Analytics Art: 40-Point Games

By Andrew Bergmann, for

There has been a lot of buzz about LeBron James’ 61-point game Monday night, but Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant racked up his 10th 40-point game of the season on Tuesday. Here’s a look at players who consistently have been scoring big this year:

40-Point Games in 2013-14

Andrew Bergmann’s data driven design work can be found on CNN, NBA, Sports Illustrated, FastCompany and See more on and


  1. Ruben23 says:

    This shows that this season has had the most scoring in a long time cause a lot of players this year had a career high in points including KD, Melo, Lebron, Paul George, and many other players it’s been really exciting to these numbers being put.

  2. Unknown25 says:

    I think this is irrelevant. First of all scoring past the 40 point mark 2 or 10 times does not mean anything. It is how a certain player impacts the game and his team in a consistent manner. Not to put any defense to any of the players but this information seem useless and should not be a sole basis as to how you judge who is the better player. KD may score more than the rest but fg% goes to LBJ. Some of these player’s team are not even playoff contenders right now. We could admire how they can be monsters in scoring but it is pointless to use the number of times that they hit the 40 point mark. I think you just want to blow up the argument of who is the MVP. Why? Because of the manner of how and when you presented it. I feel that you just want to rub it in that KD made more points that anyone else and should be MVP. I would say that if you want to make that argument put more stats and info that makes KD or LBJ the MVP for this year. Remember people: MVP = LEADER and not MVP = Most Points Made. We have a separate title for that, The Scoring Champ.

  3. Singaporean says:

    There is no Pacers player in the list, and they are the top few meanest team in the NBA. that’s what i called team sports… the superstar of a team can take 20 plus 30 shots a game because they played in more minutes and had a higher salary (that’s normal)… but the Pacers had a different mentality to each game.. to win with defence.. their training drills were EQUALLY tough, and they acknowledge it by sharing ithe basketball in every ball game…

  4. Rapsfan85 says:

    This is a list of players who have had MORE than one 40 point game this season. focus people lol

  5. Shawn Kemp no. 1 says:

    KD and Love shoot like a thousand free throws a game and consistently get suspicious calls

  6. dpruitt1 says:

    So this is another example of NBA marketing of who they think are the top 40 point stars. I clicked the link on the homepage specifically to see if they listed Dirk on the list because I knew he had scored 40 against New Orleans. Now it was clear on the actual page of results that it was players who have done it more than once, but that is not what the link implied.

    I don’t like how the NBA site chooses to promote stars and focuses on certain teams. You would think Golden State is no lower than in a second position in the conference based on how they are promoted on this site. They could easily be the 8th seed if Dallas, Memphis, or Suns take get hot down the stretch.

    Watch how little real estate San Antonio gets on this site. It just is not sex enough. Dirk, Tim, and other players are just not promoted.

  7. squala96 says:

    We should talk 50+ points or so if we want something really special. Heck, even the likes Jeff Green and Trevor Ariza have scored 40 or so before when they normally average just a quarter of that.

    Durant’s high-scoring frequency only happened when Westbrook was out and two other starters in the OKC squad are offensively useless to begin with. That said, KD is still an awesome player who can shoot pretty much anywhere. But what’s most important is that the team actually wins when he makes that many points per game.

  8. MIke Gray says:

    maybe if you read what the top says….it says consistently scored forty points…not one time

  9. Jay Roc says:

    Derozan made the all star team. His name should be there. He has scored 40 this year

  10. JohnnyBlaze says:

    It says “TOP PLAYERS who have scored 40+ points”. The guys you say are missing are not top players, they’re good at best, not top!

  11. SJames12 says:

    Notice how it says.. “TOP PLAYERS”, not all players who have scored 40 points in a single game this season.

  12. dumby says:

    two games or more games are included here ppl

  13. jeffreyhopkins says:

    oh my god lebron james 61 points one of the best performance ever because he didn’t push it to be nice with kobe 81, lebron can clearly go over the 81

  14. dustydreamnz says:

    Surprising LBJ only has 2. Melo holds the ball a lot because there is such a lack of scoring on the Knicks. It’s worse this year.

  15. kidds9282 says:

    lol have you ever watch 1 knicks game?
    if you do you would understand why Melo takes that many shot.
    his teammates are useless

  16. Rapsfan85 says:

    Yes guys. T Ross, D Derozan, G Dragic, D Liliard and many more have scored 40 plus this season. But CLEARLY this list only consists of players who have done it MORE then once. Focus people! lol

  17. neptunstudio says:

    Yeah, 40 points from 50 attempts…
    I hate selfish players like Carmelo Anthony!

  18. Pointless says:

    The list does not look at all the players that have scored 40+ points this season, it only looks at which players have crossed the 40 point plateau more than once. Chris Paul, James Harden, L. Aldridge, Griffin, Afflalo,R.Gay, Lillard, Al Jefferson, Trevor Ariza and D. Derozan and T. Ross are all missing from this list. If you want to make a point across at least do it properly and match your data up with the title.

    Honestly disappointing that pointless and incomplete stuff like this is getting real estate on

  19. Pacers Fan says:

    man PG should be up there. still not as good as KD but he can get there.

  20. Nick Tengler says:

    Didnt Goran Dragic just score 40 within this last week?

  21. ALexkid says:

    You guys forgot Dragic

  22. Steve says:

    DeMar DeRozan gets no love…

  23. Helen Stendt says:

    Maybe a list of players capable scoring 40+ but to unselfish to do so? Parker, Paul…

  24. Mambo Basket says:

    All in all good, but It’s always a one man show with KD, LB makes everyone on his team better. Don’t get me wrong, it’s impresive but it aint all that.

  25. tariq martin says:

    what about terrance ross