The 21 greatest NBA players who never scored 50 points in a game

Dwight Howard, Kevin Garnett
Dwight Howard, Kevin Garnett / Stephen Dunn/GettyImages
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3) Julius Erving

Julius Erving, better known as Dr. J, was one of the more iconic NBA players of the 1970s and '80s. Surprisingly, though, Erving's career high is 45 points, short of the 50-point milestone, despite him averaging 22 points per game for his career. In his defense, he spent part of his prime playing without the 3-point line and even when it was implemented, few players actually used it.

Had it been more prevalent, Erving might have put up even better numbers, though even without it, he was still very efficient. He hit nearly 51% of his shots, primarily by using his elite athleticism to create favorable advantages against his defender.

Of course, Erving didn't officially make his NBA debut until 26 after the ABA-NBA merger, and his ABA numbers unfortunately don't count. If they did, it would add more than 400 games and give him more than 30,000 points, including a 63-point effort in the ABA.

Instead, his overtime outburst against the Boston Celtics as a member of the Philadelphia 76ers is his official high-scoring mark. Even then, Dr. J. is recognized as a key player in the NBA's evolution and the forerunner to the likes of Michael Jordan.