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NBA: Revisiting the league’s all-time Christmas Day top scorers

Christmas NBA

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Yes, it’s Christmas Day, and it is fast approaching. And we also have a smorgasbord of NBA games to look forward to. Christmas is the time of giving, and the players on the court like to provide gifts by ripping it up with some special performances. Inevitably, there are some standout individuals who blow things up with some high-scoring displays.

But who are the most prolific shooters on Christmas Day? Well, this decorated list ranks in order the top 10 players and the points they have accrued in their careers over Christmas.

LeBron James (422 points in 16 games)

Heading this list unsurprisingly is LA Lakers legend LeBron James. Occupying second spot in the all-time scorers with 37,655 points and counting, James has been an indomitable figure on the floor for many years now. And he seems to have a penchant for playing well at Christmas too. Indeed, James overtook Kobe Bryant on this list, and he averages 26.4 points per game, so that underlines how prolific he is.

In his 15th appearance on Christmas Day in 2020, James produced a monster performance as he finished with 22 points, seven rebounds, and 13 assists, and he could well sprinkle some more stardust this year.

Kobe Bryant (395 points in 16 games)

He may no longer be with us, but Bryant was one of those players that could cast a spell on the floor, and he would leave defenses befuddled with his devilish movement. Oh, and he knack for scoring points too. Well, 395 points across 16 games on Christmas Day pays testament to this. Back in 2012, Bryant dropped a whopping 34 points on the New York Knicks.

And en route to claiming his fifth NBA crown with the Lakers, Bryant racked up 35 points, 10 rebounds, and eight assists in a 15-point loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers with a broken finger, which is truly extraordinary!

Oscar Robertson (377 points in 12 games)

It was bound to take some time before Oscar Robertson’s record would be broken, and he was prolific during Christmas games. At one point, Robertson averaged 31.4 points, 12.1 assists, and 7.9 rebounds for Christmas games. And in his first Christmas game during his rookie season, he managed a triple-double. Robertson was exceptional, and he certainly came alive during the holiday season.

Dwyane Wade (314 points in 13 games)

Coming in fourth spot on this list, is Dwyane Wade. Across Christmas games, he averaged 24.1 points per game, and he had an impressive field goal percentage of 45.7. Wade, who was known for his exploits with the Miami Heat, capped off his last Christmas game with a team-high 24 points on 9-for-16 shooting, along with three rebounds and six assists in just 28 minutes, which was simply breathtaking.

Kevin Durant (299 points in 10 games)

Kevin Durant is still lighting things up in the NBA. And he hasn’t had many problems finding the target. Indeed, his best performance was probably in 2010 when he had a 38-minute spell on the court for the Oklahoma City Thunder where he drilled home 33 points and was 11-for-21 with his shooting. Durant is one of those electrifying players that gets bums off the seat, and it is an added treat to see him on Christmas Day.

Shaquille O’Neal (272 points in 13 games)

Shaquille O’Neal knew how to make a mark on games, and perhaps his most famous Christmas clash was when he locked horns with Bryant after his trade to the Heat. And O’Neal didn’t disappoint either, netting 24 points and 11 rebounds. His overall tally of 272 points in 13 games isn’t too shabby either!

Russell Westbrook (241 points in 13 games)

He may have been rather point shy last Christmas, but Russell Westbrook knows how to stamp his authority on the game — 241 points in 13 Christmas Day outings would suggest so! And there are probably two Christmas performances that stick out for Westbrook. The first was in 2016 for the Thunder against the Minnesota Timberwolves when he orchestrated things notching up 31 points and 15 assists.

The second was against the Houston Rockets, where Westbrook finished the game with 31 points, and he managed 11 assists, as well as being 12-of-24 shooting, so he certainly stacks up the numbers. 

Dolph Schayes (239 points in 13 games)

You would have to go through the YouTube reels to find footage of Dolph Schayes, who was a giant of the game in the 1960s. Schayes was a fabulous all-rounder as he could shoot and rebound, and in his career, he wound up with 18,438 points. But he was always a man for the occasion as judged by the fact that he weighed in with 239 points from his 13 Christmas games.

Walt Bellamy (237 points in 9 games)

Walt Bellamy would crush any opponent that got in his way, and he managed 237 points in nine Christmas Day outings. But he was merciless in one particular Christmas game against the Buffalo Braves where he slammed 40 points, but Bernard King holds the record for most points scored in a game on Christmas Day with 60 making it the best individual scoring performance ever.

Nevertheless, Bellamy’s enduring consistency meant he was inducted into the NBA Hall of Fame in 1993.

Richie Guerin (232 points in 9 games)

A guard by nature, Richie Guerin rounds off this carefully curated list. He entered NBA folklore with a 57-point showing for the Knicks, which actually came before Christmas in 1959. However, he scored 232 points in nine Christmas Day games, and Knicks fans won’t have forgotten him in a hurry.

Charles

English betting expert and writer. Huge Tottenham supporter, and aside from being an avid soccer fan, has a keen interest in golf and tennis. Produces betting tips, reviews and sports articles.