Double nickel: The NBA's 55-point games since 1985
With his 55-point performance Wednesday night, Kyrie Irving became the ninth player since 1985 to hit that number. We take a look back at those 55-point nights in the past 30 years, which include LeBron, Kobe, M.J. and some memorable moments.
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Michael Jordan, March 28, 1995; May 1, 1988; June 16, 1993; April 27, 1997
In only his fifth game back in the NBA, Jordan memorably lit up Madison Square Garden, proving his star still burned brightly. Jordan’s 55 in a 113-111 win over the Knicks came on 21-of-37 shooting, sending a message to the league. Jordan also hit the 55-point mark three times in the NBA playoffs, twice in the first round ('88 vs. Cavs, '97 vs. Bullets) and once in the Finals ('93 vs. Suns). His 14 field goals made in the first half in Game 4 against Phoenix tied an NBA Finals record.
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Kobe Bryant, March 28, 2003
In a matchup of two NBA greats, 24-year-old Kobe Bryant gave 40-year-old Michael Jordan, near the end of his stint with the Wizards, a first-hand look at the league's new guard. Bryant put up 42 of his 55 points in the first half, besting the franchise record for points in a half, at one point scoring 23 straight Lakers points.
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Allen Iverson, April 20, 2003
Sixers head coach Larry Brown called A.I.'s performance in the first game of the 2003 Eastern Conference first round series vs. the New Orleans Hornets Iverson's "best ever, by far." Iverson was 21 of 32 from the field as he set a Sixers playoff record for points scored in a game. His 20 fourth-quarter points helped the Sixers hold on for a victory. No one since Iverson has scored 55 or more in a playoff game. Ray Allen is next closest with 51 in a epic three overtime struggle between the Celtics and Bulls in the 2009 playoffs.
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Jermaine O’Neal, January 4, 2005
When it comes to scoring and the Indiana Pacers, sharp shooter Reggie Miller is the first name that comes to mind. Miller scored 57 in a 1992 game, so O’Neal, who went 18 of 28 from the field and 19 of 25 from the line, was just a couple shy of that mark. George McGinnis set Indiana’s franchise high with 58 points while the team was in the ABA.
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Tony Parker, November 5, 2008
This one may not be quite as monumental as some of the others since it included 10 extra minutes of play but is impressive nonetheless. Parker hit a buzzer beater to send the game to a second overtime and set a career-high for points as he helped the Spurs avoid an 0-4 start to their season.
As a rookie for the Bucks, Jennings put himself in some lofty company. In 40 minutes against the Golden State Warriors, Jennings went 21-of-34 overall from the field and 7-of-8 from three. The 55 points were just a few behind the all-time record for points by a rookie set by Wilt Chamberlain, who scored 58 twice in 1960.
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LeBron James, February 20, 2009
The Cavs trailed the Milwaukee Bucks at halftime on the road – and then LeBron James took over. James went into the break with 25 points, and then scored 24 in the third quarter alone, 16 of those points in the quarter’s first three minutes.
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Dwyane Wade, April 12, 2009
Miami clinched a playoff berth as Dwyane Wade nearly grabbed a franchise record. Wade’s 55 on 19-of-30 shooting and six three-pointers was just one shy of Glenn Rice’s 56 in 1995. By the fourth quarter, Wade already had 50. His Heat teammates: 47.
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Kyrie Irving, Jan. 28, 2015
With LeBron James out of the lineup, Kyrie Irving took the reins for the Cavs against one of the best in the Western Conference. Irving scored more than half of Cleveland’s 99 points and hit the game-deciding, cold-blooded triple with 6.4 seconds left in regulation in a tie game.