Kyrie Irving positioned to join Kobe Bryant as only active players to post season’s two highest-scoring games


Kyrie Irving went wild last night, scoring 57 points in the Cavaliers’ win over the Spurs.

He also dropped 55 in a January win over the Trail Blazers.

That gives Irving the NBA’s two highest-scoring games of the season ahead of Klay Thompson’s 52, Mo Williams’ 52, Stephen Curry’s 51 and everyone else’s outings.

Of course, another player could pass Irving in the season’s final month. But if this holds, the Cavaliers point guard would join Kobe Bryant as the only active players to post a season’s two highest-scoring games.

Gathered through and this list of 50-point games, I found the top two scoring games for each season back to 1958 – and a little data before that.

Here are the highest scoring games of each season with the years one player held the top two spots outright in green and the years a player did it with a  tie in red:

  • 2015: Kyrie Irving (57), Kyrie Irving (55)
  • 2014: Carmelo Anthony (62), LeBron James (61)
  • 2013: Stephen Curry (54), Kevin Durant (52)
  • 2012: Deron Williams (57), Kevin Love (51), Kevin Durant (51)
  • 2011: LeBron James (51), Carmelo Anthony (50)
  • 2010: Brandon Jennings (55), Andre Miller (52)
  • 2009: Kobe Bryant (61), Tony Parker (55), Dwyane Wade (55), LeBron James (55)
  • 2008: Kobe Bryant (53), Kobe Bryant (52)
  • 2007: Kobe Bryant (65), Kobe Bryant (60), Gilbert Arenas (60)
  • 2006: Kobe Bryant (81), Kobe Bryant (62)
  • 2005: Allen Iverson (60), LeBron James (56)
  • 2004: Tracy McGrady (62), Tracy McGrady (51), Tracy McGrady (51)
  • 2003: Kobe Bryant (55), Allan Houston (53)
  • 2002: Allen Iverson (58), Kobe Bryant (56)
  • 2001: Jerry Stackhouse (57), Allen Iverson (54)
  • 2000: Shaquille O’Neal (61), Vince Carter (51)
  • 1999: Grant Hill (46), Allen Iverson (46), Antonio McDyess (46)
  • 1998: Karl Malone (56), Shaquille O’Neal (50), Tracy Murray (50)
  • 1997: Michael Jordan (51), Michael Jordan (50), Allen Iverson (50)
  • 1996: Michael Jordan (53), Hakeem Olajuwon (51)
  • 1995: Glen Rice (56), Michael Jordan (55)
  • 1994: David Robinson (71), Shaquille O’Neal (53)
  • 1993: Michael Jordan (64), Michael Jordan (57), Reggie Miller (57)
  • 1992: Dominique Wilkins (52), Michael Jordan (50)
  • 1991: Michael Adams (54), Charles Smith (52), Bernard King (52)
  • 1990: Michael Jordan (69), Karl Malone (61)
  • 1989: Michael Jordan (53), Michael Jordan (52), Michael Jordan (52), Michael Jordan (52)
  • 1988: Michael Jordan (59), Michael Jordan (52), Michael Jordan (52)
  • 1987: Michael Jordan (61), Michael Jordan (61)
  • 1986: Dominique Wilkins (57), Alex English (54)
  • 1985: Bernard King (60), Larry Bird (60)
  • 1984: Purvis Short (57), Kiki Vandeweghe (51)
  • 1983: Adrian Dantley (57), Kelly Tripucka (56)
  • 1982: Adrian Dantley (53), Moses Malone (53)
  • 1981: Adrian Dantley (55), Billy Knight (52)
  • 1980: George Gervin (55), George Gervin (53)
  • 1979: George Gervin (52), Truck Robinson (51)
  • 1978: David Thompson (73), George Gervin (63)
  • 1977: Pete Maravich (68), Pete Maravich (51), Pete Maravich (51), Phil Smith (51)
  • 1976: Bob McAdoo (52), Phil Smith (51)
  • 1975: Rick Barry (55), Gail Goodrich (53)
  • 1974: Rick Barry (64), Fred Brown (58)
  • 1973: Phil Chenier (53), Tiny Archibald (52), Tiny Archibald (52)
  • 1972: Chet Walker (56), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (55), Tiny Archibald (55)
  • 1971: Dave Bing (54), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (53), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (53)
  • 1970: Lou Hudson (57), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (51)
  • 1969: Wilt Chamberlain (66), Wilt Chamberlain (60)
  • 1968: Wilt Chamberlain (68), Earl Monroe (56)
  • 1967: Wilt Chamberlain (58), Rick Barry (57)
  • 1966: Wilt Chamberlain (65), Wilt Chamberlain (62)
  • 1965: Wilt Chamberlain (63), Wilt Chamberlain (62)
  • 1964: Wilt Chamberlain (59), Wilt Chamberlain (59), Wilt Chamberlain (59)
  • 1963: Wilt Chamberlain (73), Wilt Chamberlain (72)
  • 1962: Wilt Chamberlain (100), Wilt Chamberlain (78)
  • 1961: Elgin Baylor (71), Wilt Chamberlain (67)
  • 1960: Elgin Baylor (64), Jack Twyman (59)
  • 1959: Elgin Baylor (55), Elgin Baylor (52)
  • 1958: George Yardley (51), Bob Pettit (51)
  • 1957: unknown, unknown
  • 1956: unknown, unknown
  • 1955: unknown, unknown
  • 1954: Neil Johnston (50), unknown
  • 1953: unknown, unknown
  • 1952: George Mikan (61), unknown
  • 1951: unknown, unknown
  • 1950: George Mikan (51), unknown
  • 1949: Joe Fulks (63), George Mikan (53)
  • 1948: unknown, unknown
  • 1947: unknown, unknown

Danny Green: Kawhi Leonard report ‘couldn’t be anymore incorrect’

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A pattern is emerging.

A report said there’s a disconnect between Kawhi Leonard and the Spurs. Leonard’s uncle denied it.

A report said San Antonio held a players-only meeting to implore Leonard to play. Danny Green denied it.


Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN wrote the latest article. Michael C. Wright and Ramona Shelburne contributed. These are credible reporters.

At minimum, someone wants the information out there. That alone makes this an issue. The Spurs, so unaccustomed to dealing with this noise, are facing it now.

Is every detail in the report accurate? Is it accurate overall? I don’t know.

But Green is loyal to San Antonio. Him shooting down a report of disarray means something, but it doesn’t mean everything.

Report: Spurs held players-only meeting imploring Kawhi Leonard to play

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Gregg Popovich’s thinly veiled attempt to pressure Kawhi Leonard into playing apparently had an effect – on Leonard’s Spurs teammates.

They, apparently led by Tony Parker, confronted Leonard.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

The San Antonio Spurs held a players-only meeting to implore All-NBA forward Kawhi Leonard to return to the lineup and help the team in its push for the playoffs, league sources told ESPN.

Spurs guard Tony Parker, a four-time NBA champion, quarterbacked the meeting with his teammates and Leonard after Saturday night’s victory over Minnesota, league sources said.

The conversation was described as tense and emotional at times, league sources said.

Several teammates spoke up, expressing frustration and confusion over a growing divide with Leonard that has created significant tension between the franchise star and the Spurs, league sources said.

Leonard, 26, was resolute in response, insisting that he had good reason for sitting out all but nine games with a right quad injury this season, league sources said.

That optimism around Leonard? It just went up in flames like Nick Young‘s Forever 21 clothing.

The Spurs have cleared Leonard to play, but he and his medical team don’t feel he’s ready. That’s an uneasy disagreement, but not necessarily illegitimate. Players know their own bodies and can sometimes sense problems doctors can’t identify. As of a few weeks ago, Popovich said Leonard was doing what he’s supposed to do.

So, a locker room full of players telling Leonard to play anyway sounds pretty unhealthy. It’s a shocking development in San Antonio, where the Spurs’ culture is recognized as arguably the NBA’s best and where the team is known for erring on the side of caution with injuries.

Fairly or not, Leonard probably invited this showdown with his handling of the injury. He told teammates he’d return to play then repeated the message publicly while adding soon. He reportedly targeted last Thursday, but a week later, he remains out. The disconnect between him and the franchise certainly didn’t help his teammates understand his point of view.

That disconnect was largely pinned on Leonard’s quiet nature, which makes it so rattling to imagine him facing a room of frustrated and confused teammates. Good for Leonard for standing up for himself if he truly isn’t ready to play.

But his teammates’ questioning will only increase the belief he’s just malingering. After all, if anybody could relate to him, it’s other professional athletes – especially Parker, who had a similar injury and recovered much more quickly (which doesn’t prove anything about Leonard, but certainly could influence opinion).

After the meeting, Manu Ginobili said, via Michael C. Wright of ESPN:

“He is not coming back,” veteran guard Manu Ginobili said. “For me, he’s not coming back because it’s not helping [to think Leonard is returning]. We fell for it a week ago again. I guess you guys made us fall for it. But we have to think that he’s not coming back, that we are who we are, and that we got to fight without him. That shouldn’t be changing, at least until he is ready for the jump ball.”

That sounded as if Ginobili were just trying to talk him into that mindset, so he’d stay sharp while Leonard remained out and wouldn’t be disappointed by a continued absence. But after knowing Ginobili got information straight from the source, that comment looks much more telling.

Kelly Olynyk nutmegs Kyle O’Quinn to set up Josh Richardson dunk (video)

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In the Heat’s rout of the Knicks last night, Kelly Olynyk scored 22 points and dished a career-high 10 assists.

This was the prettiest, a pass between Kyle O'Quinn‘s legs to Josh Richardson, who dunked.

Malik Beasley stumbles, bumbles, fumbles during turnover (video)

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Malik Beasley isn’t a point guard, but he was playing the position for the Nuggets in garbage time of their win over the Bulls last night. And Torrey Craig‘s pass was low and behind Beasley, which is why Craig was assigned the turnover.

With those caveats acknowledged, Beasley’s contortions as he tries to corral the ball are something to behold.