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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16) Yao Ming

Former number one overall pick Yao Ming had a relatively short career but was one of the best big men of his era. Yao played fewer than 500 career games, far and away the fewest of any player on this list but he was coming into his own as a scorer when the injuries started to pile up.

He missed just two games in the first three years of his career but 25+ games a season for the three seasons that followed. Ironically, he put in his best numbers during that stretch, averaging 23 points on 51.4% shooting and establishing himself as a terrific offense threat.

He could use his size to get post position and then hit an unblockable turnaround jumper that was literally like shooting practice for him. At his peak in 2006–07, he averaged 25 points but his career high was a respectable 41 points.

Had his career not effectively ended at 30, it was more likely than not that he would have reached the 50-point mark. Instead, he was forced to retire but had enough of a resume to get into the Hall of Fame.