1. Moses Malone- April 26th, 1981
Moses Malone is without question one of the best big men of all time. Malone lasted 21 years in the league, which is a testament to his durability and conditioning.
Malone made 13 All-Star teams and led the league in rebounds on six different occasions. The Chairman of the Boards played six seasons in Houston, and the Rockets made the playoffs in five of those seasons.
Malone carried the Rockets to the NBA Finals during the 1980-81 season, despite having just a 40-42 record. Although the Rockets finished the season with the sixth-seed in the Western Conference, they swept the Los Angeles Lakers in the first round, who had the third seed.
In the second round, the Rockets got past the second-seeded San Antonio Spurs, although it took seven games to make it past the Spurs. In the Western Conference Finals, the Rockets faced off against the Kansas City Kings, who had an identical 40-42 record.
One of Moses Malone’s best games of that series came on April 26th, as the Chairman of the Boards imposed his will on the Kings. Malone had 42 points, including 10 from the free throw line, where he went 10-of-14. Malone also controlled the glass, as he added 23 rebounds to an already impressive statline. By comparison, the Kings had 34 rebounds as an entire unit.
Malone’s performance on that day was by far one of the greatest Houston Rockets games that fell on April 26th.