Charles Barkley is one of America’s most beloved personalities. Throughout the playoffs we will all be treated to his unfiltered opinions of how today’s players are a far cry from when he was roaming the courts. The funny thing is that this typically comes from guys who don’t have a clue as to what it means to be a dominant basketball player. Chuck, on the other hand, is one that you cannot argue with in this regard, and even more so when it comes to one faithful night in the opening round of the 1994 NBA playoffs, when his Phoenix Suns were in a potential closeout game against the Golden State Warriors.
Up two games to none, the Suns were on a mission to capture an NBA title, especially seeing as how Michael Jordan was now a full-time baseball player. Barkley began the night guns a blazing, scoring the Suns’ first 12 points. Afterwards he would run by Warriors coach Don Nelson to ask “You gonna double me?”
Golden State chose not to double-team Charles and he went on to score 27 points in the opening quarter (two shy of an NBA playoffs record). As the game progressed, so did Barkley, as he scored 11 more points in the second quarter giving him 38 for the half, which was an NBA playoff record.
The second half would be no different as Chuck poured in another 18 points giving him a career-high 56, leading his Suns to a 140-133 victory and a sweep of the first round series. He would score 112 total points over the course of the three games. On that night, Barkley made 23 of 31 shots, had 14 rebounds and made seven of nine free throws. His 56 points is tied for the third-best in playoff history behind Michael Jordan's 63 in 1986 and Elgin Baylor's 61 in 1962.
There have been 33 NBA postseason games with 50 or more points scored by a player. In 28 of them, the scorer shot a field goal percentage north of 50 percent; however, Barkley is the only player to do so by shooting over 70 percent (74.2).