The most points scored in an NBA game is a record that has been in existence for over 50 years. It’s also worth mentioning that the record is for a championship game and not a regular season game. Here’s a list of the most points scored in an NBA game by players.
Wilt Chamberlain scored the most points ever in an NBA game. On December 8, 1987, he broke Elgin Baylor’s record by scoring 78 points in a triple-overtime game against the Lakers. Baylor scored 63 points and Jerry West scored 32. No one else scored more than 20 points. Chamberlain’s record is still the highest single-game point total for a player in any major professional league in North America.
Wilt Chamberlain is the seventh-best scorer of all time. He accounted for 32 of the 76 times an NBA player scored at least 60 points in a game. He also reached the 70-point mark six times. No player has ever come close to Chamberlain’s 100-point record, and only one player has ever topped his second-best score of 78 points.
Wilt Chamberlain’s 73-point game against the New York Knicks in 1962 is the most memorable in NBA history. Wilt averaged just over 50 points per game during that season, and the 73-point performance against the Knicks was the highlight of that season. In his third season in the NBA, he won the scoring title for a third time.
Chamberlain’s record is still the most impressive because it includes a few players that have never scored more than 65 points. It was a rare moment for the NBA, as Chamberlain possessed both the size and strength to dominate. His performance against the Knicks in the final quarter was so astounding that the Knicks tried to foul other players to keep him out of the game, but the Warriors countered by committing fouls in the final minutes.
David Thompson is one of the most underrated players of his generation, and he was a constant contender for the scoring title during the 1977-78 season. On April 9, 1978, Thompson scored 73 points in a game against the Detroit Pistons. His heroic performance was not enough to win the game for his team, though. In the end, it was George Gervin who took the scoring title by a slim margin.
After an injury to his foot in 1979-80, Thompson developed substance abuse problems. After an erratic first season in Seattle, he checked into a rehab in Denver. He was arrested for public intoxication during a 1985 tryout for the Indiana Pacers, and his addiction to cocaine escalated. By 1985, Thompson was spending $1,000 a day on the drug.
David Thompson had a career that spanned three different NBA seasons. During his final three seasons with the Wolfpack, he helped the team to a record 79-7 record. The team’s record during his sophomore and junior years was 57-1, and during his senior year, they were 29-0.
Thompson’s 73-point performance against the Pistons on April 9, 1978 is fourth all-time. He scored on 28 of his 38 shots, which is amazing considering the 3-point shot had not yet been invented.
Oscar Robertson’s career was one of the greatest in NBA history. He defined what a guard should be capable of and paved the way for future stars such as Magic Johnson. The greatness he exhibited is unparalleled and no one can even come close. He was the best point guard in history and will remain in the minds of many for the rest of their lives.
Robertson was not only the greatest player of his generation, but he also was the most prolific player of his generation. He dominated his opponents in his early years, earning himself a spot in the 1960 NBA Draft. He was drafted as a territorial pick by the Royals and received a signing bonus of $33,000. Although Robertson came from a poor background, he continued to dominate opponents as a professional. His rookie season, he averaged 30.5 points, 10.1 rebounds, and 9.7 assists – nearly a triple-double.
Robertson’s 56 points against the Seton Hall University team in his varsity debut broke the previous record of fifty-seven for a college team. At the time, the score was eight points higher than the next highest point total in the history of the NBA. That game also set a new record for the most points scored by a college team in the Garden. At halftime, Robertson had already scored 39 points and surpassed Wilt Chamberlain’s mark of fifty-four points set in 1958.
Robertson played basketball as a child and became a star in high school. His parents moved him to Indianapolis when he was four. As a senior, he led his high school team to a state championship. He went on to become a three-time UPI Player of the Year award winner.
Klay Thompson is a basketball player for the Golden State Warriors. He is a four-time NBA champion and a five-time All-Star. He is also a two-time All-Defensive Second Team selection. In addition, he once earned a spot on the All-Defensive Third Team.
Thompson has set several records, including the most points scored in a quarter, the most three-pointers made in a quarter, and the most points scored in one half. His 37 points in the third quarter set a new NBA record, and the nine three-pointers he made broke the previous record of eight. The record had been shared by Joe Johnson and Michael Redd, but Thompson’s three-point shooting shattered both of them.
Thompson scored 37 points in the third quarter against the Sacramento Kings on April 16, 2015. In this quarter, he went 13-for-13 from the field and made nine three-pointers. His performance broke the previous record of 33 points by Carmell Anthony and George Gervin. The Warriors were the sixth seed in the Western Conference when he broke the record.
Thompson’s remarkable third quarter helped change the course of the game. Thompson’s 7-of-10 shooting from deep helped Golden State hold a 58-51 lead by the end of the third quarter. Klay Thompson scored the final nine points of the game with just under nine minutes left in the fourth quarter, outscoring every other player on the opposing team. The Warriors won the game by a score of 126-101.
On January 22, 2006, Kobe Bryant scored 81 points in an NBA game against the Toronto Raptors. That marks the second-highest total ever recorded by an NBA player. He was also the most efficient scorer in the game, going 28 of 46 shots from the field, 7 of 13 from three, and 18 of 20 from the free-throw line. The LA Lakers went on to win the game 121-119.
Kobe Bryant is one of the all-time greats, having been selected to five U.S. national teams, including one gold medal. His performance in the Olympics helped the U.S. team win gold medals in 2008 and 2012. He has been selected to the NBA all-star game every year but his rookie year, and has played in eight all-star games. He passed Michael Jordan in the scoring list and now ranks third all-time, behind only Karl Malone, Wilt Chamberlain, and James Harden. One of his all-time high scoring nights came on Jan. 22, 2006 when he scored 81 points against the Toronto Raptors.
Kobe Bryant’s 81-point game is considered the greatest offensive explosion in NBA history. His ability to make his own shots was vital to his team’s success as their roster was severely lacking talent. Kobe’s performance in that game was crucial for the Lakers as they were transitioning after the departure of Shaquille O’Neal.
In 1978, George Gervin scored 63 points to win the scoring title in an NBA game against the Utah Jazz. Gervin, who played in the ABA prior to joining the NBA, was a fully developed star when he joined the expansion Spurs. His record-breaking performance lit up the basketball world. On that day, Gervin needed 58 points to tie David Thompson’s record of 73 points. But he scored 53 points in the first half, setting a new NBA record. In the second half, he scored a whopping 63 points. This made him the NBA’s scoring champ for three consecutive seasons.
In addition to his record-breaking scoring, Gervin also tied the record for most blocked shots in an NBA game. He went for five blocks against the Denver Nuggets on November 23, 1982, in a 136-126 win for the Spurs. He also finished with 25 points, four rebounds, and four assists in that same game. He also set a career-high in efficiency in an NBA game on November 11, 1980. With 38 points, 7 rebounds, and five assists, Gervin was named the All-Star Game MVP twice and was runner-up for MVP twice during his career.
Although Gervin scored the most points in an NBA contest, he did so by himself. He went to halftime with 25 points and told himself, “no chicken tonight!” He needed just five more points to tie the record. Then, he drained another 30 points to close out the game with his new record. A handful of ABA alums were present to witness the historic moment. The story of the night will continue to be told in the following days.