When Deron Williams scored 57 points on Sunday against Charlotte, it did a couple things: reminded us how bad the Bobcats are, and took us back to 2007.
Only five years past, that season can seem like forever ago. What do you remember from it? Is it San Antonio beating Cleveland for the title in a Finals decried as one of the most unwatchable in history?
Trick question. You shouldn’t remember that, and it’s not what Williams’ huge night â€” the 27th performance of at least 57 points, by 14 players, since 1985 â€” spurred the memory of.
No, that season was about two weeks of destruction courtesy of Kobe Bean Bryant. Even given that Bryant had three rings by that time, and thus enormous expectations, it makes the Jeremy Lin fortnight look almost pedestrian. You want March Madness? He delivered.
To summarize the unsummarizable, here’s what Bryant did: From March 16 to March 23, he scored at least 50 in four straight games, including busting the 57-point mark by dropping 65 on Portland and 60 at Memphis six days apart. After each of those outbursts were 50-pointers against Minnesota and New Orleans. Three games after his last 50-pointer against the Hornets, Bryant scored 53 for good measure against Houston on March 30.
Against Portland his fadeaway three iced the win in overtime and got him to 63.Subscribe to UPROXX
Here’s him going for 60 against the Grizz, where he went 20-of-37 from the field.
Since 1985 â€” and I’m using that date as a baseline because it’s as far back as basketball-reference.com’s game-log data goes â€” no one has matched a scoring streak quite like Bryant’s. It goes without saying you need to be efficient to pack in that many points in a game, but Bryant shot no lower than 49 percent in those four games. The most turnovers he had in that stretch was three, while playing at least 44 minutes.
It wasn’t chance that Williams scored his milestone game against Charlotte, the team that has the league’s worst point-differential and its fourth-worst opponent field-goal percentage. Even though the Nets’ breakout was the only game of even at least 40 points a player has had against the Charlotte D this year, it seems like it was only a matter of time. It was, however, fortuitous considering their owner, Michael Jordan, has a little perspective on big games himself.
Jordan had three games in a row of 50 in April of 1987, including a 61 in the season’s penultimate game.
Fast forward and you’ve got two more streaks to consider. Antawn Jamison had a two-game streak in 2000 and Allen Iverson had a two-game streak in 2004, too.
Williams plays Miami tonight, and if the All-Star doesn’t go for half a hundred again, it won’t diminish his stature as one of the NBA’s top three point guards currently. It only makes Bryant’s streak even more notable.
Where does Kobe’s streak rate in NBA history among the best scoring runs?
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