Carmelo Anthony exploded for 50 points Monday against Houston. Unfortunately for the Nuggets, Kevin Martin's 37 proved to be much more valuable. You see, it was the Rockets who actually won the game.
It happens just as often as it doesn't; when a player goes off, the score is likely to be close.
Often times, when a player has it going to that extent, it's borne of necessity. When Kobe Bryant scored 81 against Toronto five seasons ago, he really got going after the Lakers fell behind by 18 points in the third quarter.
It can also lead to teammates becoming spectators.
So which players have authored the biggest outbursts while falling short in their pursuit of victory?
The list is littered with legends.
Fans know what happens in Game 5. The greatest player of all time hits the most important shot of his career.
It's what happened in Game 4 that makes it that much more impressive. The Bulls were up 2-1 with Game 4 in Chicago. Jordan got hot in the third quarter, scoring 19 of his 50 points. But he split a pair of free throws late, allowing Cleveland to force overtime and eventually tie the series. Although Jordan shot 22-of-27 from the line that night, his critics would point to his misses as the Bulls' downfall.
Jordan would answer those critics just two days later, hitting arguably the most famous shot in NBA history.
A year to the day before Michael Jordan was born, Chamberlain poured in 67 points and collected 28 rebounds against Bob Pettit's St. Louis Hawks.
The Warriors would fall 121-128.
The Bulls met Shaquille O'Neal's Orlando Magic in the middle of Shaq's rookie season. The two superstars did not disappoint.
Jordan scored 64 points while Shaq posted 29 points, 24 rebounds and five blocks in Orlando's overtime win.
In a series for the ages, Ray Allen went off in game 6.
Allen scored 51 points including nine three-pointers, but the Chicago Bulls forced a Game 7 with a 128-127 win in triple overtime.
King was virtually unstoppable on Christmas Day back in 1984, scoring 60 points at Madison Square Garden. However, it was his former Nets team that bagged the victory.
Chamberlain scored 70 against the Nats, hitting 27-of-38 field goals and 16-of-22 free throws.
It wasn't enough as Wilt's Warriors fell short, 148-163.
Just over eights months after he scored an NBA record 100 points against the Knicks, "The Big Dipper" scored 72 against Jerry West, Elgin Baylor and the Los Angeles Lakers.
Chamberlain hit 29 of his 48 shots in a 12-point defeat.
April 9, 1978 was a day to remember for NBA fans who love scoring.
With the scoring title at stake on the last day of the regular season, "Skywalker" poured in 73 points against the Pistons.
Unfortunately for Thompson, it would not be enough because that same day...
George Gervin poured in 63 points against the New Orleans Jazz.
Gervin's Spurs may have lost their game to the New Orleans Jazz, but his 63 points in 33 minutes clinched the NBA scoring crown over David Thompson by just .07 of a point.
"Iceman" scored a record 33 points in the second quarter alone.
The greatest NBA playoff scoring performance came in a loss. It's safe to say the Celtics were at a loss, too.
Jordan followed up his 49 points in Game 1 with a record 63 points on April 20, 1986 against one of the greatest teams of all time—the 1986 Boston Celtics.
Jordan forced overtime by sinking two free throws with no time remaining and just missed a shot to win the game at the end of the first overtime.
Boston prevailed in double overtime, 135-131.
This game is legendary. Imagine how it would be viewed if Chicago had won the game.