There are 100 days left in the regular season for the record to be broken after Butler rumbled for 52 points to lead the Bulls to a 118-111 home victory over the Charlotte Hornets without the ailing Dwyane Wade and the benched Rajon Rondo.
Butler's second career 50-point outing put him alongside Houston's James Harden, Boston's Isaiah Thomas, Sacramento's DeMarcus Cousins, Washington's John Wall, Golden State's Klay Thompson and New Orleans' Anthony Davis and Oklahoma City's Russell Westbrook on the list of players to post a 50-point game already this season. Thompson has the high mark within the group, with 60 points against Indiana on Dec. 6.
There are 19 more active players, furthermore, who have produced at least one 50-point game in their careers before this season and have yet to do so in the 2016-17 campaign, including the Golden State duo of Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant, Cleveland's LeBron James and Kyrie Irving, Portland's Damian Lillard and New York's Carmelo Anthony.
As recently as four seasons ago, 50-point games in the NBA were rarer than no-hitters in baseball. There were just three 50-point games during the NBA's 2012-13 regular season, compared to seven no-hitters during Major League Baseball's 2012 campaign.
Butler also joined Michael Jordan as the only players in Bulls history with multiple 50-point games. Jordan had 30 such games with Chicago.