As the WNBA continues to grow in size and reputation, the world’s top female players may come closer to achieving the rare 50-point mark.
Unlike the NBA, where players like Damian Lillard and James Harden seemingly score 50 points with ease, the women’s league often celebrates when a player reaches 35, let alone 40 or higher.
Still, the sports world turns its head when an NBA player scores 50 points in one game. But have any WNBA players done it?
The 50-point mark is an incredible feat
Many of the greatest players in NBA history have scored at least 50 points in one game. Wilt Chamberlain leads the pack with a staggering 118 50-point outings, nearly 100 more than Michael Jordan’s.
Lakers legend Kobe Bryant had 25 and Rockets star James Harden is closing in on him with 23 such games through Aug. 14, 2020. Another Lakers legend, Elgin Baylor, rounds out the top-5 with 17 50-point games.
LeBron James has done it 12 times, while Allen Iverson had 10 such games. Former Warriors teammates Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry each have six games — and they’re only part of a long, long list.
Eleven different players scored 50 or more points when the NBA suspended its season in March. Pacers forward T.J. Warren joined that club during the bubble.
The WNBA, though, still didn’t have any 50-point games this season through Aug .14, 2020.
Plenty of NBA players have done it
Pick any NBA legend and they’ve probably had at least one 50-point game. Shaquille O’Neal had three, while Celtics legend Larry Bird had four.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar had 10 such games. Some of the game’s youngest stars, from Trae Young to Karl-Anthony Towns, have done it.
Rick Barry scored 50 points on 14 different occasions. Stephon Marbury did it, Mo Williams did it, and there have been plenty of others along the way.
Yet to do it, though, is Dallas Mavericks star Luka Dončić. He scored a career-high 42 points on Nov. 18, 2019, against the Spurs and again, eleven days later, against the Suns.
Have any WNBA players scored 50 points in a game?
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The 50-point mark is even harder in the WNBA, but two players have done it.
Tulsa guard Riquna Williams became the first player in WNBA history to score 50 points in a game on Sept. 8, 2013.
A few years later, Las Vegas Aces center Liz Cambage set the record when she totaled 53 points in a 104-87 victory over the New York Liberty on July 17, 2018.
Cambage went 17-of-22 from the field and drilled 15 of her 16 free throws.
In a postgame interview, Cambage rightfully called the accomplishment “pretty big.”
“I’ve had big numbers in China, I’ve had big numbers in Australia, and I’ve heard a lot of people say I could never have big numbers here in the WNBA. So I guess this game is for y’all.”
Longtime Minnesota Lynx forward Maya Moore has the highest non-40 point total. She scored 48 in July 2014. Phoenix Mercury legend Diana Taurasi, the WNBA’s all-time leading scorer, recorded 47 points in one game in August 2006.
Taurasi still hasn’t reached the 50-plateau, though.
All stats courtesy of Basketball-Reference.