The NBA on Christmas Day has been a tradition since 1947 and the Knicks have played on Christmas 49 times, the most of any NBA team. There have been plenty of classic Christmas Day moments, but Bernard King‘s 60-point game was one of the first, and most memorable.
King became the first player to ever score at least 50 points at The Garden one month earlier, scoring 52 points in a November win against the Pacers. However, he was only getting started.
On December 25, 1984, the Knicks welcomed the Nets to town for a Christmas Day matinee. King had everything working that day, hitting mid-range jumpers, attacking the rim, dominating the paint, and getting to the free throw line.
King went to the line an astounding 26 times, making 22 attempts. He had 40 points at halftime and although he cooled off in the second half, he was still scoring.
Late in the game, he eclipsed Richie Guerin‘s Knicks’ single-game record of 57 points, and shortly after that he sunk one of his 22 free throws to give him 60 points, becoming only the 10th player in NBA history to score at least 60 points in a single game.
Watch all of King’s 60 points below and check out his box score from the game.
However, unlike Carmelo Anthony and Kobe Bryant, King’s team didn’t win the game, as the Knicks dropped the contest, 120-114.
King would record another 50-point game at The Garden that season (his third of the season), and is the only player with multiple 50-point games at The Mecca in the same season.