The NBA's scoring prowess has taken a real turn this 2018-19 season, as eight players have already reached the 50-point mark in a game after a mere month and a half of action. That number already doubles the number of players to ever score 50 or more points heading into December in any prior NBA season, according to NBA Stats.
A key distinction for this is the new early start of the NBA season, as the league has gotten underway with the start of the campaign earlier every year, including this year's Oct. 16 season-opening date as the earliest ever.
Detroit's Blake Griffin was the first to drop a 50-point bomb, only a week into the start of the season. That was followed by a 51-point, 11-trey performance by Stephen Curry the next day and a 52-point shooting masterpiece from Klay Thompson on Oct. 29 that saw a record-breaking 14 3-pointers made in a game, moving past his own teammate in the record books.
We’ve had 8 50-point performances already this season!
Who will be next?? pic.twitter.com/znF00Ge2cd
— NBA (@NBA) November 30, 2018
Durant's 51-point performance on Thursday night against the Toronto Raptors gave the Warriors three players with 50 or more points in a game. It's the first time this has happened in a particular season since the 1961-62 season, when the trio of Elgin Baylor, Jerry West and Rudy LaRusso managed to do so with the Los Angeles Lakers.
As @KDTrey5 scores his first OT bucket for #DubNation, the trio of him, @StephenCurry30 & @KlayThompson become the 1st to put up 50-pt performances in a season since Jerry West, Elgin Baylor & Rudy LaRusso did for the 1961-62 #Lakers
— Bruno Manrique (@TheSportsLede) November 30, 2018
Golden State was also the fastest to achieve the feat (23 games), given that LaRusso's 50-point gem (a career-best outing) came in the last game of the Lakers' season.
While others like MVP favorites LeBron James and James Harden were expected to erupt for 50-plus points at some stretch during the season, Derrick Rose's 50-point marvel was a sight to behold when he took full advantage of a Jimmy Butler night off to put on a show for Timberwolves fans.
Kemba Walker's bombastic 60-point outing was ruined by a Butler wing triple in the final seconds, resulting in a loss — yet still by far the most explosive scoring outing of this NBA season.