Brooklyn Nets

Every 50-point game in a season opener in NBA history

Only five players in NBA history have scored 50 or more points in a season-opener.

Kyrie Irving, one of two active players, was the latest to achieve the feat when he erupted for 50 in his Nets debut last year.

Here is the exclusive club that Irving joined courtesy of the trusty folks over at

Wilt Chamberlain

Points: 56

Date: October 23, 1962

On the heels of a season in which he AVERAGED over 50 points per game, Chamberlain opened the 1962-63 season with 56 points in a win over the Pistons. Scoring 50 was nothing special for The Big Dipper who finished his career with 118 50-point games... 87 more than any other player.

Michael Jordan

Points: 54

Date: November 3, 1989

Jordan has the second-most 50-point games with 31. He is, however, the only player to do it more than once in a season opener. Jordan dropped 54 points on the Cavaliers to open the 1989-90 season in a game he also added 14 points and six assists. That game served as a precursor for more to come as later that season he torched the Cavs for a career-high 60 points.

Elgin Baylor

Points: 52

Date: October 18, 1959

That Baylor sits in third on this for the most points in a season opener is fitting given that he also has the third-highest scoring average in NBA history behind - you guessed it - Michael Jordan and Wilt Chamberlain. Baylor's big night was the first season-opening 50 spot in league history although, like Irving, it came in a loss.

Kyrie Irving

Points: 50

Date: October 23, 2019

Well, he's not going to score 50 points EVERY night. But what a start to his Nets career for Irving who in his very first game finished with the fifth-highest scoring game in franchise history. It was his third career 50-point game.

Anthony Davis

Points: 50

Date: October 26, 2016

One of the most dominant season openers in NBA history came in a loss. In addition to scoring 50, Davis finished this game with 15 rebounds, five assists, five steals and four blocks, but ultimately came up short against the Denver Nuggets.

Michael Jordan

Points: 50

Date: November 1, 1986

Entering the 1986-87 season, Jordan was coming off an injury-riddled season in which he played in just 18 games due to a foot injury. He came back with a vengeance.

Jordan hung 50 against the Knicks in Madison Square Garden, sending a message to the rest of the league that he was back and ready to dominate everyone. Jordan went on to win his first scoring title that season, averaging over 37.1 points per game and ushering in an era in which he was unquestionably the best scorer in the league.

The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of the NBA or its clubs.

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