Where does Donovan Mitchell’s 71 point outburst rank in NBA history?

Donovan Mitchell, Cleveland Cavaliers - Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
Donovan Mitchell, Cleveland Cavaliers - Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports /
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Devin Booker, Phoenix Suns
Devin Booker, Phoenix Suns – Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports /

Top scoring performance #12: Devin Booker | 03/24/2017

Starting off the list is with a name that should surprise no one as it was the most recent. On March 24th, 2017, Devin Booker scored 70 points against the Boston Celtics in a 120-130 losing effort. The then-sophomore shooting guard truly jumped onto the scene with this dominant performance; unfortunately, it could not end in a victory for his team.

Booker’s performance would likely be higher had the Suns actually won the game, but even still, Booker earns the honor of making the list; an honor very few can claim.

Top scoring performance #11: Wilt Chamberlain | 03/10/1963

Joining Devin Booker as the only players to ever score exactly 70 points, Wilt Chamberlain managed this feat while playing all 48 minutes against a Syracuse Nationals team featuring such notable names as Dolph Schayes, Red Kerr, Chet Walker, and of course, Hal Greer. This would be the Nationals’ final season before relocating to Philadelphia to replace Chamberlain’s Warriors.

Wilt was no stranger to both high-scoring games and high minutes (as you will continue to see), as evidenced by the 1961-62 season, which saw him average 50.4 points per game while playing an absurd 48.5 minutes per night. One may notice that this is more than the 48 minutes that is found in a regulation game of basketball.

Wilt Chamberlain was truly one of a kind.

Top scoring performance #10: Elgin Baylor | 11/15/1960

Elgin Baylor is sometimes overlooked in the annals of NBA history. Many now think of Larry Bird, LeBron James, and Kevin Durant when they think about the greatest Small Forwards of all time, but Elgin Baylor has at least one accolade that none of the others have, a game in which he scored more than 70 points.

On November 15th, 1960, Elgin Baylor and his Los Angeles Lakers took on the New York Knicks in the third Madison Square Garden. Baylor would score 71 of the team’s 123 points en route to a double-digit victory over New York.

It’s important to note that he did this without the use of a three-point line, something the other great Small Forwards in NBA history have greatly relied on over the years.

Top scoring performance #9: David Robinson | 04/24/1994

When one thinks of the name David Robinson, one typically thinks of his defensive ability or rebounding prowess, but for a time, “The Admiral” was also a strong offensive presence in the league. On April 24th, 1994, Robinson was able to show just that as he scored a career-high 71 points as his Spurs defeated the Los Angeles Clippers.

Clearly, the Hall of Famer was good for much more than just anchoring the defense of one of the most impressive (then up-and-coming) franchises in NBA history.