NBA

What NBA Player Has Scored the Most Points on Christmas Day?

The NBA has long been associated with Christmas Day and 2020 was certainly no different as some of the top players and teams were featured in high-profile matchups pretty much all day long. As the league obviously likes to showcase its top talent on December 25, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that some of the biggest stars in history top the list of Christmas Day’s all-time leading scorers, a list currently topped by LA Lakers legend, the late, great Kobe Bryant.

However, current Lakers star LeBron James has the chance to pass his former Olympic teammate on the list in his next outing. And seeing as LeBron is under contract for at least a few more seasons, combined with the fact that the Lakers are pretty much always scheduled for a Christmas Day game, Kobe’s record will likely fall in 2021.

However, neither one of those two has the highest scoring average on December 25 as that record belongs to another big name, Tracy McGrady.

Tracy McGrady has the highest scoring average with 43.3 points per game in three Christmas Day appearances

Two-time scoring champion Tracy McGrady played 15 seasons in the NBA for six teams. The seven-time All-Star averaged 19.6 points per game over those 15 seasons but more than doubled that in the three games he played on Christmas Day, averaging an NBA-record 43.3 points per game in three appearances, all of which came while he was with the Orlando Magic. His 46-point effort in 2002 in a win over the Detroit Pistons stands as the fifth-highest single-game total on December 25.

  • 2000: IND-103, ORL-93 — 43 points (13-31 FG, 2-4 3P, 15-19 FT)
  • 2002: ORL-104, DET-99 — 46 points (14-26 FG, 0-3 3P, 18-21 FT)
  • 2003: ORL-113, CLE-101 — 41 points (15-29 FG, 5-9 3P, 6-9 FT)

Kobe Bryant currently holds the overall Christmas NBA scoring record with 395 points

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Kobe Bryant played a record 16 games on Christmas Day throughout his career and scored a record 395 points for an average of 24.7 points per game, an average that’s a little skewed given the fact that he only played five minutes in his first December 25 outing, which took place during his rookie season in 1996.

  • 1996: LAL-108, PHX-87 — 0 points (0-2 FG, 0-1 3P, 0-0 FT)
  • 1999: LAL-99, SA-93 — 18 points (7-19 FG, 0-1 3P, 4-5 FT)
  • 2000: POR-109, LAL-104 — 29 points (9-20 FG, 0-4 3P, 11-14 FT)
  • 2001: LAL-88, PHI-82 — 12 points (6-19 FG, 0-2 3P, 0-0 FT)
  • 2002: SAC-105, LAL-99 — 27 points (7-24 FG, 1-4, 12-15 FT)
  • 2003: HOU-99, LAL-87 — 23 points (9-26 FG, 1-2 3P, 4-6 FT)
  • 2004: MIA-104, LAL-102 — 42 points (12-30 FG, 5-13 3P, 13-13 FT)
  • 2005: MIA-97, LAL-92 — 37 points (12-30 FG, 0-8 3P, 13-19 FT)
  • 2006: MIA-101, LAL-85 — 16 points (4-17 FG, 0-4 3P, 8-9 FT)
  • 2007: LAL-122, PHX-115 — 38 points (12-20 FG, 1-3 3P, 13-14 FT)
  • 2008: LAL-92, BOS-83 — 27 points (13-23 FG, 1-3 3P, 0-0 FT)
  • 2009: CLE-102, LAL-87 — 35 points (11-33 FG, 1-3 3P, 12-12 FT)
  • 2010: MIA-96, LAL-80 — 17 points (6-16 FG, 1-3 3P, 4-5 FT)
  • 2011: CHI-88, LAL-87 — 28 points (11-23 FG, 0-1 3P, 6-7 FT)
  • 2012: LAL-100, NY-94 — 34 points (14-24 FG, 1-5 3P, 5-7 FT)
  • 2015: LAC-94, LAL-84 — 12 points (4-10 FG, 3-5 3P, 1-4 FT)

LeBron James has scored 361 points in 14 NBA games on December 25

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As for LeBron James, he’s played 15 games on Christmas Day with the Cavs, Heat, and Lakers and has racked up 383 points, giving him a 25.5 average. With his 22 points against the Mavericks in 2020, he passed Oscar Robertson for second on the all-time NBA scoring list for December 25. The “Big O” scored 377 points on Christmas and also posted four triple-doubles. James can become the all-time Christmas Day leader by scoring 13 points in his next outing.

  • 2003: ORL-113, CLE-101 — 34 points (13-28 FG, 4-10 3P, 4-5 FT)
  • 2007: CLE-96, MIA-82 — 25 points (9-19 FG, 0-3 3P, 7-11 FT)
  • 2008: CLE-93, WSH-89 — 18 points (6-13 FG, 0-2 3P, 6-10 FT)
  • 2009: CLE-102, LAL-87 — 26 points (9-19 FG, 2-7 3P, 6-11 FT)
  • 2010: MIA-96, LAL-80 — 27 points (8-14 FG, 5-6 3P, 6-6 FT)
  • 2011: MIA-105, DAL-94 — 37 points (11-19 FG, 0-0 3P, 15-19 FT)
  • 2012: MIA-103, OKC-97 — 29 points (12-20 FG, 0-3 3P, 5-5 FT)
  • 2013: MIA-101, LAL-95 — 19 points (7-14 FG, 0-4 3P, 5-9 FT)
  • 2014: MIA-101, CLE-91 — 30 points (9-16 FG, 2-8 3P, 10-18 FT)
  • 2015: GS-89, CLE-83 — 25 points (10-26 FG, 1-5 3P, 4-9 FT)
  • 2016: CLE-109, GS-108 — 31 points (12-22 FG, 4-8 3P, 3-7 FT)
  • 2017: GS-99, CLE-92 — 20 points (7-18 FG, 2-7 3P, 4-7 FT)
  • 2018: LAL-127, GS-101 — 17 points (6-11 FG, 0-2 3P, 5-8 FT)
  • 2019: LAC-111, LAL-106 — 23 points (9-24 FG, 2-12 3P, 3-4 FT)
  • 2020: LAL-138, DAL-115 — 22 points (8-18 FG, 3-8 3P, 3-4 FT)

Stats and scores courtesy of Basketball Reference