Isaiah Thomas Revealed as NBA’s Top Crunch Time Scorer

A Bleacher Report analysis found Thomas had the most points per 36 clutch minutes

Isaiah Thomas Revealed as NBA's Top Crunch Time Scorer
Isaiah Thomas playing for the Boston Celtics in 2017. (Elsa/Getty)
By Evan Bleier / August 15, 2019 8:43 am

Though it seems like a long time ago, Isaiah Thomas was once touted as the NBA’s leading fourth-quarter scorer.

Before Thomas had subpar stints with the Cavaliers, Lakers and Nuggets, the 30-year-old was leading the Boston Celtics to nightly fourth-quarter comebacks and even earned the nickname “King in the Fourth” in 2017.

That was two seasons ago, but a new analysis from Bleacher Report found that Thomas, who is now a member of the Washington Wizards, still has the highest average for points per 36 clutch minutes over the past three seasons with 44.6.

“Due to his last two injury-plagued seasons, memories about the ridiculousness of 2016-17 IT may have faded,” B/R writes. “That season, he played 165 minutes in the clutch and scored 48.7 points per 36 with a blistering 65.4 true shooting percentage.”

Following Thomas on the list of the league’s best scorers are James Harden (43.5), Kyrie Irving (39.9), LeBron James (39.8), Russell Westbrook (39.3), Stephen Curry (37.2), Kawhi Leonard (36.3), Donovan Mitchell (35.1), Kemba Walker (35.0) and Jimmy Butler (34.7).

“I’ve always wanted that moment,” Thomas said back in 2017. “Growing up, always seeing the best players take over in those moments, whether it be Kobe [Bryant], Allen Iverson, [Michael] Jordan, and they just treated it like it was just another possession, another game. That’s how I feel. When I’m out there, I just want to make plays and be aggressive. And, like I said, I want that moment. A lot of guys don’t want to take the big shots, they’re scared to try to make a big play because they might turn it over or miss the shot. I work too hard not to take advantage of those moments.”

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