Here’s another edition of why Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant are amazing players. If you didn’t believe it before, what these two players are doing with the Nets is amazing. Of the 12 games that saw a Nets player score 50 points, Irving and Durant make up five of those games, which technically started in 2019 when Irving joined the team. Throw in a superb game from Caris LeVert and half of the games have come from the last three years.
The stretch features three feats this season, including a franchise-record performance from Irving. What we are seeing may feel like a typical night for Irving and Durant, but it proves how skilled these players are. Before these two, scoring 50 points was not a normal occurrence for the Nets. Now, you almost wonder if these two can fill out the top-10 scoring outputs in team history by themselves.
These are the most points scored in one game in Nets history.
Note: Games from the ABA were not included. All games are counted as NBA games since the Nets merged with the NBA in 1976.
10T. John Williamson - 50 Points
New Jersey Nets vs. Indiana Pacers 129-121
The best part of this story is that Williamson predicted before the game he would score 50 points against the Pacers. Williamson scored 19 field goals and made 12 free throws to help the Nets defeat the Pacers. It was a revenge game for Williamson, who was traded to the Nets by the Pacers. Since his trade, he scored 88 points in two games since being traded with 50 of those points coming in one game.
The 50-spot was a career-high for Williamson and it was the most points scored by a player in Market Square Arena. Williamson played 44 minutes and added four rebounds and three assists. Williamson shot 59% from the field and made 12 of his 13 free throws at the line.
10T. Stephon Marbury - 50 Points
Brooklyn Nets vs. Los Angeles Lakers 110-113 OT
It was just two days after the All-Star Game. Marbury had just faced off against Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal. The Nets hosted the Lakers at the Meadowlands and Marbury got off to a hot start by scoring 17 points at halftime. He would only get hotter in the second half, helping the Nets lead 74-71 going into the fourth quarter.
Marbury would go on to score 17 of the Nets’ final 22 points, which included the last 6:13. Down six minutes to go, Marbury knocked down two three-pointers and the score was tied 104-104 with 27 seconds to play. Marbury scored 19 points in the fourth quarter and the Nets forced overtime. With 40 seconds in overtime, Marbury scored his 50th point, but it was Bryant that had the go-ahead converted three-point play with 4.8 seconds to give the Lakers an eventual win.
10T. Kyrie Irving - 50 Points
Brooklyn Nets vs. Charlotte Hornets 132-121
Brooklyn Nets vs. Minnesota Timberwolves 126-127
Irving’s 50 points against the Hornets came on March 9 this season. It was his third 50-point game as a member of the Nets. In regards to efficiency, this was one of the best overall games the league had ever seen. Irving shot 15 of 19 from the field (78.9%) and 9-for-12 from the three-point range (75%). It was the second-fewest field goal attempt in a 50-point game in NBA history since Adrian Dantley took 17 shots in a 50-point game in 1980 on Halloween.
The game also meant Irving was the fifth player in NBA history to have two 50-point games while shooting 75% from the field, joining Wilt Chamberlain, Michael Jordan, Karl Malone, and Adrian Dantley. With the effort, it moved Irving closer to Vince Carter’s record of 40 point games with the franchise with nine. Carter finished his tenure with 17 games of 40 points or more. The first 50-point game Irving had with the Nets was in his first season, where Irving split each half with 25 points.
7T. Vince Carter - 51 Points
New Jersey Nets vs. Miami Heat 95-88
In 2005, Carter exploded against the Miami Heat with a roster that boasted a strong duo of Dwyane Wade and Shaquille O’Neal. Carter made 13 field goals and scored 51 points. After scoring just 14 points in the first half, Carter erupted for 37 points in the second half, which included just two three-point shots.
Carter went to the line a lot during this game, scoring 23 points at the line. Carter set a record for free throws in a quarter, which included 16 in the fourth. To make it even more impressive, Carter scored more points than Wade and O’neal combined.
7T. Caris LeVert - 51 Points
Brooklyn Nets @ Boston Celtics 129-120 OT
The 2019-2020 season saw Irving go off for 50 points, but also LeVert as well. The Celtics were leading the Nets by 17 points in the third quarter, so it took a strong comeback push led by LeVert to help complete the rally. LeVert scored 14 points through the first three quarters and took 10 shots. Then, he outscored the Celtics 37-36 by himself over the fourth quarter in front of a sellout crowd at TD Garden.
With LeVert’s 51 points, it made him the second Nets player that season to score a 50-point game. The 37 combined points that LeVert scored in the fourth quarter and overtime was something that the NBA had not seen in 20 years.
7T. Kevin Durant - 51 Points
Brooklyn Nets vs. Detroit Pistons 116-104
Back in December, Durant torched the Pistons for 51 points and added seven rebounds, nine assists, and two blocks. Irving was away from the team, while James Harden took a night for rest, so it was up to Durant to lead the Nets himself. At the time, it was the most points scored by a player during the season. It was also the most points scored ever in Detroit’s Little Caesars Arena, which broke a record held by teammate Blake Griffin who owned the previous record of 50.
It was a career night for Durant as this was his career-high while wearing a Nets uniform. It was also the seventh 50-point game of his career, trailing just Harden, Damian Lillard, Steph Curry, and LeBron James for the most among active players. In the end, Durant’s 51 points nearly outscored the entire starting Detroit lineup of 56 points.
5T. Mike Newlin - 52 Points
New Jersey Nets vs. Boston Celtics 112-115 OT
In 1979, the Celtics nearly saw shooting guard Mike Newlin lead his team to a victory over them. Newlin scored 52 points to set a franchise record for points in a game. Today, it is the ninth-most points scored against the Celtics in one game. It was only the Nets' fourth season in the NBA since transferring from the ABA.
Newlin’s full stat line was 52 points, six rebounds, three assists, and one steal in 49 minutes of play. He made 19 of 28 shots, taking just three shots from behind the arc where he made one. He was highly efficient at the free-throw line, shooting 13 of 15.
5T. Ray Williams - 52 Points
New Jersey Nets vs. Detroit Pistons 147-132
The way Ray Williams tied the franchise record for points in a game was stunning. The Nets were leading the Pistons 144-132 with the game in hand. As time expired, Williams received the ball at midcourt from teammate Buck Williams. There, Ray took a few steps and heaved the ball and it sank right through the net as time expired to give Williams 52 points.
The freak accident in 1982 allowed Williams to tie Mike Newlin for the most points scored by a player wearing a Nets uniform. The night also saw the Nets qualify for the playoffs with the fourth seed. It was overall great as his teammate Buck recorded his 1,000 rebounds on the season.
4. Kevin Durant - 53 Points
Brooklyn Nets vs. New York Knicks 110-107
It hasn’t even been a week since one of the greatest stretches in team history has been completed. On Sunday, Durant had scored the third-greatest mark in team history against the Knicks in the battle of New York. Durant scored 40 of his 53 points through the first three quarters and was one point away from tying his career-high for points in a game.
Durant shot 19 of 37 from the field, which set a career-high for field goal attempts. He also recorded six rebounds and nine assists. It was his 60th career game of scoring at least 40 points. However, he did walk away with one record as his 53 points marked the most points by a Nets player against the Knicks.
3. Kyrie Irving - 54 Points
Brooklyn Nets @ Chicago Bulls 133-118
It was just weeks after the death of Kobe Bryant. Like everyone else in the league, Irving was trying to cope with the loss. Call it coping or just straight out playing, but Irving transferred his inner “mamba” by scoring the second-best (at the time) total in franchise history against the Bulls on the last day in January.
Irving made all 10 of his shots in the first half and finished the game shooting 19 of 23 from the field. With the game, it marked the first time a Nets player scored at least 45 points in a game three times. It was an easy win as the Bulls trailed by 21 points at one point, but Irving was more emotional than happy after the game, calling the death of Bryant an “open wound.”
2. Deron Williams - 57 Points
New Jersey Nets @ Charlotte Bobcats 104-101
In March 2012, Deron Williams made history. It had been 30 years since a Nets player scored at least 50 points in a game. Williams not only did that but set the new franchise record (at the time) for points in a game. Williams helped the Nets overcome a 16-point deficit and the loss of star Brook Lopez, who left the game in the third quarter on crutches, to take the win over Charlotte.
Williams shot 16 of 29 from the field and was perfect at the free-throw line, making all 21 free throw attempts. That also included 22 points in the third quarter to help the Nets overcome their deficit. This record would only last 10 years though.
1. Kyrie Irving - 60 Points
Brooklyn Nets @ Orlando Magic 150-108
It was just one day before that Karl-Anthony Towns set the NBA scoring mark for the 2021-2021 season. Irving followed that with a second 60-point performance in the league by erupting against the Magic. Irving scored 41 points in the first half. At one point, there was a widespread belief that Irving was going to chase down Kobe Bryant’s 81 points as the second-best mark to Wilt Chamberlain’s 100.
Irving was taken out early in the fourth quarter because the Nets were up by so much. It was believed that Irving stayed in the game as long as he did because he was so close to the franchise record. Once he hit 60 points, it was time to take him out. With that said, the Magic weren’t coming back and we are all desperate for another 80 point game. Irving should have stayed in the game and chased down history.
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