Getty Images Tracy McGrady, Doc Rivers

Christmas Day games have been a part of the NBA since the league's second season in 1947-48, despite what Stan Van Gundy may say. Basketball owns Christmas, capturing fans as teams are starting to find themselves around the one-third mark in the season.

No regular season games get as much hype as Christmas Day games. Some players embrace this hoopla, while others shy away from it. The following 16 players etched their name in Santa Claus' history books, scoring at least 40 points on Christmas. Tracy McGrady actually hit this mark three times and Jerry West twice.

Michael Jordan, Wilt Chamberlain, and Kobe Bryant are among others to serve as Christmas Day heroes. Although, the holiday's top star may be a new name for young fans.

Bob Boozer -- 40 Points (1966)

Wikipedia Bob Boozer -- 40 Points (1966)

In a 133-132 thriller at Madison Square Garden, Boozer and the Bulls took the L despite the forward’s 40-point game. Funny enough, the New York Knicks, who Boozer previously played for, were led that night by 28 points from future 40-point Christmas scorer, Walt Bellamy.

Walt Bellamy -- 40 Points (1971)

Wikipedia Walt Bellamy -- 40 Points (1971)

In a merciful game against the Buffalo Braves, Bellamy led the way with 40 points. It must have been nice running the fast break for the Hawks with a young Pete Maravich.

Dwyane Wade -- 40 Points (2006)

Getty Images Dwyane Wade -- 40 Points (2006)

D-Wade poured in 40 points against the Kobe Bryant's Lakers in 2006. In a game where the Lakers trailed by as many as 19 points and only shot 21.7 percent from 3-point range, Wade capitalized on beating Bryant on high screen-and-rolls. The defending champs won, 101-85.

 

Billy Cunningham -- 41 Points (1969)

Wikipedia Billy Cunningham -- 41 Points (1969)

The "Kangaroo Kid" made 18 field goals against the Bullets for a 41-point performance. However, it was not enough for the 76ers to defeat Baltimore in a 121-113 shootout. Five players ended up with 20 points or more.

 

Tracy McGrady -- 41 Points (2003)

Getty Images Tracy McGrady -- 41 Points (2003)

There’s just something about Christmas for Tracy McGrady. In a home win against the Cavaliers, McGrady schooled rookie LeBron James by finishing with 41 points, 11 assists and eight rebounds. James had 34 points for Cleveland.

Brandon Roy -- 41 Points (2009)

Getty Images Brandon Roy -- 41 Points (2009)

Roy hit a a career-high 16 field goals to lead the Blazers to a 107-96 win over Denver.

Bob Love -- 42 Points (1970)

Wikipedia Bob Love -- 42 Points (1970)

"Butterbean" lit it up on the road against the Bullets. Unfortunately for Love and the Bulls, it was not nearly enough as Earl Monroe, Eddie Miles, Jack Marin and Wes Unseld each dropped 20+ points for Baltimore in a 128-112 Bullets win.

Michael Jordan -- 42 Points (1992)

Getty Images Michael Jordan -- 42 Points (1992)

In a Knicks-Bulls classic, Jordan tied the Bulls' Christmas Day franchise scoring record with 42 points en route to a 89-77 victory. Jordan also snagged eight boards, dished out five assists and had three steals in the last season before his first retirement.

Kobe Bryant -- 42 Points (2004)

Getty Images Kobe Bryant -- 42 Points (2004)

In the first meeting between Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal after Shaq's trade to the Heat, Bryant welcomed his former teammate back to the Staples Center by dropping 42 points. However, the Lakers lost in overtime, 104-102. O'Neal had 24 points and 11 rebounds.

Don Ohl -- 43 Points (1966)

eBay Don Ohl -- 43 Points (1966)

On the same date Rick Barry dropped 50 against the Royals, Ohl had a record-breaking night of his own, scoring a then-second-most ever on Christmas day. The Baltimore Bullets guard put up 43 in a 129-127 loss to the Detroit Pistons.

Tracy McGrady -- 43 Points (2000)

Getty Images Tracy McGrady -- 43 Points (2000)

The first time "T-Mac" dropped 40+ points on Christmas, it came in a road loss against a stacked Pacers team. McGrady scored 43 points, while the next highest Magic scorer was Darrell Armstrong with just 13 points.

Jerry West -- 44 Points (1965)

Getty Images Jerry West -- 44 Points (1965)

"The Logo" went off with a 44-point performance at home against the Pistons. Defense didn’t seem to be a priority as nine players scored in double figures in 115-106 Lakers win.

Kevin Durant -- 44 Points (2010)

Getty Images Kevin Durant -- 44 Points (2010)

Durant torched the Nuggets for a 114-106 win in what would be a preview of a first-round playoff series. The Thunder won that series, four games to one.

Dominique Wilkins -- 45 Points (1987)

Getty Images Dominique Wilkins -- 45 Points (1987)

Wilkins showed he could score from just about anywhere, hanging 45 on the Sixers. Wilkins went shot 17-28 from the field and 11-12 from the free throw line to lift the Hawks to a 106-100 victory.

Tracy McGrady -- 46 Points (2002)

Getty Images Tracy McGrady -- 46 Points (2002)

McGrady had a history of playing well on Christmas, but 2002 was his best year. McGrady went 14-26 from the field and 18-21 from the charity stripe to crack the Christmas Day top five.

Jerry West -- 47 Points (1963)

Getty Images Jerry West -- 47 Points (1963)

On the first Christmas day matchup between the Lakers and the Knicks, West paced the way for LA with 47 points to help his team to a 134-126 win.

Rick Barry -- 50 Points (1966)

Getty Images Rick Barry -- 50 Points (1966)

Barry led the NBA with 35.6 points per game during the 1966-67 season, and Christmas Day was well above that average. Barry dropping a half-dollar on the Cincinnati Royals for a 124-112 win.

Wilt Chamberlain -- 59 Points (1961)

Getty Images Wilt Chamberlain -- 59 Points (1961)

Before "Wilt the Stilt" scored a league-record 100 points against the Knicks, Chamberlain set another record that season. On Christmas Day, he dropped a then-Navidad-record 59 points and grabbed 36 boards against the Knicks. The Sixers lost 136-135 in a double OT thriller though.

Bernard King -- 60 Points (1984)

Getty Images Bernard King -- 60 Points (1984)

King set the current Christmas record and broke the Knicks' all-time single-game points record (since broken by Carmelo Anthony with 62) at Madison Square Garden against the Nets. The Knicks' previous record was 57 points by Richie Garrett. King scored 40 points in the first half and 23 total points from the free throw line. But it was the team from across the Hudson River who came in and actually won, 120-114, despite King's feat.

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