Basketball

The rise of 50-point games in the NBA

A chart showing an increase in 50 point games
Data: Basketball Reference; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

At the start of the decade, 50-point games in the NBA were a special occasion. Now, thanks to an offensive revolution sparked by the deep ball, they're a weekly occurrence.

The backdrop: During the 2009-10 season, only three players scored 50 points in a game: Brandon Jennings (55), Andre Miller (52) and Carmelo Anthony (50). The following season, there were only two: LeBron James (51) and Melo again (50).

NBA ratings are down, but fans are still engaged

TV in a hoop
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Entering December, one of the most alarming NBA storylines is the league's declining TV ratings.

By the numbers: Through Nov. 22, games were averaging 1.45 million viewers across ESPN and TNT, down 18% from the same point last year (1.75 million).