The most points scored in a quarter in NBA history has been tied or broken only four times. In the second quarter of the 1983-84 season, George Gervin scored 33 points, which is still the most points scored in a quarter in NBA history. In 2008, Carmelo Anthony tied the record and in 2015, Klay Thompson broke it. Despite being two different players, both of these quarters rank among the highest scoring quarters in NBA history.
On January 23, 2015, Warriors guard Klay Thompson set an NBA record for points scored in a quarter with 37 points. Thompson finished the third quarter of a 126-101 win over the Sacramento Kings by shooting 13-for-13 from the field and hitting all nine of his three-pointers. He also went 2-for-2 from the free throw line. This performance was one of the most memorable in recent memory, and it has been a hard-to-top performance for the Warriors.
That night, the Warriors were up by thirty points, and Klay Thompson changed the course of the game. The game was tied at 58 points going into the fourth quarter, but after Thompson scored the game’s first points, the score was 102-58 in the Warriors’ favor. During the fourth quarter, he outscored every other player on both teams, scoring 19 of his team’s points in one quarter. He ended the night with a career high of 48 points, breaking his previous mark of 41 points set against the Lakers.
The performance was remarkable considering Thompson only played 34 minutes. He hit nine of his 13 field goal attempts during that quarter, and his hot shooting stroke helped the Warriors erase a sloppy second half. The Warriors went on to win their 18th straight game at home, and became the 10th team in the league with at least 35 wins halfway through the season.
In an NBA game against the Portland Trail Blazers, Kevin Love scored 34 points in the first quarter, the second most points in a quarter in league history. That feat is tied with Klay Thompson’s 37-point first-quarter performance. In honor of this milestone, Bleacher Report has released a Cold Hard Fact of the Day.
Love’s record-breaking performance came just three points shy of Klay Thompson’s record of 37 points in a quarter, which he set in January 2015. He is also in position to break Stephen Curry’s record of 13 three-pointers in a game. His team was missing both of their best players, Brook Lopez and Khris Middleton, but he was able to play for the Cavs after both players sprained their MCLs in a playoff game.
The impressive performance of Kevin Love is the highlight of a tumultuous season for the Cleveland Cavs. Coming off the bench, Love knocked down eight threes in the first quarter of a game to score 24 points. This is a great sign for the Cavs’ post-season run. However, it is not the best scoring spree Kevin Love has put up in a Cavs uniform. His previous best first-quarter performance in a Cavs jersey was 34 points.
Kevin Love is not the only player to set records for scoring in a quarter. NBA players love going with the best shooter on the court, and there are plenty of examples of players who have scored 30 points or more in a quarter. However, dropping more than 30 in a quarter is a different level altogether. Having this ability means that you are truly unguardable.
Wilt Chamberlain scored the most points in a quarter in the NBA on May 8, 1959, against the Houston Rockets. This game is now one of the most iconic in NBA history. His 100-point quarter broke the NBA’s quota for Black players, and it also changed the myth that Black players were unable to play in the NBA.
The game was not broadcast on TV, but the radio broadcast was. This recording is only three minutes long, but it gives a good idea of what happened in Wilt’s historic quarter. You can hear him shooting 36-63 from the field, including 8-of-8 free throws. This makes Wilt the fifth-best scorer in a single quarter ever.
The Warriors led by 19 points entering the fourth quarter, and the crowd was riveted on Chamberlain’s tally. Public-address announcer Dave Zinkoff made the trip west from Philadelphia to Hershey, Pennsylvania, and thundered out Chamberlain’s running point total after every basket or free throw.
Wilt Chamberlain is one of the greatest scorers in NBA history. He once set several records, including the most points scored in a quarter. Chamberlain scored 31 points in the fourth quarter against the Knicks in 1963, and the record lasted until the next year when Gervin broke it.
If you have ever watched the NBA, you know that George Gervin is arguably one of the best scorers in the league’s history. He led the league in scoring for four years, and in 1977-1978, he scored 25.1 points per game. The race for the record was one of the closest in history, with David Thompson and Gervin tied for the top spot with 22.1 points per game.
After playing two seasons in the ABA, Gervin became eligible for the 1974 NBA draft. The Phoenix Suns selected him in the third round. However, Gervin elected to stay in the ABA and played for the San Antonio Spurs. The Spurs quickly turned into a fast-break team, and Bob Bass dubbed them the “schoolyard” team.
The last time a player broke the record was when Klay Thompson scored 32 points in one quarter. This was the highest total ever by a guard in a single quarter. Gervin ended up with 58 points at halftime, which broke Thompson’s record.
George Gervin scored most points in a NBA quarter in 1978 while playing for the San Antonio Spurs. His career started in the ABA and was crowned as the best player in the league upon his signing. He went on to play two seasons in the ABA and then was a full-fledged superstar in the NBA. On April 9, 1978, he lit up the basketball world as he set the record for most points in a quarter. He needed 58 points to beat David Thompson’s previous record of 72. He finished with 63 points. After this, he would earn the NBA scoring title three times in a row.
Robinson’s career was not limited to his performance in the NBA. He also played for the United States national team and was part of two Olympic gold medal-winning teams. In 1992, he was a member of the “Dream Team” that featured NBA superstars. The team won a second gold medal in Atlanta in 1996. He was later elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
The Spurs took an early lead against the Clippers and Robinson scored 18 points in the first quarter. The Spurs didn’t take Robinson out of the game, even though the game was meaningless. Instead, they kept him in the game and fed him the ball every trip down the court.
Robinson’s scoring explosion was similar to that of David Thompson. Robinson was neck-and-neck with Orlando Magic center Shaquille O’Neal in the scoring race. His teammates encouraged him to shoot as many shots as possible and he ended up making 18 of 25 shots.
Robinson’s final quarter performance in 1994 paved the way for a championship in the NBA. Robinson scored 71 points and outscored Shaquille O’Neal by four points to win the game for the Spurs. He went on to finish the season with 2,377 points and averaged 29.3 points per game.
Kobe Bryant’s 81-point game
Kobe Bryant’s 81 point game in a quarter was one of his best ever. The superstar had not scored more than 78 points in a game before but he was unstoppable on Thursday night. In fact, his 81-point performance was the highest scoring quarter in Lakers history. The Lakers dominated the Raptors in the first quarter. They were up by 17 points after one quarter. However, Kobe was the difference-maker in the second half.
Kobe Bryant scored 81 points in a quarter against the Raptors in January 2006. He played just forty-one minutes and 56 seconds, which makes his 81-point total even more amazing. In addition, he scored seven points from beyond the arc and made 18 of 20 free throws. The Lakers ended up winning the game 122-104. The Lakers’ 81-point quarter ranked second only to Wilt Chamberlain’s 100-point performance back in 1962.
In the NBA, only Wilt Chamberlain and Kobe Bryant can match Kobe’s 81-point quarter. Before this game, Wilt Chamberlain was the only player to score 100 points in a quarter. Back then, he was much bigger than other players, which gave him an advantage over defenders. He could also sit in the paint for the entire game. However, the rules of the league were different than what they are today. The Lakers won the game without Shaq, so he had to prove the critics wrong. Kobe’s 81-point game was the first step in that direction.
Kobe Bryant’s 81 point quarter against the Raptors is a great feat. His record-breaking performance was a milestone in the history of the NBA. Many people will remember his legendary performance. Whether you’re a basketball fan or not, Kobe’s performance will stand out.