Published On: Sat, Apr 14th, 2018

Ranking the 10 greatest single-game performances this season

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The NBA’s regular season featured plenty of eye-popping performance – but a handful stand out for their sheer ridiculousness.

Here’s a list of the 10 greatest single-game performances this season, ranked by Basketball-Reference’s Game Score:

10. Giannis Antetokounmpo, Bucks (Jan. 26, 2018)

41 PTS, 13 REB, 7 AST, 2 STL, 2 BLK
Game Score: 43.4

It was a breakout season for the Greek Freak, who finished tied for fourth in scoring average at 26.9 points per game while providing plenty of above-the-rim highlights. But Giannis saved his best for that Jan. 26 encounter with the Brooklyn Nets, pouring in 41 points while flirting with a triple-double; he also committed just one turnover in what was a near-perfect performance.

9. DeMarcus Cousins, Pelicans (Jan. 22, 2018)


44 PTS, 23 REB, 10 AST, 4 STL, 1 BLK
Game Score: 43.7

Of all the triple-doubles registered this season – and there were a lot – this might have been one of the most dominant. Boogie was a madman on the boards, hauling in 23 boards – one shy of his career best – while adding four swipes. The only black mark on the night: He shot just 13-for-29 in the 132-128 double-overtime triumph over Chicago – but really, who cares?

8. DeMar DeRozan, Raptors (Jan. 1, 2018)

52 PTS, 5 REB, 8 AST, 1 STL, 1 BLK
Game Score: 44.1

Happy New Year indeed. DeRozan‘s highest-scoring game was also one of his most efficient from a shooting perspective; the Raptors superstar connected on 17-of-29 shots from the field, shot 5-of-9 from from 3-point territory – where he’s hardly a sharpshooter – and made all 13 of his free-throw attempts. Toronto went on to prevail 131-127 in OT over Milwaukee.

7. Anthony Davis, Pelicans (Feb. 14, 2018)


42 PTS, 15 REB, 3 AST, 3 STL, 3 BLK
Game Score: 45.4

The first of two entries on this list for Davis, his Valentine’s Day massacre of the Los Angeles Lakers featured a little bit of everything. Davis missed just three field-goal attempts on the night while connecting on both of his 3-point attempts and going 10-of-11 from the line. Even more impressively: Davis did it all in just 33 minutes, tied with Giannis for the fewest of anyone on the list.

6. Karl-Anthony Towns, Timberwolves (March 28, 2018)

56 PTS, 15 REB, 4 AST, 0 STL, 1 BLK
Game Score: 46.0

Move over, Mo Williams. Towns established a Timberwolves record for points in one of the most masterful performances in the league this season; the former No. 1 overall pick knocked down six 3-pointers while converting 12-of-15 attempts from the free-throw line. And he really turned things on after the break, pouring in 30 points and adding 11 boards in the second half.

5. Joel Embiid, 76ers (Nov. 15, 2017)


46 PTS, 15 REB, 7 AST, 0 STL, 7 BLK
Game Score: 47.9

Embiid gave NBA fans a glimpse of his stratospheric potential early in the season, posting the kind of stat line only a handful of bigs – the majority of them Hall of Famers – have ever produced. Despite playing just 34.5 minutes, Embiid nearly outscored the rest of the 76ers‘ starting five by himself; the seven blocked shots were a season high for the 7-foot Process.

4. James Harden, Rockets (Nov. 5, 2017)

56 PTS, 2 REB, 13 AST, 2 STL, 0 BLK
Game Score: 49.2

One of only two players with multiple entries on this list, Harden was far from perfect, pulling down just two boards while committing seven turnovers – but boy, did he produce a lot of offense. The 56 points tied for the third-most in the league this season, and his 13 helpers were the most in any game on this list. And he was dangerously efficient, connecting on 19-of-25 shots from the floor.

3. Anthony Davis, Pelicans (Feb. 26, 2018)


53 PTS, 18 REB, 3 AST, 1 STL, 5 BLK
Game Score: 50.1

Hello again! Davis was simply magnificent in a 125-116 triumph over the Phoenix Suns at the end of February, hauling in more rebounds than the rest of the New Orleans starting five combined while connecting on 21-of-26 attempts from the free-throw line. Davis is the only player in league history with at least 53 points, 18 rebounds, and five blocks in a game.

2. LeBron James, Cavaliers (Nov. 3, 2018)

57 PTS, 11 REB, 7 AST, 3 STL, 2 BLK
Game Score: 53.2

It wouldn’t be a true list of incredible games without an appearance by The King – and even in his early-30s, James can stuff a stat sheet with the best of them. The future Hall of Famer shot an incredible 23-of-34 from the field and 9-of-9 from the line in one of the most dominant showings of his career. The 57 points are the second-most LeBron has ever scored in a game.

1. James Harden, Rockets (Jan. 30, 2018)


60 PTS, 10 REB, 11 AST, 4 STL, 1 BLK
Game Score: 56.6

What Harden did on the second-last day of January remains one of the most incomprehensibly absurd feats in NBA history. Harden shot 19-of-30 from the floor, 5-of-14 from 3-point range and 17-of-18 from the line to produce the highest-scoring game of the season. Oh, and he also racked up double-digit boards and assists for the highest-scoring triple-double in NBA history.

(Photos courtesy: Getty Images)



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