Last season, Lou Williams made headlines after scoring 50 points against the Golden State Warriors. The Los Angeles Clippers entered the game having lost 21 of their last 23 games at Oracle Arena (moreover, they lost 12 games in a row against their Division rivals), so it took a herculean effort to help lead the Clippers past the Warriors on the road for a 125-106 victory.
What makes Lou’s performance so remarkable is that he became just the fourth player with 50-plus points against Stephen Curry Warriors. Williams’ also spoiled a historic night for Kevin Durant, who finished with 40 and became just the 44th NBA player to reach the 20,000-point mark.
Below is a list of the most points scored against the Golden State Warriors, this list won’t include the well-known performances like Wilt Chamberlain’s 62-point game in 1966, Tom Chambers’ 56-point game in 1990, or Karl Malone’s 56-point game in 1998, as I only focus on the last nine seasons, so since 2009-10, the period we can call Stephen Curry era.
10. Kobe Bryant, Damian Lillard, and Russell Westbrook
All three guards reached 44 points against the Warriors. Bryant did it twice, in 2009 he had 44 points and 11 assists, and the Lakers survived Golden State’s 55-percent shooting for a 124-118 victory.
He also did it in 2014, with a vintage Kobe night. He finished at the basket, drilled mid-range jump shots, and hit threes. He finished with 44 points and it could’ve been more if the Lakers didn’t let him rest for the entire fourth quarter (because they were losing by 36 points through three).
The final score was 136-115. Lillard dropped 44 with eight assists in the final game before 2018 All-Star break, and his Trail Blazers overcame Kevin Durant’s first 50-point game with the Warriors. Durant topped Lillard individually, but it was the Blazers beating the Warriors.
The 123-117 loss sunk the Warriors to the No. 2 seed in the Conference, which hasn’t happened this late in the season since 2014. The last player to reach 44 against the Warriors was Russell Westbrook. Back in April Westbrook had a monster performance, he had 44 with 16 rebounds and six assists (he made 15 of 26 field goals and 11 of 12 free throws). But his teammates couldn’t support him, and the Dubs took the victory 111-107.
9. Dwight Howard
A career-high 45 points. Twenty-three rebounds. An NBA-record 39 free throw attempts. That’s what Dwight Howard did to the Warriors in 2012. The Warriors hacked Howard intentionally throughout the game, and he broke Wilt Chamberlain’s nearly 50-year-old NBA record for most free throw attempts in a game, making 21 of 39 in the Magic’s 117-109 victory over the Warriors.
He almost tied Chamberlain’s record of 22 missed free throws, as he did not connect on 18 of his attempts. The undersized Warriors sent double-teams and traps at Howard and frustrated the center with fouls from the start. Jeremy Tyler intentionally fouled Howard with 8.1 seconds remaining in the first quarter, a tactic some teams apply late in games, but rarely seen so early. That only prolonged the game, which was 2 hours, 39 minutes.
Back in 2010, when he was a Thunder rising-star, Kevin Durant scored 45 and grabbed 11 rebounds, and the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Warriors 112-104. Posting one of the best shooting percentages in franchise history, Durant drained 16-of-21 shots.
Golden State rallied back from 14 down in the fourth quarter to get within three in the final minutes before Durant finally closed the door with free throws down the stretch, he was 11-of-11 at the line. The byproduct was that Durant passed LeBron James to take over second place in the race for the NBA scoring title (scoring leader chart after the game: Carmelo Anthony – 29.7, Durant – 29.6 and James – 29.4). He finished the season with a scoring average of 30.1 points per game and became the youngest NBA scoring champion.
7. Anthony Davis
Double-teamed most of the game, Anthony Davis poured in 45 points (shooting 17 for 31) and added 17 rebounds, three assists, two steals and two blocks in 2016. The Warriors maintained a double-digit lead for most of the way before a surge led by Davis.
The versatile big man scored on a variety of post moves and shots at the rim and brought them all the way back by scoring 15 points in the fourth, and pulled the Pelicans within single digits with less than a minute to go. Sadly, his huge effort was wasted as the Warriors took the victory 122-114 (their first win with Kevin Durant). Davis joined another great club, becoming the seventh player in NBA history to record 45 points and 15 rebound in back-to-back (he had 50 points and 15 rebounds in his previous game).
6. Gilbert Arenas
In December 2009 Gilbert Arenas went into beast mode, dropping 45 points and 13 assists. He led the Wizards to a 118-109 victory over the Warriors at Oracle Arena. Playing against his former team, Arenas had his highest scoring outing since 2006, when he scored 54 points in a road win against Phoenix.
Arenas relentlessly attacked the hoop to get layups or draw contact. He engaged in a nice fourth-quarter duel with Monta Ellis. Ellis scored 10 of his team-high 30 in the fourth period and brought the Warriors within 110-106, but Arenas struck right back with a driving shot that bounced high off the glass. He then found Butler in the corner for a long baseline jumper that secured the win. His final assist of the game matched his highest assist total since March 23, 2007, against Golden State.
5. Russell Westbrook
Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook had plenty of matchups and were seen verbally going at each other during Durant’s first game back in Oklahoma City in 2017, and Westbrook would better his former teammate with 47 points.
Unfortunately, he had the wrong kind of triple-double, finishing with 11 turnovers to go with his 11 rebounds and eight assists in 37 minutes. Westbrook scored 42 of his 47 points after his slow first quarter and hit all of his three-pointers in the second half.
Westbrook pressed to keep the Thunder within striking range, scoring 20 in the third quarter. He was far more efficient hunting for his own shot than looking for open teammates. However, Durant had the last word as his new teammates help him go home with the W.
4. Lou Williams
Lou Williams erupted for a career-high 50 points last season, leading the visiting Clippers past the Warriors 125-106. Williams was relatively quiet with 13 points in the first half, but he changed the complexion of the game in the third quarter when he erupted for 27 points, the most in a quarter in Clippers history.
The previous record was 23 points set by Baron Davis in 2010. Williams shot 16 for 27 from the field with a career-best eight 3-pointers, made all 10 of his free throws. He also dished out seven assists and grabbed two rebounds, while playing just 35 minutes.
3. Damian Lillard
Damian Lillard was not selected to play in the 2016 All-Star Game, and he wasn’t happy about it. Lillard said not getting an invitation didn’t provide extra motivation, but it was clear right away that it will be his statement game, as he had 17 points and five assists in the opening period.
Lillard scored a career-high 51 points against the champs, adding seven assists, six steals and shooting 18 for 28, including 9 for 12 from 3-point range. The 50 was the first 50-point game by a Blazer since Andre Miller in 2010 and Dame pulled it off in just 31 minutes.
He became the first player in the NBA to rack up 50 points, 7 assists and 6 steals since the 1974 and the first to have 50 and 7 without a turnover since Reggie Miller in 1992. His nine 3-pointers tied a franchise record and Warriors opposition record.
The Trail Blazers ripped the Warriors, 137-105, it was just the fifth loss of the season for Golden State (48-5) who entered the game with an 11-game winning streak and the best record at the All-Star Break.
2. Kevin Durant
Mr. Durant again. This time (2014) he set a career-high against the Warriors. The 54-point outburst marked the third 50-point game of his career, but the first time he crossed that threshold in regulation. Durant’s line was insane. His points came on 19-of-28 shooting, including 5-of-9 on three-pointers.
He was 11-for-13 from the line and added six assists, four rebounds, two steals, and a block in 44 minutes. It is still a career high for Durant. In terms of efficiency, Durant’s effort is one of the better 50-point games we’ve seen in recent years. He had the highest percentage on his two-point shots (.737) since LeBron James went for 51 in 2008.
The Thunder took the victory 127-121, and the crowd at Chesapeake Energy Arena were raucous with their MVP chants.
1. Brandon Jennings
To this day, this performance stands tall as one of the greatest individual showings in Milwaukee Bucks history. In 2009, Brandon Jennings, a rookie in just his seventh game produced, at the time, the fourth highest individual quarter in NBA history.
After not scoring in the opening period, Jennings scored 10 in the second and then blitzed the Dubs for an astounding 29 points in the third quarter (including 15 straight), most ever scored in a quarter against the Warriors. Jennings finished the game with 55 points, five assists, and five rebounds.
He shot 21-of-34 (61.8 percent) from the field, including 7-of-8 (87.5 percent) from 3-point land. His 55 points were the most by any rookie in Bucks history, breaking Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s franchise rookie record, and the most in the NBA since Earl Monroe scored 56 in 1968. Abdul-Jabbar scored 51 points in 1970.
The NBA rookie record was set by Wilt Chamberlain with 58 points in 1960 game.
Jennings remains tied with Kareem as the second highest points haul by any Bucks player in history, beaten only by Michael Redd‘s 57 point performance in 2006. At 20 years and 52 days, he also remains to this day, the youngest player in NBA history to score 50-plus points in one game. The Bucks took the victory 129-125, and Jennings won the hearts of many NBA fans around the globe.
Statistics used courtesy of NBA/Stats, ESPN Stats & Info and Basketball-Reference.