On January 2nd, Donovan Mitchell proved he’s in a league of his own when he scored 71 points in a 145-134 overtime victory vs. the Chicago Bulls. In doing so, he became the seventh player in NBA history to score at least 70 points in a single game – writing his name alongside some of the all-time greats.
Mitchell scoring 71 points is incredible in its own right, but it’s how he achieved it that makes his night that much more special. I mean, we’re talking about a player that had just 5 points at the end of the opening quarter and just 16 points at the end of the first half. Not only that, but the Cavaliers were down 65-47.
That’s when Mitchell took matters into his own hands. He scored 24 points in the third quarter, bringing the Cavs’ deficit down to 5 points, and another 18 points in the fourth quarter, including the tying basket that sent the game into OT with 3 seconds left. In OT, he scored 13 points – willing his team to victory.
Donovan Mitchell Joins the All-Time Single-Game Scoring Leaderboard
Donovan Mitchell finished his spectacular performance with 71 points, 8 rebounds, 11 assists, and 1 block – he shot 22 of 34 (65%) from the field, 7 of 15 (47%) from long range, and 20 of 25 (80%) from the free throw line. He was just two rebounds away from a 71-point triple-double. It was a night he’ll never forget.
The four other Cavs’ starters combined for 47 points and Mitchell was just four points away from having exactly half of his team’s total points – an incredible stat any night, but especially on a night where your team scores 145 points. He now holds the Cavaliers’ franchise record for most points in a single game.
With his 71-point performance, there are now only three players in NBA history to ever score more points than Donovan Mitchell. He’s currently in a three-way tie for 8th place on the NBA’s all-time single-game scoring leaderboard – a leaderboard that we’re going to take a closer look at below. Let’s get started!
15. Pete Maravich (68 points)
Pete Maravich scored 68 points against the New York Knicks on February 25, 1977 at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana. He shot 26 of 43 from the field and 16 of 19 from the free throw line – this was before the NBA adopted the three-point shot, which began two years later in 1979.
In addition to his 68 points, Maravich added 6 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 steals, and 2 blocks in 43 minutes of play – he was doing a little bit of everything on the court. His New Orleans Jazz would end up winning the game 124-107, in large part due to a second quarter that saw the Jazz outscore the Knicks 34-17.
14. Wilt Chamberlain (68 points)
Wilt Chamberlain – you’ll see his name a lot on this list – scored 68 points against the Chicago Bulls on December 16, 1967. This was roughly nine years before Pete Maravich had his 68-point game in 1977. Chamberlain shot an efficient 30 of 40 (75%) from the field, but just 8 of 22 (36%) from the charity stripe.
In addition to his 68 points, Chamberlain miraculously grabbed 34 rebounds and even dished two assists. While he nearly outscored the rest of his teammates (they combined for 75 points), he did out-rebound them 34-30. His Philadelphia Warriors defeated the Bulls 143-123, scoring 83 points in the second half.
13. Michael Jordan (69 points)
Michael Jordan scored 69 points against the Cleveland Cavaliers on March 28, 1990 at the Coliseum at Richfield in Richfield, Ohio. He shot 23 of 37 (62%) from the field, 2 of 6 (33%) from beyond the arc, and 21 of 23 (91%) from the charity stripe. He played 50 minutes in a game that ended up going into overtime.
In addition to his 69 points, Jordan filled the stat sheet with 18 rebounds (career-high), 6 assists, 4 steals, and 1 block. He outscored the rest of his teammates 69-48, with the four other Bulls’ starters combining for just 34 points – talk about putting the team on your back. The Bulls beat the Cavs 117-113 in overtime.
12. Devin Booker (70 points)
Devin Booker scored 70 points against the Boston Celtics on March 24, 2017 at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. He shot 21 of 40 (52%) from the field, 4 of 11 (36%) from beyond the arc, and 24 of 26 (92%) from the free throw line. He scored 23 points in the third quarter and 28 points in the fourth.
In addition to his 70 points, Booker had 8 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 steals, and 1 block – his team was a -6 with him on the court. The rest of his team only scored 50 points (half of which came from the other four starters) and his Phoenix Suns went on to lose 120-130 – despite Booker’s 51 points in the second half.
11. Wilt Chamberlain (70 points)
Wilt Chamberlain – making his second appearance on this list – scored 70 points against the Syracuse Nationals on March 10, 1963. Chamberlain shot 27 of 38 (71%) from the field and 16 of 22 (73%) from the charity stripe – an improvement from his 36% free throw shooting from his 68-point game in 1967.
In addition to his 70 points, Chamberlain grabbed 18 points and dished 3 assists in 48 minutes of play. He nearly outscored the rest of his teammates (who put up a combined 78 points) and grabbed 1/3rd of his team’s rebounds. Unfortunately, his San Francisco Warriors ended up losing 163-148 to the Nationals.
10. Donovan Mitchell (71 points)
That brings us to the man of the hour, Donovan Mitchell. He scored an impressive 71 points against the Chicago Bulls on January 2, 2023 – perhaps this was payback for Michael Jordan scoring 69 points on the Cavs in 1990. This is Mitchell’s first season with the Cavs and has already captured the city’s heart.
In addition to his 71 points, Mitchell had 8 rebounds, 11 assists, and 1 block in the 145-134 overtime victory. His Cavs outscored the Bulls 15-4 in the OT period, with 13 of those points coming from the man himself – Donovan Mitchell. He finished the OT period 4 of 4 from the field and 3 of 3 from behind the arc.
9. David Robinson (71 points)
David Robinson scored 71 points against the Los Angeles Clippers on April 24, 1994 as a member of the San Antonio Spurs. He shot 26 of 41 (63%) from the field, 1 of 2 (50%) from beyond the three-point line, and 18 of 25 (72%) from the charity stripe in 44 minutes played – he only had four minutes of rest.
In addition to his 71 points, Robinson grabbed 14 rebounds, dished 5 assists, and recorded 2 blocks in the Spurs’ 112-97 victory. He outscored his teammates 71-41 and was the only player on his team to score in double digits. In fact, he might’ve lost if they didn’t outscore the Bulls 43-30 in the fourth quarter.
8. Elgin Baylor (71 points)
Elgin Baylor scored 71 points against the New York Knicks on November 15, 1960 as a member of the Los Angeles Lakers. He shot 28 of 48 (58%) from the field and 15 of 19 (79%) from the free throw line in 45 minutes played – he only sat down for three minutes, as his coach had no reason to take him out.
In addition to his 71 points, Baylor grabbed 25 rebounds and dished 1 assist. He outscored his teammates 71-52 and grabbed nearly 40% of his team’s rebounds – the rest of his teammates combined for 38 rebounds. His Lakers went on to win the game 123-108, largely thanks to a dominant third quarter.
7. Wilt Chamberlain (72 points)
Wilt Chamberlain – making his third appearance on this list – scored 72 points against the Los Angeles Lakers on November 3, 1962. It came just four months before his 70-point outing in 1963. He shot 29 of 48 (60%) from the field and 14 of 18 (78%) from the charity stripe in 48 minutes played – the whole game.
In addition to his 72 points, Chamberlain had 18 rebounds and 1 assist. He outscored his teammates 72-43 and grabbed nearly 38% of his team’s rebounds. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to lead his team to victory as they lost 127-115 to the Lakers – Jerry West and Elgin Baylor combined for 79 points.
6. David Thompson (73 points)
David Thompson scored 73 points against the Detroit Pistons on April 9, 1978 as a member of the Denver Nuggets. He shot 28 of 38 (74%) from the field and 17 of 20 (85%) from the free throw line in 43 minutes played – he only sat down for five minutes the entire game. He outscored his teammates 73-64.
In addition to his 73 points, Thompson finished with 7 rebounds, 2 assists, and 1 block. Only two other players on his team scored in double digits – Dan Issel and Anthony Roberts combined for 26 points. Unfortunately, his Nuggets lost 137-139 to the Pistons, who were only playing with eight total players.
5. Wilt Chamberlain (73 points)
Wilt Chamberlain – making his fourth appearance on this list – scored 73 points against the Chicago Packers on January 13, 1962. He shot 29 of 48 (60%) from the field and 15 of 25 (60%) from the charity stripe. He faced some resistance from Walt Bellamy and Ralph Davis, who combined for 64 points.
In addition to his 73 points, Chamberlain grabbed an impressive 36 rebounds – nearly half of his team’s total, with his teammates combining for 37 rebounds. His Philadelphia Warriors scored at least 30 points in all four quarters, while only allowing 30+ points in one quarter. They ended up winning 135-117.
4. Wilt Chamberlain (73 points)
Wilt Chamberlain – making his fifth appearance on this list – scored 73 points against the New York Knicks on November 16, 1962. It came just 10 months after his 73-point outing against the Packers. He shot 29 of 43 (67%) from the field and 15 of 19 (79%) from the charity stripe in 48 minutes played.
In addition to his 73 points, Chamberlain grabbed 14 rebounds (about 33% of his team’s total) and dished 1 assist. He faced some resistance from Richie Guerin and Gene Shue, who combined for 50 points, but it wasn’t enough as Chamberlain’s San Francisco Warriors snagged a 127-111 victory over the Knicks.
3. Wilt Chamberlain (78 points)
Wilt Chamberlain – making his sixth appearance on this list – scored 78 points against the Los Angeles Lakers on December 8, 1961. It was an instant classic that also featured a masterful 63-point, 31-rebound outing from the Lakers’ Elgin Baylor – Jerry West also put together an impressive 32-point triple-double.
Chamberlain shot 31 of 62 (50%) from the field and 16 of 31 (52%) from the charity stripe – he added 43 rebounds (tied-7th most all-time) and 1 assist. His teammate, Tom Gola, had an interesting stat line of 6 points, 14 rebounds, and 15 assists, but the Warriors ended up losing to the Lakers 151-147 in three OTs.
2. Kobe Bryant (81 points)
Kobe Bryant scored 81 points vs. the Toronto Raptors on January 22, 2006 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles. He shot 28 of 46 (61%) from the field, 7 of 13 (54%) from beyond the arc, and 18 of 20 (90%) from the charity stripe. He nearly doubled the output of the rest of his team, who combined for 41 points.
In addition to his 81 points, Bryant recorded 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 steals, and 1 block. He was 24 points away from outscoring the entire Raptors’ team, who put up 104 points. Bryant put up 26 points in the first half before scorching Toronto with 27 points in the third quarter and 28 points in the fourth quarter.
1. Wilt Chamberlain (100 points)
Wilt Chamberlain – making his seventh appearance on this list – scored 100 points against the New York Knicks on March 2, 1962. It was his sixth time scoring at least 70 points between December 8, 1961 and March 10, 1963 and it came just three months after his masterful 78-point outing against the Lakers.
Chamberlain shot 36 of 63 (57%) from the field and 28 of 32 (88%) from the charity stripe – adding 25 rebounds and 2 assists in the breakout performance. He played in all 48 minutes and helped lead his team to a 169-147 victory over the Knicks – despite three of their players scoring more than 30 points.
Will Anyone Match Donovan Mitchell This Season?
It has been nearly 17 years since we’ve seen a player put on as dominant of a performance as Donovan Mitchell – dating back to Kobe Bryant and his 81 points in 2006. And while it’s easy to think something like that won’t ever happen again, the NBA players of today are poised to make it much more common.
Just look at the league today. We’re roughly halfway through the season at this point – January 9th – and we’ve already seen 91 40-point outings, 14 50-point outings, one 60-point outing, and one 70-point outing. Five players are averaging 30+ points per game and 17 other players have 25+ points per game.
Compared to a season ago, we saw just 119 40-point outings, 19 50-point outings, two 60-point outings, and two players with 30+ points per game – keep in mind, that’s across the entire 82-game season. My point is NBA players are scoring at a rapid rate this season, so another 70-point outing isn’t out of reach.
Clippers and Kings Combine for 351 Total Points in 2nd-Highest Scoring Game in NBA History — Here Are the Other Highest-Scoring NBA Games of All-Time
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.
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.
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.
- 0.1 Donovan Mitchell Joins the All-Time Single-Game Scoring Leaderboard
- 0.2 Will Anyone Match Donovan Mitchell This Season?
- 1 Clippers and Kings Combine for 351 Total Points in 2nd-Highest Scoring Game in NBA History — Here Are the Other Highest-Scoring NBA Games of All-Time
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