On February 24, we got to witness one of the highest-scoring NBA games of all-time when the Los Angeles Clippers hosted the Sacramento Kings at Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles, California. They needed two overtime periods before determining the winner, which was the Kings in a 176-175 thriller.
Both teams were fairly even throughout, ending the first quarter with a 40-40 tie. The Clippers went into halftime with an 80-76 lead and extended that lead to 117-110 after the third quarter. The Kings weren’t ready to fold, outscoring the Clippers 43-36 in the fourth quarter to send the game into its first overtime.
After both teams scored 11 points in the first overtime period, the Kings outscored the Clippers 12-11 in the second overtime period after a 7-foot shot by De’Aaron Fox with 36 seconds left. The Clippers had an opportunity to win with two seconds left, but Nicolas Batum couldn’t find the bottom of the net.
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What Are the Highest-Scoring NBA Games of All-Time?
With a combined 351 points – 176 points for the Kings and 175 for the Clippers – the game marked the second highest-scoring game in NBA history. That’s a stark difference from the 2022-23 league average of 115 points per team, which would amount to a league average of 230 combined points per game.
The Feb. 24 matchup between the Clippers and Kings was also one of the few occurrences where two teammates scored 40 points in the same game. De’Aaron Fox (who hit the game-winner) had 42 points for the Kings, while Malik Monk finished with 45 points – the Clippers’ Kawhi Leonard had 44 points.
You might be wondering – if that was the second highest-scoring game in NBA history, what was THE highest-scoring game of all-time? Don’t worry, we’re going to get there, but first, let’s take a look at some of the other highest-scoring NBA games of all-time – not including the Kings win over the Clippers.
10. 316 Points (Suns defeat Nuggets, 173-143)
On November 10, 1990, the Phoenix Suns defeated the Denver Nuggets in a 173-143 blowout. The Suns took a 50-37 lead in the first quarter and extended that lead to 107-67 by halftime. The Nuggets started a comeback in the third quarter and were down 137-110, but the lead was just too much to overcome.
Five Suns’ players had 20+ points – Cedric Ceballos (32 points), Kenny Battle (23 points, 10 rebounds), Kevin Johnson (23 points, 17 assists), Dan Majerle (21 points, 13 assists), and Tom Chambers (20 points). Mark West added 16 points, while Jeff Hornacek and Eddie Johnson each had 12 points.
As for the Nuggets, they had three players score at least 20 points – Orlando Woolridge (40 points), Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf (26 points), and Walter Davis (22 points). Anthony Cook was the only other player to score in double-digits with 13 points, but no one on the team finished with a double-double.
With their win, the Suns improved to 3-1 on the season and finished the season 55-27, but lost in the first round of the playoffs that year. The Nuggets dropped to 0-6 on the season with their loss and finished the season 20-62, finishing in last place in the Western Conference and last place in the entire league.
9. 316 Points (Royals defeat Rockets, 165-151)
On March 12, 1970, the Cincinnati Royals defeated the San Diego Rockets 165-151 – totaling 316 points. The Royals got off to an early 46-28 lead in the first quarter and had an 89-70 lead at halftime. The Rockets outscored the Royals 81-76 in the second half, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the deficit.
The Royals only had seven players score and five of them had at least 20 points in the blowout win – Tom Van Arsdale (36 points), Connie Dierking (34 points, 18 rebounds), Johnny Green (29 points, 17 rebounds), Oscar Robertson (28 points, 12 rebounds, 13 assists), and Norm Van Lier (22 points).
As for the Rockets, they only had three players score at least 20 points – Elvin Hayes (40 points, 21 rebounds), Don Kojis (23 points), and John Block (20 points). Bingo Smith added 16 points, Stu Lantz had 14 points, Toby Kimball finished with 12 points, and Bernie Williams chipped in with 11 points.
With their victory, the Royals improved to 34-44 and finished the season with a 36-46 record – but still missed the postseason. The Rockets’ record dipped to 24-52 with the disappointing loss and they finished the season 27-55 – also missing the postseason with the worst record in the entire league.
8. 316 Points (Warriors defeat Knicks, 169-147)
On March 2, 1962, the Philadelphia Warriors defeated the New York Knicks 169-147 – totaling 316 points. The Warriors got off to an early 42-26 lead in the first quarter, but their lead was just 79-68 at halftime. They took a 125-106 lead into the fourth quarter, where the Warriors outscored the Knicks 44-41.
The Warriors were led by Wilt Chamberlain, who scored 100 points in the victory – 19 more points than any other player in a single game in NBA history – and added 25 rebounds. Guy Rodgers finished with 11 points and 20 assists, while Al Attles, Tom Meschery, and Paul Arizin combined for 48 points.
As for the Knicks, they had three players score at least 30 points – Richie Guerin (39 points, 8 rebounds, 6 assists), Cleveland Buckner (33 points, 8 rebounds), and Willie Naulls (31 points, 7 rebounds). Dave Budd had a double-double (13 points, 10 rebounds) and Donnie Butcher chipped in with 10 points.
With the victory, the Warriors improved their record to 47-29 and finished the season 49-31 – eventually losing to the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Division Finals. The Knicks’ record fell to 27-46 and they finished the season 29-51 – missing out the postseason with the second-worst record in the league.
7. 317 Points (Rockets defeat Wizards, 159-158)
On October 30, 2019, the Houston Rockets defeated the Washington Wizards in a tight 159-158 thriller – totaling 317 points. The Rockets were down 76-77 at halftime and 101-107 after three quarters, but didn’t give up and outscored Washington 48-41 in the fourth – a James Harden free throw gave them the win.
Speaking of Harden, he led all scorers with 59 points and added 9 assists in the process. Clint Capela added 21 points and 12 rebounds, while Russell Westbrook put up a triple-double with 17 points, 10 rebounds, and 12 assists. Eric Gordon and Austin Rivers combined for 26 points off the bench.
As for the Wizards, they were led by Bradley Beal and his 46 points, 6 rebounds, and 8 assists. Rui Hachimura added 23 points, while Davis Bertans chipped in with 21 points off the bench – Isaiah Thomas, Troy Brown Jr., and Moritz Wagner combined for another 43 points off the Wizards’ bench.
With the victory, the Rockets improved to 3-1 early in the season and went on to finish the year with a 44-28 record – they lost to the Lakers in the Western Conference semifinals. Meanwhile, the Wizards fell to 1-3 on the season and finished the year with a 25-47 record – 10th place in the Eastern Conference.
6. 318 Points (Suns defeat Nets, 161-157)
On December 7, 2006, the Phoenix Suns defeated the New Jersey Nets in a 161-157 double-overtime thriller. The Suns held a 64-58 lead at half and, while the Nets came back, Steve Nash tied it for the Suns with 2 seconds left. The game was still tied after one OT, but the Suns outscored the Nets 18-14 in the second OT.
The Suns had four players score at least 20 points – Steve Nash (42 points, 13 assists), Shawn Marion (33 points, 9 rebounds), Raja Bell (24 points), and Amar’e Stoudemire (23 points, 11 rebounds). Boris Diaw added another 16 points and 14 assists, while Leandro Barbosa had 16 points off the bench.
As for the Nets, they had three players score at least 25 points – Jason Kidd (38 points, 14 rebounds, 14 assists), Vince Carter (31 points, 9 assists), and Richard Jefferson (25 points, 8 rebounds). Meanwhile, Marcus Williams, Mikki Moore, and Eddie House combined for another 44 points off the bench.
With the victory, the Suns improved their record to 11-6 on the year and finished the season 61-21 – ultimately losing to the Spurs in the Western Conference semifinals. The Nets, on the other hand, fell to 11-7 on the year and finished at .500 (41-41) – losing to the Cavs in the Eastern Conference semifinals.
5. 318 Points (Nuggets defeat Spurs, 163-155)
On January 11, 1984, the Denver Nuggets defeated the San Antonio Spurs 163-155 – totaling 318 points. The Nuggets got off to a hot start with an 82-64 lead at halftime, but the Spurs came back – outscoring the Nuggets 91-81 in the second half. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to overcome the large deficit.
The Nuggets were led by Kiki Vandeweghe, who scorched the Spurs for 50 points off 21 of 30 shooting. Alex English added 25 points, while four players scored in double-digits off the bench – Howard Carter (16 points), Mike Evans (12 points), Bill Hanzlik (11 points), and Richard Anderson (10 points).
As for the Spurs, they were led by George Gervin with 38 points, 9 assists, 6 rebounds, 2 steals, and 3 blocks. John Lucas had 23 points and Gene Banks had 17 points. They had three players play well off the bench – Edgar Jones (17 points), Keith Edmonson (14 points), and Mark McNamara (14 points).
With the victory, the Nuggets improved to 16-20 on the year and finished the season 38-44 – they made the playoffs, but lost to the Jazz in the Western Conference first round. The Spurs dropped to 14-23 on the year and finished the season 37-45 – unfortunately, it wasn’t good enough to make the playoffs.
4. 320 Points (Warriors defeat Nuggets, 162-158)
On November 2, 1990, the Golden State Warriors defeated the Denver Nuggets 162-158 – totaling 320 points. The game was close throughout, but it was the Warriors who held an 87-83 lead at halftime. The Nuggets outscored the Warriors 39-38 in the third, but the Warriors closed it out in the fourth quarter.
The Warriors had two players score at least 30 points – Chris Mullin (38 points, 9 rebounds, 5 steals) and Tim Hardaway (32 points, 18 assists). Mitch Richmond added another 29 points and Tom Tolbert had 18 points, 12 rebounds in just 25 minutes, while Rod Higgins chipped in with 17 points off the bench.
As for the Nuggets, they also had two players score at least 30 points – Orlando Woolridge (37 points, 8 rebounds) and Walter Davis (33 points, 10 rebounds off the bench). They had five other players – Todd Lichti, Blair Rasmussen, T.R. Dunn, Michael Adams, and Jerome Lane – each score in double-digits.
This game was the first outing for both teams in the 1990-91 season. The Warriors started 1-0 and finished the year 44-38, but lost to the Lakers in the Western Conference semifinals. Meanwhile, the Nuggets started 0-1 and finished the season 20-62, which was the worst record in the entire league.
3. 329 Points (Bulls defeat Hawks, 168-161)
On March 1, 2019, the Chicago Bulls defeated the Atlanta Hawks in a 168-161 quadruple-overtime thriller – totaling 329 points. Atlanta had a 7-point lead after the first, but just a 3-point lead at half. The Bulls took control in the third, but the Hawks tied it in the fourth. It took four overtime periods to determine a winner.
The Bulls had three players with at least 30 points – Zach LaVine (47 points, 9 rebounds, 9 assists), Otto Porter Jr. (31 points, 10 rebounds), and Lauri Markkanen (31 points, 17 rebounds). Robin Lopez had a double-double, while Ryan Arcidiacono and Shaquille Harrison combined for 23 points off the bench.
As for the Hawks, they were led by Trae Young, who finished with 49 points, 8 rebounds, and 16 assists in the loss. Alex Len finished with 24 points, 10 rebounds off the bench, while DeAndre’ Bembry and Vince Carter combined for another 26 points off the bench. They fought hard, but it wasn’t enough.
With the victory, the Bulls improved to just 18-45 on the year and finished with a 22-60 record – the fourth worst record in the league that season. On the other hand, the Hawks fell to just 21-42 on the year and finished with a 29-53 record – the fifth worst record in the league. Both teams missed the postseason.
2. 337 Points (Spurs defeat Bucks, 171-166)
On March 6, 1982, the San Antonio Spurs defeated the Milwaukee Bucks in a 171-166 triple-overtime thriller – totaling 337 points. The Bucks had a 4-point lead at halftime and 3-point lead at the end of three quarters, but the Spurs tied it to send it into OT. It took three OT periods before the Spurs ran away with it.
The Spurs had two players combine for 95 of those points – George Gervin (50 points, 8 rebounds) and Mike Mitchell (45 points, 11 rebounds). Dave Corzine (19 points, 9 rebounds) and Johnny Moore (16 points, 16 assists) played very well, while Mike Bratz added 14 points and 12 assists off the bench.
As for the Bucks, they were led by two players off their bench – Brian Winters (42 points, 5 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 steals) and Junior Bridgeman (31 points, 3 assists). Bob Lanier added 29 points as a starter, while Sidney Moncrief, Marques Johnson, and Quinn Buckner combined for another 50 points.
With the victory, the Spurs improved to 38-21 on the year and finished the season 48-34 before getting swept by the Lakers in the Western Conference Finals. The Bucks fell to just 42-17 on the year and finished the season 55-27 before losing to the 76ers in six games in the Eastern Conference semifinals.
1. 370 Points (Pistons defeat Nuggets, 186-184)
On December 13, 1983, the Detroit Pistons defeated the Denver Nuggets in a 186-184 triple-overtime thriller – totaling a record 370 points. They were tied 74-74 at halftime and the Nuggets had a 5-point lead after three quarters, but the Pistons came back to tie it and eventually win it after three overtime periods.
The Pistons had three players score at least 35 points – Isiah Thomas (47 points, 17 assists), John Long (41 points, 6 rebounds, 8 assists, 3 steals), and Kelly Tripucka (35 points). Bill Laimbeer added 17 points and 12 assists, while Terry Tyler and Vinnie Johnson combined for 30 points off the bench.
As for the Nuggets, they had two players score at least 47 points – Kiki Vandeweghe (51 points, 9 rebounds, 8 assists) and Alex English (47 points, 12 rebounds, 7 assists). Dan Issel added 28 points, while Mike Evans, Danny Schayes, and Richard Anderson had a combined 40 points off the bench.
With the victory, the Pistons improved to 11-12 on the year and finished the season 49-33 before losing to the Knicks in the Eastern Conference first round. Meanwhile, the Nuggets fell to 11-12 on the year and finished the season 38-44 before losing to the Jazz in the Western Conference first round.
What Are the Highest-Scoring NBA Games in the Playoffs?
The 10 highest-scoring NBA games of all-time – 11 including the Kings recent win over the Clippers – have all come in the regular season. By the time the playoffs roll around, high-scoring games become much less common. In fact, there has only been one playoff game in NBA history to amass 300 points.
That game came on May 11, 1992 when the Portland Trail Blazers defeated the Phoenix Suns in a 153-151 thriller – totaling 304 points in Game 4 of the Western Conference semifinals. Clyde Drexler (33 points) and Terry Porter (31 points) led the way for Portland, while Kevin Johnson led the Suns with 35.
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Only four other playoff games ended with at least 280 combined points. The Mavericks defeated the SuperSonics 151-129 (280 points) in 1987, the Celtics defeated the Knicks 157-128 (285 points) in 1990, the Spurs defeated the Nuggets 152-133 (285 points) in 1983, and the Nuggets defeated the Trail Blazers 147-140 (287 points) in 2021.
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