Breaking Down the NBA's Top Scorers by Quarter

Matt JonesAnalyst IFebruary 2, 2012

Breaking Down the NBA's Top Scorers by Quarter

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    Who are the best scorers in the league this season by the quarter?

    Kobe Bryant is leading the league in overall scoring this year, and LeBron James, Kevin Durant and many other NBA superstars are following right behind him. 

    After so much was made of LeBron James' fourth quarter performances in the NBA Finals last season, I thought it would be good to take a look at how the top 10 scorers in the league are broken down into their individual performances by quarter. 

    This list is in reverse order of players standing in overall points per game averages and will show the broken down statistics into minutes, points, shooting percentage and usage percentage for each player in each of the four quarters. 

    Usage percentage is basically the percentage of team plays leading to a shot or a turnover that is used by a particular player during his time on the court. A higher number is not always a good thing as it usually means that a player is shooting the ball a lot more than utilizing teammates. 

    Continue reading to find out the per-quarter statistics for each of the top scoring players at this point of the season. 

    Statistics are current before games played on February 1, 2012.

10. Chris Bosh, Miami Heat

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    With LeBron James and Dwyane Wade on his team, Chris Bosh is at times the forgotten All-Star on the Miami Heat. 

    Bosh is quietly putting together a good season and is currently 10th among scoring leaders. 

    Season Per Game Averages

    Minutes: 36.3
    Points: 20.9
    Field Goal Percentage: 53%
    Usage Percentage: 28%

    1st Quarter Averages

    Minutes: 8.1
    Points: 4.3
    Field Goal Percentage: 48%
    Usage Percentage: 30.3%

    2nd Quarter Averages

    Minutes: 9.3
    Points: 5.6
    Field Goal Percentage: 51%
    Usage Percentage: 28.7%

    3rd Quarter Averages

    Minutes: 7.9
    Points: 4.9
    Field Goal Percentage: 53%
    Usage Percentage: 28.2%

    4th Quarter Averages

    Minutes: 9.8
    Points: 5.5
    Field Goal Percentage: 58%
    Usage Percentage: 25.3%

9. Blake Griffin, Los Angeles Clippers

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    It is no secret that Blake Griffin can dunk, but he is also leading the Los Angeles Clippers in scoring this season. 

    With Chris Paul and the new teammates Griffin has this year, the Clippers are are finally a team that will be a contender in the Western Conference.

    Season Per Game Averages

    Minutes: 37.1
    Points: 21.1
    Field Goal Percentage: 52%
    Usage Percentage: 32%

    1st Quarter Averages

    Minutes: 11.1
    Points: 6.3
    Field Goal Percentage: 49%
    Usage Percentage: 33%

    2nd Quarter Averages

    Minutes: 6.8
    Points: 4.9
    Field Goal Percentage: 57%
    Usage Percentage: 34.6%

    3rd Quarter Averages

    Minutes: 10.9
    Points: 5.9
    Field Goal Percentage: 56%
    Usage Percentage: 30.9%

    4th Quarter Averages

    Minutes: 9
    Points: 4.3
    Field Goal Percentage: 47%
    Usage Percentage: 30%


8. Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder

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    Russell Westbrook recently signed a huge contract extension with the Oklahoma City Thunder that showed the team is committed to keeping their superstars for a long time. 

    Westbrook is a big part of the Thunder's success this season and is eighth in overall scoring. 

    Season Per Game Averages

    Minutes: 34
    Points: 21.3
    Field Goal Percentage: 46%
    Usage Percentage: 35.4%

    1st Quarter Averages

    Minutes: 10.1 
    Points: 6.6
    Field Goal Percentage: 46%
    Usage Percentage: 35.8%

    2nd Quarter Averages

    Minutes: 7.3
    Points: 4
    Field Goal Percentage: 45%
    Usage Percentage: 31.9%

    3rd Quarter Averages

    Minutes: 10.4
    Points: 6.3
    Field Goal Percentage: 46%
    Usage Percentage: 35.4%

    4th Quarter Averages

    Minutes: 8.3
    Points: 6.1
    Field Goal Percentage: 46%
    Usage Percentage: 38.9%

     


7. LaMarcus Aldridge, Portland Trail Blazers

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    LaMarcus Aldridge is once again putting up good numbers for the Portland Trail Blazers and leads the team with just over 22 points per game. 

    This should be the season that he is named to his first All-Star game. 

    Season Per Game Averages

    Minutes: 36.8
    Points: 22.6
    Field Goal Percentage: 50%
    Usage Percentage: 31.4%

    1st Quarter Averages

    Minutes: 9.9
    Points: 5.9
    Field Goal Percentage: 46%
    Usage Percentage: 30.6%

    2nd Quarter Averages

    Minutes: 7.9
    Points: 6.1
    Field Goal Percentage: 54%
    Usage Percentage: 34.5%

    3rd Quarter Averages

    Minutes: 10.8
    Points: 6.9
    Field Goal Percentage: 54%
    Usage Percentage: 33.3%

    4th Quarter Averages

    Minutes: 8.9
    Points: 3.9
    Field Goal Percentage: 46%
    Usage Percentage: 26.8%

     


6. Derrick Rose, Chicago Bulls

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    The reigning league MVP has picked up where he left off last season and is leading the Chicago Bulls to one of the better records in the league. 

    Rose is showing that he can pretty much do it all for the Bulls as he is pretty consistent across all four quarters.

    Season Per Game Averages

    Minutes: 37.3
    Points: 23.1
    Field Goal Percentage: 46%
    Usage Percentage: 32.8%

    1st Quarter Averages

    Minutes: 11.3
    Points: 7.2
    Field Goal Percentage: 51%
    Usage Percentage: 31.9%

    2nd Quarter Averages

    Minutes: 6.9
    Points: 3.9
    Field Goal Percentage: 48%
    Usage Percentage: 30.7% 

    3rd Quarter Averages

    Minutes: 10.9
    Points: 6.4
    Field Goal Percentage: 42%
    Usage Percentage: 33.7%

    4th Quarter Averages

    Minutes: 9.7
    Points: 6.6
    Field Goal Percentage: 42%
    Usage Percentage: 34.8%

     


5. Carmelo Anthony, New York Knicks

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    Carmelo Anthony is once again having one of his typical seasons offensively despite the unexpected struggles of the New York Knicks. 

    He is averaging over 23 points per game, but that has not always translated into team wins this season. 

    Season Per Game Averages

    Minutes: 35.3
    Points: 23.7
    Field Goal Percentage: 40%
    Usage Percentage: 37.2%

    1st Quarter Averages

    Minutes: 11.9
    Points: 6.9 
    Field Goal Percentage: 43%
    Usage Percentage: 30.6%

    2nd Quarter Averages

    Minutes: 6.6
    Points: 4.8
    Field Goal Percentage: 41%
    Usage Percentage: 38.4%

    3rd Quarter Averages

    Minutes: 9.8
    Points: 4.5
    Field Goal Percentage: 32%
    Usage Percentage: 34.8%

    4th Quarter Averages

    Minutes: 8.4
    Points: 9
    Field Goal Percentage: 47%
    Usage Percentage: 49%

     


4. Kevin Love, Minnesota Timberwolves

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    Kevin Love is one of the best scorers in the NBA and is also second overall in rebounds per game. 

    With a great start to this season, Love has continued his great post play and is a very reliable double-double machine for the Minnesota Timberwolves.

    Season Per Game Averages

    Minutes: 39.4 
    Points: 25.3 
    Field Goal Percentage: 45%
    Usage Percentage: 30.9%

    1st Quarter Averages

    Minutes: 11.4
    Points: 7
    Field Goal Percentage: 44%
    Usage Percentage: 30.7%

    2nd Quarter Averages

    Minutes: 6.5
    Points: 4.4
    Field Goal Percentage: 38%
    Usage Percentage: 36.7%

    3rd Quarter Averages

    Minutes: 11.7
    Points: 8.3 
    Field Goal Percentage: 52%
    Usage Percentage: 30.6%

    4th Quarter Averages

    Minutes: 9.8
    Points: 5.7
    Field Goal Percentage: 45%
    Usage Percentage: 27.8%

     


3. Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder

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    Kevin Durant has led the league in scoring each of the last two seasons, and could possibly add a third. 

    He currently sits in third place and is making a case to become the leagues MVP this season.

    Season Per Game Averages

    Minutes: 36.9
    Points: 26.8
    Field Goal Percentage: 51%
    Usage Percentage: 34.8%

    1st Quarter Averages

    Minutes: 11.4
    Points: 7.7
    Field Goal Percentage: 51%
    Usage Percentage: 35%

    2nd Quarter Averages

    Minutes: 7.5
    Points: 6.0
    Field Goal Percentage: 52%
    Usage Percentage: 34.2%

    3rd Quarter Averages

    Minutes: 11.5
    Points: 7.9
    Field Goal Percentage: 56%
    Usage Percentage: 33.5

    4th Quarter Averages

    Minutes: 8.8
    Points: 6.9
    Field Goal Percentage: 44%
    Usage Percentage: 37.2%

     


2. LeBron James, Miami Heat

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    LeBron James is having a great season in his second year with the Miami Heat and looks to be trying to make up for last season's disappointing loss in the NBA Finals. 

    Overall, James is shooting 55 percent from the field and has solid rebounding and assist totals. 

    If the Heat can all stay healthy, they are going to continue to be very strong in the Eastern Conference. 

    Season Per Game Averages

    Minutes: 37.5
    Points: 29.7
    Field Goal Percentage: 55%
    Usage Percentage: 37%

    1st Quarter Averages

    Minutes: 11.9
    Points: 9.2
    Field Goal Percentage: 60%
    Usage Percentage: 34%

    2nd Quarter Averages

    Minutes: 6.4
    Points: 5.4
    Field Goal Percentage: 61%
    Usage Percentage: 36.5%

    3rd Quarter Averages

    Minutes: 11.6
    Points: 9.2
    Field Goal Percentage: 57%
    Usage Percentage: 38%

    4th Quarter Averages

    Minutes: 7.9
    Points: 6.3
    Field Goal Percentage: 44%
    Usage Percentage: 40.5%

     


1. Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers

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    Kobe Bryant has always been among the league leaders in scoring and this season is no different. 

    He currently leads LeBron James by a slim margin and is the only player averaging 30 or more points per game. 

    His stretch of games with 40 or more points earlier this season helped him out. Now Kobe just needs consistent help from his teammates. 

    Season Per Game Averages

    Minutes: 38
    Points: 30
    Field Goal Percentage: 46%
    Usage Percentage: 42.3%

    1st Quarter Averages

    Minutes: 10.7
    Points: 7.3
    Field Goal Percentage: 48%
    Usage Percentage: 35.7%

    2nd Quarter Averages

    Minutes: 7.5
    Points: 6.1
    Field Goal Percentage: 50%
    Usage Percentage: 39.8%

    3rd Quarter Averages

    Minutes: 10.8
    Points: 9.1 
    Field Goal Percentage: 44%
    Usage Percentage: 46.6%

    4th Quarter Averages

    Minutes: 9.2
    Points: 7.5
    Field Goal Percentage: 43%
    Usage Percentage: 47.1%

     


1st Quarter Leaders

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    LeBron James of the Miami Heat has wasted no time getting started in games this season. His 9.2 points and shooting percentage of 60 is the best of these top scorers in the opening quarter.

    By averages, this is the best quarter for James whose numbers decline a bit in the following three.

    Derrick Rose and Kevin Durant have also jumped out to fast starts as all three are playing nearly the full quarter each night.  

    LeBron James

    Minutes: 11.9
    Points: 9.2
    Field Goal Percentage: 60%
    Usage Percentage: 34%

    Derrick Rose

    Minutes: 11.3
    Points: 7.2
    Field Goal Percentage: 51%
    Usage Percentage: 31.9%

    Kevin Durant

    Minutes: 11.3
    Points: 7.2
    Field Goal Percentage: 51%
    Usage Percentage: 31.9%

2nd Quarter Leaders

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    The minutes that each of these players is on the court drops in the second quarter as would be expected in a normal NBA rotation. The second quarter is generally time for the bench players to come in to give the starters a break. 

    LaMarcus Aldridge of the Portland Trail Blazers is at the top of this group in the second quarter, and actually averages better numbers in the second and third than he does in the first and fourth.

    Kevin Durant and Kobe Bryant are very close behind as all players are averaging about the same amount of points scored in this quarter. 

    Aldridge has a slightly better shooting percentage than the other two players.

    LaMarcus Aldridge

    Minutes: 7.9
    Points: 6.1
    Field Goal Percentage: 54%
    Usage Percentage: 34.5%

    Kevin Durant

    Minutes: 7.5
    Points: 6.0
    Field Goal Percentage: 52%
    Usage Percentage: 34.2%

    Kobe Bryant

    Minutes: 7.5
    Points: 6.1
    Field Goal Percentage: 50%
    Usage Percentage: 39.8%

3rd Quarter Leaders

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    Much like the first quarter, LeBron James starts the second half strong and it is his second-best quarter according to his averages. He is scoring the same as he does in the first quarter with a slightly lower shooting percentage.

    Kevin Love takes advantage of the third quarter to post his best numbers, and Kobe Bryant averages a high amount of points in this quarter but his usage percentage is high with a low shooting percentage.

    LeBron James

    Minutes: 11.6
    Points: 9.2
    Field Goal Percentage: 57%
    Usage Percentage: 38%

    Kevin Love

    Minutes: 11.7
    Points: 8.3 
    Field Goal Percentage: 52%
    Usage Percentage: 30.6%

    Kobe Bryant

    Minutes: 10.8
    Points: 9.1 
    Field Goal Percentage: 44%
    Usage Percentage: 46.6%

4th Quarter Leaders

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    Kevin Durant posts solid averages in the fourth quarter with 6.9 points per game in this quarter and a shooting percentage of 44.

    Kobe Bryant and Carmelo Anthony are both scoring more points in the quarter, but their usage percentages for their teams is very high.

    This is not a good sign as it suggests that both players are trying to take over games by shooting a lot in the fourth quarter and do not utilize their teammates as much as they should. 

    It makes sense that both the Los Angeles Lakers and New York Knicks have both had struggles this season as it looks like both stars are trying to win games single-handedly.

    On a side note, the fourth quarter is the worst quarter for LeBron James who is shooting a lower percentage and taking more shots than he does in any other quarter.

    Kevin Durant

    Minutes: 8.8
    Points: 6.9
    Field Goal Percentage: 44%
    Usage Percentage: 37.2%

    Kobe Bryant

    Minutes: 9.2
    Points: 7.5
    Field Goal Percentage: 43%
    Usage Percentage: 47.1%

    Carmelo Anthony

    Minutes: 8.4
    Points: 9
    Field Goal Percentage: 47%
    Usage Percentage: 49%

     

    Statistical information found at www.nba.com

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