Sports Monks

The highest scoring April Fools’ Day performances in NBA history

Happy April Fools’ Day!

As is the case with pretty much any date on the NBA calendar, there have been a number of big-time performances that have fallen on April 1 in the league’s storied history.

Thanks to Basketball Reference, it’s easy to filter through them.

With that in mind, here are the highest scoring individual April Fools’ Day games in NBA history.

1. James Harden, Houston Rockets

Date: April 1, 2015

Stats: 51 points (16-25 FG, 8-9 3P, 11-13 FT)

Game Score: 42.1

Harden is one of only two players in NBA history to have scored 50 points on April 1, the other being Kevin Martin. However, unlike Martin, this was one of many 50-point games in Harden’s career.

Since entering the league in 2009, Harden has scored 50 or more points in 23 games, the fourth-most in NBA history behind only Wilt Chamberlain, Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant.

For Martin, the 50 points he scored on April 1, 2009, was the one and only 50-point game of his NBA career.

Of the 23 times Harden has scored 50 points in a game, this ranks 14th in terms of Game Score.

2. Kevin Martin, Sacramento Kings

Date: April 1, 2009

Stats: 50 points (11-22 FG, 5-11 3P, 23-26 FT)

Game Score: 37.0

As already mentioned, this was the one time in Martin’s career that he cracked 50 points in a game.

In typical Martin fashion, he lived at the free throw line. According to Basketball Reference, his 23 free throws are the sixth-most a player has ever made in an NBA game.

The most? 28 free throws by Wilt Chamberlain when he scored 100 points.

3. LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers

Date: April 1, 2006

Stats: 47 points (16-25 FG, 2-6 3P, 13-14 FT)

Game Score: 43.8

In typical LeBron fashion, he did far more than score in this game.

In addition to putting up 47 points, James grabbed 12 rebounds, dished out nine assists and came up with two steals. Based on Game Score, it’s the second-most productive game a player has ever had on April Fools’ Day.

The most productive goes to Chris Paul, who had a 41-point, 17-assist double-double back in 2015.

4. Michael Jordan, Chicago Bulls

Date: April 1, 1990

Stats: 47 points (20-29 FG, 1-2 3P, 6-9 FT)

Game Score: 40.3

No scoring list would be complete without Jordan.

Unlike the other players on this list, Jordan didn’t get to the free-throw line or make many 3s en route to his high scoring affair. He lived inside the perimeter, with all but one of his made field goals being 2-pointers.

Jordan was incredibly efficient, going 19-for-27 on 2-pointers.

5. Kemba Walker, Charlotte Hornets

Date: April 1, 2019

Stats: 47 points (15-28 FG, 4-8 3P, 13-15 FT)

Game Score: 32.8

The most recent explosive April Fools’ Day game goes to Walker, who put up 47 points in a loss to the Utah Jazz last season.

Unfortunately for Walker, that’s been a trend in his career. According to Basketball Reference, he’s scored 40 or more points 18 times in his NBA career. Of those 18 games, only five ended in wins for Walker’s team.

The bulk of those 40-point games came during his time with the Charlotte Hornets, but Walker is 0-for-2 in the two 40-point games he’s had in a Boston Celtics uniform.

It’s a weird stat, almost as weird as him being 1-28 all-time against LeBron James.

Next Five

6. Dwyane Wade, Miami Heat, April 1, 2006 – 44 points (18-36 FG)

7. Kelly Tripucka, Detroit Pistons, April 1, 1983 – 43 points (15-23 FG)

8. Adrian Dantley, Utah Jazz, April 1, 1986 – 42 points (18-27 FG)

9. Monta Ellis, Golden State Warriors, April 1, 2009 – 42 points (16-35 FG)

10. Isaiah Rider, Minnesota Timberwolves, April 1, 1995 – 42 points (15-22 FG)

Source: NBA

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