Scoring 30 is hard for any NBA player. However, this month, we’ve witnessed six different players drop 50 or more like it was nothing. So let’s check who participated in the scoring spree, delivered the win, and entertained the fans.
50 point club
March 2022 has set the record for most 50-point games in a month -- we're already at eight and there are still some days left before April starts. The NBA record is nine, which was set in December 1962.
Here are the players who joined the scoring spree this month:
Karl-Anthony Towns (60) on March 14
Kyrie Irving (60) March 15
LeBron James (56) March 5
Jayson Tatum (54) March 6
Kevin Durant (53) March 13
Saddiq Bey (51) March 17
Kyrie Irving (50) March 8
LeBron James (50) March 11
As you can see, two guys broke the 60-point barrier (Towns, Irving) and two players even scored at least 50 in two games (James, Irving), with a surprise performance coming from a second-year Pistons forward (Bey).
The question now is who will be next to join the scoring spree and tie the record? Goran Dragic believes Luka Doncic could score 50 if he focuses only on his offense.
“If he’s making that stepback shot, he’s basically unguardable. … He can go for 60 easy, but you can see that he gets [everybody] involved, so you have to defend him.”
Goran Dragic, Dallas News
Doncic already scored 50 in February, so repeating it or delivering a 60-point game is not a farfetched idea.
Looking at the numbers closely
Bey’s 50 points would likely go down as most unlikely as his game is more about defending than scoring. The surprise is a welcome sight for the Detroit Pistons fans and the front office -- some other out-of-nowhere 50-point performers include the likes of Terrence Ross, Tony Delk, Corey Brewer, and Andre Miller, to name a few.
Replicating a 50-point game is hard. Opposing teams adjust defensive schemes and focus specifically on a player coming off such a performance. Another reason is you need to shoot well from the 3-point line to eclipse the 50-point mark.
Only Durant was the exception with 4-13 FG from the rainbow country. Here are the 3-point shots of the eight 50-pointers in March:
In the case of Towns, the other big who scored at least 60 in a game was Shaquille O’Neal in 2000. KAT joined Shaq, Michael Jordan, James Harden, and Wilt Chamberlain as the only ones in NBA history to notch a 60-point, 15-rebound game.
LeBron James continues to break scoring records. At 37 years old, he is now the oldest player in the league to score multiple 50 points in a season. Unfortunately for the Lakers fans, it may not be enough to tow the team to the play-in tournament.
The playoffs are fast approaching, and players will push to make the play-in tournament so expect a scoring barrage in the next games. The question now is who will be the next guy to drop 50 in a single game, and can March 2022 tie or eclipse the all-time record? We’ll have to wait and see.