The National Basketball Association (NBA) single game leaderboard for most points is dominated by the likes of Wilt Chamberlain, Michael Jordan, and James Harden, among others. Chamberlain holds the NBA record with a 100-point effort in a 1962 game between the Philadelphia Warriors and New York Knicks. Moreover, he is responsible for 49 of the top 100 highest-scoring individual games in NBA history, whereas Jordan and Harden are responsible for six and nine, respectively.
No Brooklyn Nets player is in the top 100, which bottoms out at 58 points. However, the franchise record holder for most points in a single NBA game belongs to Nets player Deron Williams, who scored 57 points in a 104-101 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats in 2012. Julius Erving scored 63 points during a game in 1975, but the Nets were part of the ABA at that time.
Below are the six players, including Williams, who have exceeded 50 points in a game with the Nets.
1. Kyrie Irving
The Nets signed six-time All-Star and former Rookie of the Year Kyrie Irving to a four-year, $136.49-million contract on July 6, 2019, and he wasted little time in proving his value to the organization. In his first game with the team at the start of the 2019-20 season, the 27-year-old point guard scored 50 points in a 127-126 overtime loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Irving scored in a variety of ways and, by halftime, had 25 points. He added five and 13 points in the third and fourth quarters, respectively, and scored seven in overtime. He made 17 of his 33 field goal attempts, including 7 of 14 three-point shots. Unsurprisingly, he set a franchise record for most points by a player in their first game with the team. The night was particularly emotional for Irving as it marked one year since the death of his grandfather.
“It was going to be a tough day regardless,” he said after the game. “Yesterday was tougher than today just talking to my grandmother, talking to my dad, talking to my sister. Today, I made a conscious choice when I woke up to be grateful for the day and every day going forward.”
2. Deron Williams
Bolstered by a 22-point third quarter, Williams scored a career- and franchise-best 57 points on March 4, 2012, against the Bobcats. Williams, who also had seven assists and six rebounds in the game, made 16 of his 29 field goal attempts and added 21 points on 21 attempts at the free-throw line. Only two other players—Sheldon Williams and Kris Humphries—reached double digits in points that night.
Williams averaged 18.9 points per game that season, which was the third-highest of his 12-year career. He played five of those seasons in New Jersey/Brooklyn and also played for the Utah Jazz, Dallas Mavericks, and Cleveland Cavaliers. The three-time All-Star has been out of the league since 2017.
3. Vince Carter
Vince Carter will forever be remembered as the first-ever Toronto Raptor to score at least 50 points in a game, but the eight-time All-Star also topped that mark in 2005 as a member of the New Jersey Nets. Carter scored 51 points on 13 of 25 field goal attempts in the Nets’ 95-88 victory over the Miami Heat on December 23. He also had eight rebounds, four assists, and made two of five three-point field goal attempts.
Acquired from the Raptors in December 2004 for Alonzo Mourning, Eric Williams, Aaron Williams, and first-round picks in the 2005 and 2006 NBA Draft, Carter spent five seasons with the Nets. He averaged 23.6 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 4.7 assists per game through 374 regular season games. He has since played for six other teams and is now in his 22nd year in the league.
4. Ray Williams
Ray Williams scored 52 points in 43 minutes in the Nets’ 147-132 victory over the Detroit Pistons on April 17, 1982. Williams, who was in his first season with the Nets after playing four seasons with the New York Knicks, made 21 of his 34 attempted free throws and made nine of 11 free-throw attempts. He also had seven assists and four rebounds.
Williams signed with the Boston Celtics the following season, but was claimed by the Nets on waivers in 1986 and finished his career with the team. The New York native retired in 1987 with 15.5 points, 5.8 assists, and 3.6 rebounds per game.
5. Mike Newlin
Considered one of the Nets’ best players during its first decade in the NBA, Mike Newlin was selected by the Houston Rockets in the second round of the 1971 NBA Draft. He played eight seasons with the team before he was traded to the Nets for a second-round pick in the 1980 NBA Draft.
He played only two seasons with the Nets, but averaged 21.2 points per game over 157 games in that time. In contrast, his career points-per-game average is 14.9. He scored a career-best 52 points on December 16, 1979.
6. Julius Erving
Back when the Nets played out of New York and were in the ABA, Julius Erving, affectionately known as “Dr. J,” scored 63 points in the team’s 176-166 loss to the San Diego Conquistadors on February 14, 1975. Erving played one more season in New York and then joined the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers, where he spent the final 11 years of his career. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1993.