It takes a lot of effort to score 40 or more points in an NBA match. In the 75-year history of the NBA, only a few athletes have accomplished it. These players are blessed with the exceptional ability to score 40 points in a game. On the court, certain players were able to control the action with putbacks, layups, and dunks.
Others were successful in developing their jump shot and replacing the mid-range and perimeter. The top 25 scorers in games with 40 or more points are Hall of Famers, MVPs, and champions. Recently, StatMuse published a list of active NBA athletes with the most 40-point games. Surprisingly, James Harden tops the list, beating legendary players like Steph Curry and LeBron James!
Most 40-point games by active players:
101 — James Harden
69 — LeBron James
62 — Kevin Durant
52 — Steph Curry
50 — Russell Westbrook pic.twitter.com/9GysjsABTQ
— StatMuse (@statmuse) July 18, 2022
One of the league’s most productive scorers ever is James Harden. With 101 forty-point games in his career, he comes in first place on this list. Back in his prime time in 2017–2020, when he led the league in scoring and had a streak of games where he scored 30 or more points in 32 straight games.
Harden’s diligent nature, deft footwork, and slick finish made him virtually impossible to defend. As he approaches his mid-30s, things could be a little different for Harden, but “The Beard” definitely merits praise for his ability to put the ball in the hoop.
After James Harden, number two on the list is none other than LeBron James, who has managed to score 40 points 69 times in his career. His best performance came in the first game of the 2018 NBA Finals against the Warriors. King James scored 51 points but his team struggled in overtime. The Golden State Warriors went on to eliminate the Cleveland Cavaliers in that series, which also happened to be LeBron’s final game with the Cavs.
The Baby-Faced Assassin is in the number four spot. In his 12-year NBA career, he has missed five playoff games but has still scored 40 or more points 52 times. In 2022, Stephen Curry led his team to the NBA championship and was named the game’s MVP. On January 3, 2021, Curry scored 62 points, which is the most he has ever scored in a single game against the Trail Blazers.
Lastly, Russell Westbrook has fifty 40-point games in the NBA, the most famous of which was his 51-point performance against the Houston Rockets in Game 2 of the 2017 NBA playoffs’ first round. He set an NBA playoff record for most points scored while recording a triple-double that night. Despite the defeat, he scored 51 points, 13 assists, and four steals.