Which NBA Players Produced the Most Perfect Performances During the Regular Season?
All year long here at numberFire, we have been keeping track of each week's perfect individual performances using our numberFire Live platform and advanced numbers.
numberFire Live tracks each NBA game, its win probability and -- most important for our purposes -- player performances. Player performances are measured by nERD (a measure of a player's total contribution, based on efficiency) and are also rated on a scale of 1 to 100, based on both production and efficiency.
We have been concerned with only the individual games that have attained a 100 rating -- in other words, a perfect game.
Now, after 24 weeks, 170 days and 2,460 games, we take a look back at which players have accounted for the most perfect performances. We'll also dive into the top players to uncover which among the top eight have been most efficient and which single performance was the most impressive.
Perfect Performances From the 2016-17 Regular Season
This shouldn't come as much of a surprise, but James Harden is the only player to have reached nine perfect performances. Regarded as one of the league's top MVP candidates, Harden averaged a nERD of 58.5 in those nine games and maxed out at 68.0 in a 123-118 road win over the Philadelphia 76ers back in late January.
Check out who finished behind him in the table below, which displays all the players who recorded at least one perfect single-game performance this year.
|James Harden||9||Allen Crabbe||1|
|Kawhi Leonard||8||Amir Johnson||1|
|Russell Westbrook||8||Andre Drummond||1|
|Anthony Davis||7||Andre Iguodala||1|
|Damian Lillard||6||Danilo Gallinari||1|
|Giannis Antetokounmpo||6||Davis Bertans||1|
|Jimmy Butler||6||Devin Booker||1|
|Karl-Anthony Towns||6||Elfrid Payton||1|
|Isaiah Thomas||5||Enes Kanter||1|
|Kyle Lowry||5||Eric Bledsoe||1|
|Mike Conley||5||Goran Dragic||1|
|Blake Griffin||4||Greg Monroe||1|
|DeMar DeRozan||4||Harrison Barnes||1|
|George Hill||4||Ian Clark||1|
|Gordon Hayward||4||Jabari Parker||1|
|Kevin Love||4||Jake Layman||1|
|Kyrie Irving||4||Jamal Crawford||1|
|LeBron James||4||JaMychal Green||1|
|Stephen Curry||4||Jeff Teague||1|
|C.J. McCollum||3||Joe Johnson||1|
|Chris Paul||3||Jonas Valanciunas||1|
|DeMarcus Cousins||3||Kelly Olynyk||1|
|Kemba Walker||3||Kentavious Caldwell-Pope||1|
|Kevin Durant||3||LaMarcus Aldridge||1|
|Norman Powell||3||Louis Williams||1|
|Paul George||3||Marcus Morris||1|
|Andrew Wiggins||2||Michael Beasley||1|
|Bradley Beal||2||Nikola Jokic||1|
|DeAndre Jordan||2||Sean Kilpatrick||1|
|John Wall||2||Serge Ibaka||1|
|Klay Thompson||2||Solomon Hill||1|
|Marc Gasol||2||T.J. Warren||1|
|Otto Porter||2||Trevor Ariza||1|
|Rodney Hood||2||Tyler Johnson||1|
|Rudy Gobert||2||Tyreke Evans||1|
|Zach LaVine||2||Vince Carter||1|
|Aaron Gordon||1||Wesley Matthews||1|
The Beard is followed by the Claw, Kawhi Leonard, who tallied eight perfect games in his MVP-caliber season. In his individual efforts, the San Antonio Spurs star averaged 61.9 nERD per game and posted a personal season-high of 71.9 in a 40-point home rout of the Los Angeles Lakers.
Russell Westbrook, yet another MVP candidate, also racked up eight such games in a historic campaign filled with triple-doubles. He averaged 59.6 nERD when tallying a perfect rating, with his highest total (71.9) coming just over a week ago in the Oklahoma City Thunder's 106-105 road victory over the Denver Nuggets.
Anthony Davis isn't in consideration for the MVP, but that doesn't mean he hasn't been a stud. He posted seven perfect games and averaged the second-highest nERD (62.4) of the top eight players. He was at his best in a 110-96 win over the New York Knicks back in January, when he put up a nERD of 80.3.
Damian Lillard, with six perfect performances, is in a four-way tie with three others, but has the highest average nERD (73.2) among them and accounted for the top single-game nERD of the year. His 59-point effort against the Utah Jazz just nine days ago was good enough for a nERD of 111.2 in the Portland Trail Blazers' 101-86 win.
With an average nERD of 61.8 in six perfect games, Jimmy Butler is king among the final three. He also has the highest single score (93.2) of them -- that coming against the Charlotte Hornets in a seven-point home win on the second day of the new year.
Not long before that, Giannis Antetokounmpo had his best performance of the season two days before Christmas day. That's when he put up a nERD of 77.2 in a 27-point win over the Washington Wizards at home. That was just one of his six such performances, during which Antetokounmpo averaged 61.5 nERD per.
Karl-Anthony Towns never reached the 70-nERD plateau, however, he still counted up six perfect performances at an average nERD of 57.2. His season-high nERD for a single game was 66.6, which took place in a loss to the Knicks despite 47 points and 18 boards from the big man.