The 12 Best Individual NBA Playoff Performances Over the Past 30 Years
Over the years, we've seen Michael Jordan, Shaquille O'Neal, Kobe Bryant and LeBron James all dominate the NBA Playoffs at one time or another. For that reason, they have 18 championship rings between them.
We remember moments from each of their playoff careers. Jordan's stepback shot to sink the Jazz in Game 6 of the 1998 Finals. Shaq and Kobe's iconic alley-oop in Game 7 of the 2000 Western Conference Finals. LeBron's chase-down block of Andre Iguodala in Game 7 of the 2016 Finals.
Those are only a few players of some pretty amazing NBA playoff careers. And, as you can imagine, each and every one of these players have had their fair share of legendary games. But where do they rate among the best in the last 30-plus seasons?
Until 1983, we didn't have a concrete way to find out. Today, we have Basketball Reference's Game Score, a rough measure of a player's productivity for a single game. A score of 40 is outstanding while a score of 10 is simply average. To learn more about the formula, you can go here.
Each of these next 12 performances earned a Game Score of at least 45, telling us that they're truly the best we've seen in the playoffs over seasons past. All we have left to do is to find out which players own them.
Let's do that right now, beginning with number 12.