Breaking down the NBA’s historic surge of 50-point performances this season

The 2022-23 NBA regular season saw an explosion of scoring, with 15 different players combining for 25 50-point games, the most in a single regular season since the 1960s. The usual suspects were responsible for the fireworks, with former MVPs Stephen Curry and Giannis Antetokounmpo, as well as other superstars like Joel Embiid, Luka Doncic, Damian Lillard, Devin Booker, Jayson Tatum, and Anthony Davis, all making it into this year’s 50-point club. The postseason also welcomed new members, with Jimmy Butler scoring 56 points in Miami Heat’s first-round playoff game against the Milwaukee Bucks.

Jimmy Butler lived up to his “Playoff Jimmy” nickname with his emphatic performance in Game 4 of the Heat’s first-round series against the top-seeded Bucks, scoring a career-high 56 points to rally his team from a 12-point deficit in the fourth quarter. Meanwhile, Joel Embiid made a compelling argument for MVP with his 52-point game against the Boston Celtics, which also featured him going 20-for-25 from the field and 12-of-13 from the free-throw line. Jrue Holiday also put up a career-high 51 points in the Milwaukee Bucks’ win against the Indiana Pacers.

Luka Doncic had a blistering holiday week, starting with a 50-point performance against the Houston Rockets, following it up with a 60-point night in a come-from-behind overtime win against the New York Knicks, and then scoring another 50 points in a victory against the San Antonio Spurs. Devin Booker had a 58-point, 25-consecutive-point performance against the New Orleans Pelicans, while Damian Lillard made 13 3-pointers and scored 50 points to lead Portland’s win against the Houston Rockets. Giannis Antetokounmpo also made three 50-point performances this season, his third coming in a nail-biting win against the LA Clippers.

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