Saturday, March 2, 2013

The Best Scoring Performances Inside Madison Square Garden

Madison Square Garden (via Wiki Commons)

On Wednesday night Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors set his career high at 54 points. This latest high scoring performance is just the latest in a long string of scoring outbursts inside Madison Square Garden.

There is nothing like it in the basketball world. Playing in the biggest city in America in front of a hostile crowd and knowing what type of players had been there before you. Since 1947, there have been 24 games where 50 or more points have been scored in MSG. “You know, I just enjoy playing’s an electrifying place,” Kobe Bryant said after a game in the historic arena.

  • Of those 24 games, Wilt Chamberlain had six of them. The most remarkable having been on November 16th, 1962. Chamberlain scored 73 points while hitting 15 of 19 free throws. That game set a record for most points scored in a game until Chamberlain broke it a few months later on March 2, 1962 with 100 points.
  • The second highest scoring output by an individual at Madison Square Garden was done by Elgin Baylor of the Los Angeles Lakers when he scored 71 points on November 15th, 1960. Baylor would go on to average 35 points that season along with 20 rebounds and four assists.
  • Kobe Bryant scored 61 points on February 2, 2009. His efficient game included 61% shooting, 20-20 on free throws, and 3-3 shooting on 3-pointers.
  • Bernard King went for 50 points three times in the same season. The first game on November 24th, 1984. King scored 52 points, grabbed seven boards, and dished seven assists. On Christmas Day, he set the record for points scored by a Knick inside MSG with 60. He went 19-30 from the field and 22-26 from the free throw line in a loss to the Nets. His last came on February 16th, 1985 with a 55-point explosion.
  • Rick Barry of the San Francisco Warriors scored 57 points in a loss to the Knicks on December 14th, 1965. Barry shot 18-29 and had 15 rebounds. He got to the line 22 times and only missed once. The high scoring game ended at 144-137.
  • Richie Guerin was the first player in the NBA to break 50 inside the arena. On December 11th, 1959 Guerin scored 57 points on extremely efficient 18 for 21 shooting. He took 26 free throws and made 21 of them. Just three years later, Guerin scored 51 points in a win against Boston.
  • Michael Jordan scored 50 on November 1st, 1986. He made 15 of 31 shots and 20 of 22 free throws. On March 28th, 1995 he scored 55 points on 21 for 37 shooting. He shot 11 free throws and made 10. He also made three of his four attempts from the 3-point line.
  • Stephen Curry, the newest member of this elite group, scored 54 points on February 27th, 2013. He also notched six rebounds and seven assists while shooting 18 for 28 overall and 11 for 13 from beyond the arc.

    Stephen Curry shot chart (via

  • LeBron James has scored 50 points or more in MSG twice in his career. The first on March 5th, 2008. His 50 points, eight rebounds, and 10 assists led to a 119-105 over the Knicks. The second on February 9th, 2009. His well-rounded game ended with 52 points, nine rebounds, and 11 assists.
  • Jamal Crawford had 52 points on January 26th, 2007. He only shot four free throws but hit eight of 10 from 3-point range.
  • During a triple overtime game, Richard Hamilton scored 51 on 19 for 37 shooting.
  • On March 24th, 1990 Patrick Ewing had a legendary game with 51 points and 18 rebounds on 20 for 29 shooting. The Knicks lost to the Celtics 115-110. His second 50 point game at the garden was on December 1st, 1990. He scored 50 on 22 for 31 shooting and grabbed 15 rebounds. The Knicks beat Charlotte 113-96.
  • Allan Houston scored 50 on March 16th, 2003. He went 15 for 25 and hit 18 of his 18 free throws.

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