bulls went 3-6 over that span as the only bright spot was Michael dismantling defenses with athleticism and elite mid-range scoring.