This throwback takes us back to the Christmas of 1984.
On this blessed day, Bernard King blessed the Garden with an MSG record of 60 points against the New Jersey Nets. 40 of the 60 came in the first half as the Nets tried as many as five different players on him, including Buck Williams and Michael Ray Richardson. King finished the game with a ridiculous 19-of-30 from the field and 22-of-26 from the line.
King’s scoring output at the end of 1984 is one of my all-time favorites. He had six 40+ games in November and December, including a three-game streak of 40/9/5, 45/9/4 and 52/7/7; He shot over 60% in all three of those games. And in the game before he delivered 60 to the naughty Nets on Christmas, he gave the Bullets 43 points on 14-of-23 shooting.
Another piece of trivia that’s often forgotten about his 60 on the Nets is they had a chance to redeem themselves two months later. Did they? Well, they kept him under 60 (55) and he shot less than 60% (.576 on 19-of-33 FG) in the rematch.
THE MSG RECORD
The MSG record stood for 25 years until Kobe Bryant dropped 61 on the Knicks in 2009 and then Carmelo Anthony broke that record with a career-high 62.
As great as Kobe and Melo’s performances were, neither will be remembered as much as the one by the original King of New York — pre-Christopher Wallace and Christopher Walken.