Westbrook delivered the first 50-point triple-double in playoff history, and did it on the road to boot, but the Thunder might've been better off without it. Westbrook was 13 of 25 from the field through three quarters but went 4 for 18 in the fourth, shooting OKC out of it as the Rockets rallied for a 2-0 series lead.
Just goes to show a historic performance isn't always worth celebrating. Even Russ wasn't impressed: "I don't give a (expletive) about the line. We lost," he told reporters.
Erik WilliamsErik Williams-USA TODAY Sports
Russell Westbrook: 58 vs. Blazers (3/7/17)
Stats: 21-39 FG, 13-16 FT, 9 ast
Westbrook didn't have a triple-double, but he set a career high in points and single-handedly rallied the Thunder. However, it wasn't enough in a 126-121 loss to Portland, as he was just 6 of 15 in the fourth quarter and missed a couple of late shots with a chance to tie or take the lead. It was the fifth time he scored 40 or more in his past six games.
Davis had a historic opening week of the season — he followed this with a 45-point game against the Warriors, but the Pelicans lost both games at home. Davis also has games of 46, 45, 42, 41 and 40, plus a record 52 points in the All-Star Game in February (which we won't count).
After scoring 50 in the opener, Davis seemed to sense he didn't have enough help this season.
"I'm going to have to — probably not 50 every night — but try to get somewhere along those lines every game to give ourselves a chance," Davis told reporters.
New Orleans heard him and in February traded for DeMarcus Cousins — who, as a matter of fact, also is on this list.
Russell Westbrook: 51 vs. Suns (10/28/16)
Stats: 17-44 FG, 15-20 FT, 13 reb, 10 ast
Westbrook is at the front of the MVP conversation thanks to his triple-double average and heroic performances, including this effort in a 113-110 overtime win. (But his volume shooting and poor efficiency in this one detract from an otherwise huge night.)
In addition to his aforementioned 58-point night, he also scored 48 at Phoenix and has games of 49, 47, 46, 45 (four times), 43, 42 (twice), 41 (twice) and 40 this season. But he saved his top two games for late in the season. (Scroll on for more)
DeMarcus Cousins: 55 vs. Trail Blazers (12/20/16)
Stats: 17-28 FG, 16-17 FT, 14 reb, 3 blk
Fueled by fury, Boogie beat up on Meyers Leonard and the Blazers — and even overcame an ejection, which was overturned, coming back to hit a key free throw to help seal a 126-121 win. But while Cousins denied spitting his mouthpiece at the Blazers bench, it looked pretty intentional, which costs him some sportsmanship points.
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Jimmy Butler: 52 vs. Hornets (1/2/17)
Stats: 15-24 FG, 21-22 FT, 12 reb, 6 ast, 3 stl
Butler notched a 50 for the second straight season and outdueled Kemba Walker for a 118-111 win — a rare bright spot in an otherwise disappointing season for the Bulls. Butler also has a 42-point game and three 40s.
James Harden: 51 at 76ers (1/27/17)
Stats: 16-28 FG, 13-14 FT, 13 reb, 13 ast
Harden has given Westbrook a run when it comes to triple-doubles and MVP votes, and he's been incredible with five triple-doubles of 40 points or more in the span of a month, tying Oscar Robertson's record for most in one season in a 129-122 win at Philadelphia. It was his fifth career 50-point game and second triple with 50 or more this season, setting an NBA record, and it was the first game of 50 or more by a player on the road this season.
To give you an idea of how crazy two 50-point triple-doubles in a season is: The NBA went 15,258 days (from 1/19/75 to 10/28/16) without seeing one.
Isaiah Thomas: 52 vs. Heat (12/30/16)
Stats: 15-26 FG, 13-13 FT
The critics will point out that the Celtics point guard had zero assists, but Thomas did his work in just 37 minutes, fueled a comeback with a team-record 29 fourth-quarter points — he leads the league in 4Q scoring — and hit the game-winner. Thomas also has two games of 44 and 41.
"It just felt like I was out there by myself, working on my game in the gym. Throwing up everything and it was going in. It was a special feeling," Thomas told reporters.
James Harden: 53 vs. Knicks (12/31/16)
Stats:14-26 FG, 16-18 FT, 16 reb, 17 ast
Harden has given Westbrook a run when it comes to triple-doubles and MVP votes, and his biggest performance came the night after Thomas', when he became the first player in NBA history to have at least 50 points, 15 assists and 15 rebounds in a game, a 129-122 win over the Knicks. It was, at the time, the most points ever scored in a triple-double. So we can overlook the eight turnovers.
"It was like NBA 2K numbers," Brandon Jennings told reporters. "I just told him afterward to just go and get the MVP."
Lillard set a Blazers record with a huge night to push Portland closer to the eighth and final playoff spot in the West. He did it despite going scoreless in the second quarter, and didn't have a single turnover (top that, Russ).
He could've topped 60 if he hadn't missed two free throws in the final seconds. Lillard blamed teammate Noah Vonleh for telling him how many he had.
"When I missed the second one and everybody was like, `Ohhh,' I was like, `What happened?' Then I made the last one and looked up and I had 59," Lillard told reporters. "And I was like — it's Noah's fault."
In a season of sensational performances, Westbrook delivered one of his best late in the season to save the Thunder from a loss at lowly Orlando and clinch a playoff spot. Westbrook turned it on in the fourth quarter and hit a three to force overtime, then secured his 38th triple-double of the season in the extra period while pulling out a 114-106 win. It was the biggest comeback in franchise history (21 points).
Westbrook broke James Harden's record for most points scored in a triple-double while scoring 50 or more for the third time this season, and pulled closer to Oscar Robertson's record of 41 triples in a season — and to averaging a triple for the season, which only Robertson had done.
Russ likely put the finishing touches on his MVP by recording his fourth 50-pointer of the season in dramatic fashion, scoring OKC's final 15 points and hitting a game-winner at Denver. In doing so he also set the NBA record with his 42nd triple-double of the season and eliminated the Nuggets from the playoff race.
Wow, just wow.
"It was a good defense," Nuggets guard Gary Harris told reporters. "He's had a hell of a season. I think he might have just locked up the MVP with that one right there."
Isaiah Thomas: 53 vs. Wizards (5/2/17)
Stats: 18-33 FG, 5-12 3pt, 12-13 FT
Thomas topped 50 for the second time this season and did it under even more impressive circumstances, fueling another comeback with 29 points in the fourth quarter and overtime for a 129-119 win in Game 2 against the Wizards.
Thomas powered the Celtics to a sixth straight win in the postseason despite getting off to a rough start, with John Wall abusing the Celtics for 19 first-quarter points. But the Celtics adjusted and Thomas, who endured the death of his younger sister on the eve of the playoffs and lost a tooth in Game 1 against the Wiz, dug deep for another big performance to push the Celtics halfway to the Eastern Conference Finals.
On his sister's birthday.
"The least I can do is go out there and play for her," Thomas told reporters. "I knew once game-time came, my guys would get me going, get me the energy to go out and win a game. There was no way I was sitting out."
Devin Booker: 70 at Celtics (3/24/17)
Stats: 21-40 FG, 24-26 FT, 8 reb, 6 ast
Booker became just the sixth player to score 70 or more, and the youngest to score 60 or more. He set a Suns record for most points in a game, and a Celtics record for most scored against them. And he did it in the Garden. At 20 years old. TWENTY!
That said, the Suns lost 130-120, and not everyone was impressed with the way they fouled at the end to get more chances for Booker to add to his historic night.
"I've never seen nothing like that, chasing those numbers, but it is what it is," Isaiah Thomas told reporters. "We're headed to the playoffs and they're headed to the lottery."
Klay Thompson: 60 vs. Pacers (12/6/16)
Stats: 21-33 FG, 10-11 FT
Yes, Klay didn't score 70 or stuff his stat line like Harden or Westbrook, but he scored 60 points in 29 minutes, sitting out the entire fourth quarter of a 142-106 win.
"That's a feat that I put money on will probably never be touched ever again in the history of basketball," Steph Curry told reporters.