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NBA All-Time Playoff Leaders: LeBron James Leads In 4 Categories, Including The Most Points And The Most Wins

NBA All-Time Playoff Leaders: LeBron James Leads In 4 Categories, Including The Most Points And The Most Wins

It’s the first time in 17 years that Kevin Durant or LeBron James will not play in the second round of the playoffs. That’s quite a long time when you think about it. Over the years, both Durant and James have made their marks in the all-time standings for multiple playoff statistical categories. As for James, who has been around longer, he owns a few notable records.

The companies at the top of these stat categories are legendary. For others, it shows pure dominance for the record holder. Now that both Durant and James are out of the playoffs, the focus will be on other players to build their careers towards these marks.

Here are the all-time playoff totals leaders for points, rebounds, assists, steals, blocks, turnovers, three-point field goals, and wins.

Total Points - LeBron James - 7,631 Points

LeBron James

2nd Place - Michael Jordan - 5,987 Points

3rd Place - Kareem Abdul-Jabbar - 5,762 Points

If Michael Jordan didn’t take time off in 1994, as well as in 1999, 2000, and 2001, we might be talking about a different record. With that said, Jordan might have been right around 7,500 career playoff points if he played all those years. That would have truly proven how these two players are one and two, in whatever order you choose, in league history.

For now, James remains at the top and his number will stand still for one season since the Lakers missed the playoffs. James owns a career-high of 51 points, which he scored in Game 1 of the 2018 NBA Finals. He has scored at least 40 points or more in the playoffs 28 times. Seven of those times came in the NBA Finals.

Total Rebounds - Bill Russell - 4,104 Rebounds

Bill Russell

2nd Place - Wilt Chamberlain - 3,913 Rebounds

3rd Place - Tim Duncan - 2,859 Rebounds

To be fair, it’s hard to break a record when you played in the NBA Finals as much as Bill Russell did. Russell won 11 championships in his career. Some players are lucky to play in the NBA Finals just once. The road to the Finals back in his day consisted of playing in a divisional round, divisional finals, and the NBA Finals. There were only three playoff series, so it’s possible that a player in today’s league could make it since it takes four series to win a championship.

With that said, it would take a player to probably win at least seven or eight championships to do it. Tim Duncan won five NBA championships and played in the Finals seven times altogether. He still came up about 1,200 total rebounds short. We will likely never see this record fall in our lifetime.

Total Assists - Magic Johnson - 2,346 Assists

Magic Johnson

2nd Place - LeBron James - 1,919 Assists

3rd Place - John Stockton - 1,839 Assists

John Stockton owns a record in assists from the regular season that will probably never be broken. In the playoffs, only two players have racked up more assists than him. James could finish his career as the second player with over 2,000 career assists in the playoffs if he can manage another long playoff run.

For now, the record belongs to Johnson, who had to retire early due to an HIV diagnosis. Imagine a world where that did not happen. He was 31 years old at the time and the Lakers were still contending at a high level. Even if the Lakers were bounced for five straight years in the first round, you are talking about the possibility of Johnson having at least 3,000 total assists. To get there, Johnson recorded at least 20 assists or more 10 times.

Total Steals - LeBron James - 434 Steals

LeBron James

2nd Place - Scottie Pippen - 395 Steals

3rd Place - Michael Jordan - 376 Steals

The most interesting sight you should notice first is that before James, the top two leaders were from the dynasty Bulls. It wasn’t until two years ago that James broke the record for the most total steals in the playoffs. For his records, James owns a career-best six steals in a game against the Pacers in the Conference Finals in 2012. James finished with at least five steals in a game three times.

The chances of James getting to 500 is unlikely unless he makes three straight trips to the NBA Finals with that series lasting six games. In 2020, when the Lakers won a title, James finished with 26 steals for the entire playoffs. With the way the Lakers look right now, it’s more likely he gets to 450.

Total Blocks - Tim Duncan - 568 Blocks

Tim Duncan

2nd Place - Kareem Abdul-Jabbar - 476 Blocks

3rd Place - Hakeem Olajuwon - 472 Blocks

We all know how great of a defender Tim Duncan was, but he was just as good in the playoffs. Out of all the great players to ever play, he is the only player to have over 500 career blocks in the playoffs. Duncan also owns a near 100-block lead on runner-up Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Hakeem Olajuwon.

Duncan’s career-best was nine blocks in the Conference Finals in 2007 against the Suns in Game 6. Duncan finished with at least seven or more blocks five times. Duncan had at least six blocks or more 11 times. All in all, he remains the best shot-blocker in the history of the playoffs.

Total Turnovers - LeBron James - 975 Turnovers

LeBron James

2nd Place - Magic Johnson - 696 Turnovers

3rd Place - Shaquille O’Neal - 649 Turnovers

The old story is that if you have the ball in your hands, you are more likely to make a play or turn the ball over. Had James played in the playoffs, he might have had a chance to hit the 1,000 turnover mark. The only major difference between James and runner-up Magic Johnson is the ratio. Johnson had over 2,300 assists while having nearly 700 turnovers, while James had about 1,900 assists to 1,000 turnovers.

Granted, these are two different positions, but that is a great disparity. James had most of his problems early in his career when he was young and dumb in the playoffs. His career-high was 10 turnovers in a game, which he did in 2006 and 2008. James owns at least eight turnovers in a game 13 times, but only two games have come within the last 10 years.

Total Three-Point Field Goals - Stephen Curry - 484 3PM

Stephen Curry

2nd Place - LeBron James - 432 3PM

3rd Place - Klay Thompson - 395 3PM

There should be no surprise that Curry owns this record. After all, he is the all-time three-point shooter in the regular season and postseason combined. Curry’s record will continue to grow into legendary status. During these playoffs, Curry will likely become the first player to hit over 500 three-point field goals in playoff history.

Another milestone will be Klay Thompson. Sooner than later, Thompson is going to be the third player in NBA history to make over 400 career threes. The “Splash Bros” really have their brand on display with both of these players near the top. For Curry, his best game was nine made three-pointers, which is something he did in 2018 and 2019, the NBA Finals and Western Conference Finals respectively.

Total Wins - LeBron James - 174 Wins

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2nd Place - Derek Fisher - 161 Wins

3rd Place - Tim Duncan - 157 Wins

Out of all the names on the list, the one name that might stick out like a sore thumb is Derek Fisher. That stat is correct as Fisher owns the second-most wins in the playoffs with 161 out of 259 games. James owns the record with 174 wins out of 266 games. There are only five players that have over 150 career wins in the playoffs with Robert Horry and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar joining these three.

Among the top-10 in playoff wins, Duncan is joined by Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili. The dynasty of the Spurs' big three was a frequent contender. As for the leader, James could be the first to 200 wins over the next few years. Assuming James can win another title, that is 18 wins. If he stays for another year or two, he would need to make the second round in two different seasons, or make a Conference Finals to claim the other eight wins. 


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