Posted by Mike Lynch on February 6, 2019
Through the games of February 5, 2019 there have been 533 50-point games in NBA history (497 in the regular season and 36 in the playoffs). We have a box score with FGM, FTM and Points scored for every player for every game in NBA history. What we don't always have (particularly for older seasons) is FGA and FTA. However, we have made a concerted effort to get these details for every 50-point game in league history and we now have the full shooting details for all of these performances with the exception of three.
This means that you can now search for things such as fewest FGA in a 50-point game in the Player Game Finder. You'll notice, however that the three performances at the top of that query have null fields for FGA. Those are the three games we're missing. They are, as follows:
Lakers at Pistons on November 25, 1960: Five days later, Baylor again erupted for 50+ against the Pistons, but once again we do not know how many FGA he had. Out of 497 all-time regular-season 50-pt performances, these two Baylor games constitute the only two for which we don't have a full shooting line.
Celtics vs Nationals on March 21, 1953: Bob Cousy scored 50 points in 66 minutes in this 4-OT playoff classic. It was the first 50-pt game in NBA postseason history and is also the only one for which we're missing shooting details. We know he hit a still-standing NBA record 30 FT (in 32 attempts) and that he hit 10 shots from the field, but we don't know how many FG he attempted.
If anyone has full box scores for these games or other sources that could show us how many FGs Baylor & Cousy attempted in these games, please let us know.
In the meantime, please enjoy these 50-Point Game "records" courtesy of the Player Game Finder:
Best FG% in a 50-Pt Game: 87.0% (Wilt Chamberlain, 20-23)
Worst FG% in a 50-Pt Game: 38.3% (Wilt Chamberlain, 23-60)