As fans, we are always looking for new metrics to prove how amazing our favorite players are. One advanced metric that’s become quite popular is one called Game Score. Used by Basketball Reference, this metric determines which single game performances were the best in NBA history starting with the 1983-84 season.
You may be thinking, well how is Game Score calculated?
It’s quite complicated, but here it is:
[Points + 0.4 * Field Goals - 0.7 * Field Goals Attempted - 0.4*(Free Throws Attempted - Free Throws Made) + 0.7 * Offensive Rebounds + 0.3 * Defensive Rebounds + Steals + 0.7 * Assists + 0.7 * Blocks - 0.4 * Personal Fouls - Turnovers.]
Like I said, it’s complicated, but it seems to do the trick. Here are the Players who have the Top 10 all time Game Scores since the 83-84 season: Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Karl Malone, James Harden, Devin Booker, Kevin McHale, Anthony Davis and LeBron James.
There are some amazing names on that list and six more current players have been added to the top 100 game scores with performances in the 2020-21 NBA Season. Five of these players have Moments from these historic performances.
Let’s take a deeper look:
Joel Embiid - #18 Game Score All-Time - 50.80
February 19, 2021
50 points, 17 rebounds, 5 assists, 4 blocks, 2 steals, 17-26 FGs/1-2 3-PT FGs/15-17 FTs
Joel Embiid dominated this game on every level. He out-scored everyone. He out-rebounded everyone. He had four blocks and two steals on the defensive end. He got to the line at will. This was the first 50 point game by a 76ers player since Allen Iverson in 2005. He also became the first 76ers player to have 50 points and 17 rebounds in a game since Hall-of-Famer Moses Malone in 1984. Embiid recently signed a max contract extension and has voiced his intentions to never leave Philadelphia. The Process is still going strong in Philadelphia.
Fred VanVleet - #23 Game Score All-Time - 50.30
February 2, 2021
54 points, 3 rebounds, 3 steals, 3 blocks, 2 assists, 17-23 FGs/11-14 3-PT FGs/9-9 FTs
Some people may be surprised to see Fred VanVleet’s name on this list. It’s time to stop sleeping on Mr. Bet on Yourself. His size may fool you, but he can score in so many different ways. On this night, VanVleet became the Raptors’ franchise leader for points in a game with 54. VanVleet fell one three-pointer shy of the Raptors’ single-game record, but he did set the record for most threes made in a half on this night with EIGHT! No typos here.
Jayson Tatum - #49 Game Score All-Time - 47.90
April 30, 2021
60 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists, 1 block, 20-37 FGs/5-7 3-PT FGs/15-17 FTs
When you start tying records with Larry Bird, you are going to turn some heads. Tatum’s 60 points are the most in a Celtics uniform since Bird achieved this feat in March of 1985. Tatum is one of the best pure scorers in the NBA. He is only getting started at 23 years young, and it would not be shocking for him to add some more entries on the top 100 Game Score list over time.
Nikola Jokic - #59 Game Score All-Time - 47.40
February 6, 2021
50 points, 12 assists, 8 rebounds, 3 blocks, 1 steal, 20-33 FGs/3-6 3-PT FGs/7-7 FTs
Watching the MVP play is an absolute treat. On this night, the Kings did not have an answer for the crafty Serbian. Jokic became the first NBA Center to record at least 50 points and 10 assists in a game since the legendary Kareem Abdul-Jabbar achieved this feat in January of 1975. Jokic also joins a list of Nuggets players who have scored 50 in a single game. Jokic will undoubtedly come back strong in another attempt to add NBA Champion to his resume.
Bradley Beal - #92 Game Score All-Time - 45.70
January 6, 2021
60 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists, 1 steal, 20-35 FGs/7-10 3-PT FGs/13-15 FTs
Beal could not be stopped but even scoring 60 isn’t enough on some nights. Game result aside, Beal became the franchise leader in 50+ point games and tied the Wizards’ record for most points in a single game, originally set by Gilbert Arenas in 2006. Additionally, Beal scored over 30 points in the first half which had not been done since 2007. Plain and simple, he’s a walking bucket.
To add these great Moments from unforgettable performances click the player’s names below: