The 10 Best Individual Performances In NBA Playoff History

By: 05.16.14

LeBron James

Did you see Kevin Durant last night? If you didn’t, go back and watch the tape. Legend status. In one of the biggest games of his career, the MVP overcame a slow start to post one of those statlines (39 points, 16 rebounds, five assists, five three-pointers and two blocks) you can’t turn away from. Yet as great as KD was, that performance probably doesn’t come close to the best we’ve ever seen.

On the cusp of the Western Conference Finals, I broke down ten of the greatest individual games in NBA Playoff history.

Honorable Mentions

Wilt Chamberlain, 1962 Eastern Conference Semifinals
56 points, 35 rebounds

Shaquille O’Neal, 2000 NBA Finals, Game 1
43 points, 21-of-31 FG, 19 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 blocks

Tim Duncan, 2003 NBA Finals, Game 1
32 points, 11-of-17 FG, 20 rebounds, 6 assists, 7 blocks, 3 steals

Dirk Nowitzki, 2011 Western Conference Finals, Game 1
48 points, 12-of-15 FG, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, 6 blocks

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, 1974 Western Conference Finals, Game 2
44 points, 20-of-29 FG, 21 rebounds

*** *** ***

10. Charles Barkley
1994 Western Conference First Round, Game 3
56 points, 23-of-31 FG, 14 rebounds

Charles Barkley tied one of Michael Jordan’s performances for the second-most points scored in a single playoff game in the modern era when he poured in 56 against the Warriors in the 1994 Playoffs. Chuck shot an insane 74.2 percent from the field while adding four assists, three steals and one block as Phoenix defeated Golden State, 140-133.

Subscribe to UPROXX

9. Elgin Baylor
1962 NBA Finals, Game 5
61 points, 22 rebounds

Elgin Baylor terrorized the Celtics throughout his career, but his most memorable game against the Lakers’ rival may have came early on in his career. In Game 5 of the title round against Boston, the high-flying small forward exploded, scoring an NBA Finals record 61 points and grabbing 22 boards. Baylor was skying for rebounds, knocking down shots and throwing down dunks over the great Bill Russell.

(Check out 7:44)

Around The Web


This 25-Year-Old Running For Congress Defies Millennial Stereotypes

Crucial Advice About Fear And Adventure From An Amazon Explorer

A Fact-Soaked Odyssey Through Kentucky’s Bourbon Country

This Woman Is Fighting The Stigma Of Sex Work In America In Hopes Of Getting Her Child Back

‘We Went To The Moon In 1969’: How The ‘Even Stevens’ Musical Episode Changed The Disney Channel Forever

M.T. Anderson Correctly Predicted Your ‘Feed’ Back In 2002, Are You Ready To Hear What He Says Is Coming Next?

Kenya’s Massive Ivory Burn Should Light A Fire Under Us All

Returning To The Boston Marathon Offered A Lesson In Facing Fears

Is There More To The Adam Walsh Story?

Stand-Up Comedy Scared The Hell Out Of Me, So I Decided To Give It A Shot

W. Kamau Bell On Joking With The KKK For CNN And Quoting Malcolm X In His New Special

‘The NFL Whole-Heartedly Doesn’t Care About You’: Joey Harrington Offers Real Talk About The NFL Draft Process