That is the same number of points Bird scored for the Celtics in 1985. Other Celtics scoring records include 56 points by Kevin McHale in 1985, 53 points by Bird in 1983, 53 points by Tatum this season, 52 points by Isaiah Thomas in 2016, 51 points by Sam Jones in 1965, 50 points by Bird in 1986 and 1989, and 50 points by Paul Pierce in 2006.
Celtics rookie players who have scored at least 20 points in a game include Jabari Parker (24 points in 2014), Anthony Davis (27 points in 2013), Stephen Curry (46 points in 2012), Russell Westbrook (51 points in 2011), James Harden (56 points in 2010), Derrick Rose (57 points in 2009), and Kobe Bryant (60 points in 2005).
Bird has been involved in nine games where players have scored 60 or more points, including three games where he himself scored 60 or more points. The other six players are Karl Malone, Charles Barkley, Shaquille O'Neal, Tim Duncan, Dwyane Wade, and LeBron James.
Malone, who played with Boston from 1996 to 2004, holds the record for most points by a player on both teams in an NBA game with 63 points against Seattle on January 11, 1999. He also led the Jazz to a 122-120 win over the Celtics in April 2002.
Barkley, who played with Boston from 1992 to 1995, and again from 1998 to 2001, scored 62 points against Miami in October 1995.
McHale scored 56 points against the Detroit Pistons on March 3, 1985. The Celtics set a new single-game scoring record. Larry Bird would shatter that mark nine days later in a game against the Atlanta Hawks. He led the Celtics to a 126-115 victory over the Hawks with 60 points on 22-of-36 shooting. Bird also pulled down 11 rebounds.
McHale's other high scores came during his first season with the team when he averaged 49.4 ppg. In 1958-59, Red Auerbach's crew finished with a league-best 113 wins. The next year, they fell short of the playoffs after finishing second in the standings.
Larry Bird's career high is believed to be 50 points, which he scored in four games during the 1984-85 season. Bird also reached double figures in steals on three occasions: 1987, 1992, and 1993.
The best performance by an opposing player who was not a member of the Celtics' staff occurred on January 26, 1975, in Boston vs. Los Angeles Lakers. Jerry West scored 58 points against the Celtics.
The top scorers in Celtics history are listed below. They have all been men except for one woman who played one game for the team in 1922-23. She is not included in this list: Sylvia Fowle.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar holds almost every major rebounding record in NBA history.
For 15 years as the Celtics' captain, Pierce started every game. He was a 10-time All-Star and a four-time All-NBA pick. Pierce joined Larry Bird and John Havlicek as the only Boston Celtics players to reach 20,000 career points. He is Boston's all-time leading three-point field goal shooter and free throw shooter (attempts and makes). As a member of the Celtics, Pierce played in 648 games, finished with 24,508 career points, placed third on the team list behind Rajon Rondo and Paul Pierce, respectively.
Pierce was drafted by the Seattle SuperSonics in the first round (sixth overall) of the 1996 NBA Draft. He played one season with the Sonics before being traded to the Brooklyn Nets for Mookie Blaylock and Mike James. Pierce spent five seasons with the Nets before joining the C's via trade on January 11, 2001. He ended his Celtic stint as one of the franchise's all-time leaders in almost every statistical category. His ability to fill it up from long range or the free throw line made him very effective against both one-on-one defenders and multiple opponents.
In addition to his work with ESPN, where he contributes articles to the website's Celtics blog, "The Last Dance," Michael also works with the Special Olympics as a celebrity basketball player. He has participated in several events, including the Summer Games and the World Games. In 2009, 2010, and 2011, Pierce helped the American team win gold medals at these competitions.
A player with at least 60 points has scored in 76 NBA games. In their careers, nine NBA players have had at least one 60-point game. This features Bradley Beal, Stephen Curry, and Jayson Tatum, three players who have accomplished the feat during the current 2020–21 NBA season.
Beal is the most recent player to do so, scoring 60 points against the New York Knicks on January 26, 2021. He became only the third player in NBA history to score 60 points in a game after Wilt Chamberlain and Michael Jordan. The Wizards were held scoreless for the first time this season when they played host to the Knicks, as coach Dave Logan called it a "perfect storm" for Beal, as he was able to get open looks from beyond the arc while New York's defense focused exclusively on him.
The last player to score 60 points in a game was Jason Kidd of the Brooklyn Nets, who did so on February 15, 2006. The record for most points in a single game is also held by Chamberlain, who scored 100 points in a single contest on March 1, 1962. The record for most field goals made in a single game is held by Bob Gibson, who shot 12 free throws in a win over the Philadelphia Warriors on November 23, 1959. Gibson also led the charge in points allowed, with 61.