Top performances would be referring to those games won by a player while taking over the game from start to finish.
Dirk Nowitzki's shooting clinic vs Thunder gave the Mavs a 1-0 lead in the 2011 WCF.
48 point performance which he shot 12-of-15 from the field and hitting all 24 of his shots from the free-throw line.
What other top performances would be just as epic as this one?
one of the best single games ive ever seen, both lebron and melo had 40 point games and seemed to just go back and forth.
Since you sad epic I will exclude blowouts.
Ones that immediately come to mind are Magic's 42,15, and 7 while playing center, Lebron's 48 points including scoring the last 25 for his team, Michael Jordan's 63 points against the Celtics, Jerry West's 43,12, and 12 in game 7 of an NBA finals he lost, Wilt's 55 rebounds he got against Russell, and Russell's 30 points and 40 rebounds he got in game 7 of the NBA finals while stopping elgin baylor(before Wilt arrived)
Walt Frazier with 36 points, 19 assists, 7 rebounds, and 5 steals in Game 7 of 1970 Finals
He was a great two way basketball player...Arguable the greatest NYK of all time...Just an amazing player...
The Dominique/Bird duel in Game 7 of the 1988 ECSF stands out, Nique had 47/48 (off memory so could be off).
Magic Johnson fills in at Center in Game 6 of the Finals versus Philadelphia and puts up a 42 point, 15 boards performance without Kareem.
Lebron James in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals versus Boston last year, 45-15-5 in an elimination game.
Michael Jordan's flu game in Game 5 of the Finals in 1997, put up 37 points and played 44 minutes.
Those are ones that jump to my memory at first but there's dozens of all time great performances.
I had the pleasure of seeing two 60+ pont games live in the playoffs
The first was in 1962 0r 3 by Elgin Baylor against the Celtics in the finals....I remember my wife and I getting great seats the night of the game at the box office
The other was Jordan against the Celtics in the mid 80s in one or two ot's
Was also at the 76 triple ot game 5 vs Phoenix.....while not one individual performance stands out, the game was a classic
Wow you really saw some fantastic games. The Jordan one you mentioned are his playoff career high if I'm not mistaken! You witnessed the best playoff output Jordan has ever accomplished!!!
When T Mac scored 13 pts in 35 sec against the Spurs and won the game, believe that was in 2004. Epic!
Brings back memories of Reggie Miller vs the Knicks in the playoffs and trash talking to Spike Lee
Three of my favorite ones, AI going for 48 points in game 1 of the 2001 finals, beating the lakers on his own, Shaq going for 43 and 19 against the Pacers in the finals, and Duncan's game vs the suns in 2008, where he scored 40 including a 3-pointer. I know these are not the most famous or the top performances in history but they are pretty dominant..
LeBron's 45-15-5 in Game 6 of the 2012 ECF, his game against Detroit in 07, and Derek Fisher's shot against the Spurs with 0.2 remaining. Those are just games that stick out to me.
Perhaps the unlikeliest of heroes; Sleepy Floyd going off on the LA Lakers in the 1987 Western Conference Semifinals. 51 points on just 26 field goal attempts, and also had 10 assists and 4 steals in a 129-121 victory. He shot 69% from the field, 67% from the three point line and 93% from the free throw line.
Last year there was the Thunder overtime win against the Nuggets. Durant had 51, Westbrook 40 and Ibaka had a tripple double. It was the first time ever this happened in an NBA game. To me this was one of the most underrated performances ever, Durant and Westbrook scored all points in overtime for the Thunder.
"Kevin Durant has talked many times about one day scoring 50 points in a basketball game, something he hadn't done yet in his career. The wait is over as Durant dropped 51 on the Denver Nuggets (19-for-28 shooting, 5-for-6 on 3-pointers) to lead the Oklahoma City Thunder to a thrilling 124-118 overtime win. Durant scored 31 of his 51 in the second half. Durant's historic night is just a third of an epic Thunder performance. Point guard Russell Westbrook had 40 points while handing out nine assists and forward Serge Ibaka compiled a triple-double with 14 points, 15 rebounds and 11 blocks. It marks the first time in NBA history that a trio of teammates combined to score 50 points, 40 points and record a triple-double. Durant and Westbrook scored all 13 of the Thunder points in the overtime."
I remember watching that game and not believing what I was seeing. Easily one of the best performances I've seen by 2-3 players...although I'm only 18 so I haven't seen as much as most other guys on this site
I have this game at home in my library and watched it like 5 times till now. KD was really on a mean streak and Ibaka saved this with a late block. When KD feels it like in this one watching him is absolutely incredible! Inside, outside dribblings, cuts, the whole package and Russ was on a bad ankle and this was almost the first time he missed a game but instead went for 40...
Kudos to the Nuggets in this one, they have been fighting like crazy and Andre Miller almost schooled them, he is incredibly underrated for years now and still running the show in Denver!
Kobe Bryant's 81 points was a pretty incredible performance. He didn't show the all around game but he did absolutely take the game over with his offense. The Lakers were losing by like 10 points at half time and he just exploded. That has to be one of the top performances in the history of the NBA.
Didn't that Chamberlain guy go for a-hunnerd back in the 60's?
IMO, Kobe's 81 point performance was better than Wilt's 100.
No doubt. Kobe played under 42 minutes compared to Wilt's 48.
Kobe also took 46 field goal attempts, 17 less than Wilt's 63.
And last but not least Wilt played in an era with a more rapid pace, more shots were fired and more points were scored on both ends of the floor. Wilt scored 31.6% of the total points (59.2% of his team's points) in the game. Kobe scored 35.8% of the total points in the game and a whopping 66.4% of his team's points.
Wilt Chamberlain had the hundred point game back in around 1962, I think and his team won something like 169-147.
I agree that the Kobe 81 point game was a single handed win, the rest of the Lakers scored 41 points combined that night in the 122-104 win. Put that in context, if Kobe had gone for 60 points that night, the Lakers would have still lost.