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Stats Leaders: Who are top clutch scorers so far this season?

Examining which players have excelled with the game on the line thus far in the 2022-23 season.

At the quarter mark of the season, take a look at the best clutch plays so far!

Each Tuesday throughout the season, we’ll break down the leaders in a specific statistical category — digging into player tracking, play-type and shot-type data to go beyond the box score to highlight some of the game’s top performers.

This week we’ll focus on the league’s top scorers in clutch situations — when the score is within five points in the final five minutes of the fourth quarter or overtime — a list that includes three of the league’s top five scorers this season in Luka Doncic, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Stephen Curry

Note: All stats through games played on Monday, Dec. 5. Clutch data for players and teams can be found on

Top 10 clutch scorers (total clutch points)

1 Shai Gilgeous-Alexander OKC 60 16-38 (42.1%) 3-8 (37.5%) 25-27 (92.6%)
2 Luka Doncic DAL 53 20-40 (50%) 3-16 (18.8%) 10-14 (71.4%)
3 Jalen Brunson NYK 52 16-33 (48.5%) 3-7 (42.9%) 17-19 (89.5%)
4 Donovan Mitchell CLE 51 17-38 (44.7%) 5-16 (31.3%) 12-13 (92.3%)
5 De’Aaron Fox SAC 50 20-32 (62.5%) 4-7 (57.1%) 6-6 (100%)
6 Stephen Curry GSW 49 15-36 (41.7%) 6-20 (30%) 13-15 (86.7%)
7 Anfernee Simons POR 48 13-29 (44.8%) 7-14 (50%) 15-16 (93.8%)
8 DeMar DeRozan CHI 43 14-33 (42.4%) 0-2 0%) 15-16 (93.8%)
8 Jerami Grant POR 43 10-22 (45.5%) 5-8 (62.5%) 18-23 (78.3%)
8 Jordan Clarkson UTA 43 16-35 (45.7%) 7-18 (38.9%) 4-5 (80%)

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander

Gilgeous-Alexander is in the midst of an overall breakout season and his play in clutch situations has been no different. His overall scoring is up from 24.5 ppg (16th) last season to 31.3 ppg (3rd) this season, and his clutch scoring ranking has gone from 28th last season (76 points) to No. 1 through the first quarter of this season (60 points).

The biggest key to Gilgeous-Alexander’s ability to deliver in close games is his ability to break down defenses and draw fouls. He leads all players in both free throws made (25) and attempted (27) in clutch time, as free throws account for nearly half of his clutch points.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander nails a clutch 3-pointer with 1.1 seconds left to cap off Oklahoma City's comeback win.

Luka Doncic

The league’s leading scorer (33.4 ppg), Doncic ranks No. 2 in clutch scoring with 53 points across 64 minutes of clutch time. Doncic’s clutch scoring has come mostly on two-point shots as he is connecting on 70.8% (17-for-24) of his shots inside the arc, but just 18.8% (3-for-16) from beyond the arc.

In addition to being the second-leading scorer in clutch situations, Doncic has dished more clutch assists (15) than any player in the league so far this season. While Doncic ranks third in usage rate (37.2%) overall, he ranks 16th in clutch usage rate (34.8%).

Most star players will see their usage rise in clutch situations (for example, Joel Embiid goes from 37.6% overall to a league-leading 46.6% in clutch) as their number is called to deliver with the game on the line. It’s similar for Doncic, as he is the offensive creator for the Mavericks in the clutch, but he balances his own scoring with setting up his teammates by drawing the attention of the defense.

Jalen Brunson

Brunson ranks just below his former Mavericks teammate in clutch scoring with a total of 52 clutch points in just under 50 minutes of clutch play. Brunson has been very efficient in the clutch, shooting 48.5% from the field, 42.9% from 3-point range (on seven 3-point attempts) and 89.5% from the free throw line (in 19 attempts). He’s also dished out five assists and is the only player ranked in the top 20 in clutch scoring without a single turnover in these situations.

Donovan Mitchell

Mitchell’s first season in Cleveland has brought much more efficient clutch play than he delivered in his final season in Utah. Last season, Mitchell finished 24th in clutch scoring (79 points), but shot just 33% (30-91) from the field, 18.8% (6-32) from 3-point range and 61.9% (13-21) from the free throw line.

In the first quarter of this season, Mitchell’s field goal percentage is up nearly 12 percentage points (44.7%), his 3-point percentage is up 12.5 percentage points (31.3%) and his free throw percentage is up more than 30 percentage points (92.3%). He’s one clutch 3-pointer and free throw away from matching what he did a season ago and the Cavs still have 58 games to play.

De’Aaron Fox

Fox rounds out the top five clutch scorers of the season so far — all of whom are 26 or younger — as he’s scored 50 points over 42 clutch minutes in 12 games for the Kings. Where Fox stands out from the rest of the top five is his remarkable shooting splits in clutch situations: 62.5% (20-32) from the field, 57.1% (4-7) from 3-point range and 100% (6-for-6) on free throws.

In contrast to what we saw with Doncic, Fox’s clutch usage rises dramatically from his mark for the entire game. Fox ranks fifth in clutch usage (37.4%) and ranks 26th for the game (27.5%). Fox has a knack for using his speed and shiftiness to get to his favorite spots in the mid-range for quality looks in clutch situations as the Kings have outscored their opponents 22 points in the clutch with Fox on the floor.

De'Aaron Fox came up clutch in a Nov. 11 win vs. the Lakers

Top 10 clutch shooters (minimum 15 clutch attempts, 62 players qualify)

1 Jusuf Nurkic POR 29 73.3 11 15
2 Bradley Beal WAS 34 68.4 13 19
3 De’Aaron Fox SAC 50 62.5 20 32
4 Giannis Antetokounmpo MIL 26 62.5 10 16
5 O.G. Anunoby TOR 38 57.9 11 19
6 Bam Adebayo MIA 28 53.3 8 15
7 Marcus Smart BOS 20 53.3 8 15
8 Joel Embiid PHI 37 52.9 9 17
9 Kyle Lowry MIA 23 52.9 9 17
10 Jimmy Butler MIA 37 51.9 14 27

Stephen Curry

Curry ranks sixth in clutch scoring despite his shooting percentage dropping off late in close games. This season, Curry is shooting 49.9% from the field and 43.2% from beyond the arc — both of which are his highest marks since his unanimous Kia NBA MVP winning season in which he posted a 50/40/90 shooting season.


In 50 minutes over 12 clutch games so far this season, Curry is shooting just 41.7% (15-36) from the field and 30% (6-20) from 3-point range. If he can bring those marks up closer to where he’s shooting the rest of the game, expect Curry to climb up this list and for the Warriors to perform better than 5-7 in clutch games.

The 2-time Kia MVP scores 15 of his 40 in the 4th quarter to key a late 17-6 run.

Anfernee Simons & Jerami Grant

Clutch time has often been referred to as “Dame Time” in the Pacific Northwest, but so far this season the Blazers are the only team with two top 10 clutch scorers — and neither is named Damian Lillard. Stepping up in Lillard’s place are Simons (48 points) and Grant (43 points), who have combined to score 91 of Portland’s league-leading 176 clutch points so far this season. The Blazers are also a league-best 5-1 in games decided by three points or less.

Simons and Grant have delivered from 3-point range in clutch situations, combining to shoot 12-22 (54.5%) from beyond the arc so far this season. But when they are inside the 3-point line, their shooting has fallen off to a combined 11-29 (37.9%).

Jerami Grant's jumper beats Suns at the buzzer on Nov. 5.

DeMar DeRozan

Last season, DeRozan (157 clutch points) finished second to Embiid (158) in clutch scoring and did so by putting up impressive shooting numbers: 53.5% from the field, 2-4 from 3-point range and 88.7% from the free throw line. DeRozan’s two clutch 3-pointers came as game-winning buzzer-beaters on back-to-back nights (New Year’s Eve and Day) for the Bulls.

So far this season, the Bulls are a league-worst 2-9 (18.2%) in clutch games after finishing fourth last season at 25-16 (61.0%). DeRozan has yet to hit a clutch 3-pointer this season, but does have 14 two-point shots and 15 free throws to his credit.

Jordan Clarkson

Last season, Clarkson posted an 11.4% usage rate in clutch situations as those possessions were usually dominated by All-Star Donovan Mitchell. With the departures of Mitchell, fellow All-Star Rudy Gobert and fellow starters Royce O’Neale and Bojan Bodganovic, there are more clutch situations for Clarkson to work with as he leads the team in clutch usage at 29.7%. Those extra clutch opportunities have translated into Jazz points as Clarkson rounds out the top 10 with 43 clutch points on 45.7% shooting from the field.