Highest points ever scored in an NBA game: Whole list

The NBA has seen numerous scoring feats over the years, but certain performances stand out due to their sheer magnitude and historical significance. Here, we explore the highest points ever scored in a single NBA game, detailing each player’s achievement and providing context for these extraordinary performances.

1. Wilt Chamberlain – 100 Points

Date: March 2, 1962
Team: Philadelphia Warriors
Opponent: New York Knicks
Final Score: Warriors 169, Knicks 147

Wilt Chamberlain’s 100-point game remains the pinnacle of individual scoring in NBA history. Played in Hershey, Pennsylvania, this game saw Chamberlain dominate the Knicks, making 36 of 63 field goal attempts and 28 of 32 free throws. His performance has become legendary, symbolizing an era of basketball where Chamberlain’s physical dominance was unparalleled.

2. Kobe Bryant – 81 Points

Date: January 22, 2006
Team: Los Angeles Lakers
Opponent: Toronto Raptors
Final Score: Lakers 122, Raptors 104

Kobe Bryant’s 81-point game is the closest anyone has come to Chamberlain’s 100-point mark in the modern NBA era. Displaying incredible shooting, Bryant made 28 of 46 field goals, including 7 of 13 from three-point range, and 18 of 20 free throws. This game highlighted Bryant’s scoring ability and competitive nature, solidifying his legacy as one of the greatest scorers in NBA history.

3. Wilt Chamberlain – 78 Points

Date: December 8, 1961
Team: Philadelphia Warriors
Opponent: Los Angeles Lakers
Final Score: Warriors 151, Lakers 147 (3OT)

Chamberlain’s 78-point performance came in a triple-overtime thriller against the Lakers. He made 31 of 62 field goals and 16 of 31 free throws. This game showcased not only Chamberlain’s scoring prowess but also his endurance and ability to perform under prolonged pressure.

4. David Thompson – 73 Points

Date: April 9, 1978
Team: Denver Nuggets
Opponent: Detroit Pistons
Final Score: Nuggets 139, Pistons 137

David Thompson’s 73-point game came in the final game of the 1977-78 season, as he battled George Gervin for the scoring title. Thompson made 28 of 38 field goals and 17 of 20 free throws. Despite his efforts, Gervin won the scoring title by scoring 63 points on the same day, but Thompson’s performance remains one of the greatest in NBA history.

5. Elgin Baylor – 71 Points

Date: November 15, 1960
Team: Los Angeles Lakers
Opponent: New York Knicks
Final Score: Lakers 123, Knicks 108

Elgin Baylor set the NBA single-game scoring record at the time with 71 points against the Knicks. He made 28 of 48 field goals and 15 of 19 free throws. Baylor’s performance was remarkable for its era and remains one of the highest-scoring games in league history.

6. David Robinson – 71 Points

Date: April 24, 1994
Team: San Antonio Spurs
Opponent: Los Angeles Clippers
Final Score: Spurs 112, Clippers 97

David Robinson’s 71-point game came on the final day of the 1993-94 season, as he sought to win the scoring title. He made 26 of 41 field goals, 1 of 2 three-pointers, and 18 of 25 free throws. Robinson’s performance helped him edge out Shaquille O’Neal for the scoring title that year.

7. Wilt Chamberlain – 70 Points

Date: March 10, 1963
Team: San Francisco Warriors
Opponent: Syracuse Nationals
Final Score: Nationals 163, Warriors 148

Chamberlain’s 70-point game against the Nationals saw him make 27 of 38 field goals and 16 of 22 free throws. This game further cemented Chamberlain’s reputation as an unstoppable scoring force in the NBA.

8. Devin Booker – 70 Points

Date: March 24, 2017
Team: Phoenix Suns
Opponent: Boston Celtics
Final Score: Celtics 130, Suns 120

Devin Booker’s 70-point game is the highest in the 21st century, showcasing the young star’s scoring ability. Booker made 21 of 40 field goals, 4 of 11 three-pointers, and 24 of 26 free throws. Despite the loss, Booker’s performance was a historic moment for the Suns and the NBA.

9. Wilt Chamberlain – 68 Points

Date: December 16, 1967
Team: Philadelphia 76ers
Opponent: Chicago Bulls
Final Score: 76ers 143, Bulls 123

Chamberlain’s 68-point game against the Bulls saw him make 30 of 40 field goals and 8 of 22 free throws. This performance was part of a season where Chamberlain averaged 24.3 points and 23.8 rebounds per game.

10. Pete Maravich – 68 Points

Date: February 25, 1977
Team: New Orleans Jazz
Opponent: New York Knicks
Final Score: Jazz 124, Knicks 107

“Pistol” Pete Maravich scored 68 points against the Knicks, making 26 of 43 field goals, 6 of 10 three-pointers, and 10 of 10 free throws. Maravich’s performance is one of the most memorable in NBA history due to his dazzling style and scoring ability.

11. Wilt Chamberlain – 67 Points

Date: February 17, 1962
Team: Philadelphia Warriors
Opponent: New York Knicks
Final Score: Warriors 135, Knicks 130

Chamberlain scored 67 points against the Knicks, making 25 of 47 field goals and 17 of 23 free throws. This game was part of Chamberlain’s historic 1961-62 season, where he averaged 50.4 points per game.

12. Wilt Chamberlain – 66 Points

Date: February 9, 1962
Team: Philadelphia Warriors
Opponent: Chicago Packers
Final Score: Warriors 147, Packers 135

Chamberlain’s 66-point game against the Packers included 29 of 40 field goals and 8 of 22 free throws. His dominance in scoring was a hallmark of his career, with multiple 60+ point games.

13. Wilt Chamberlain – 65 Points

Date: February 13, 1962
Team: Philadelphia Warriors
Opponent: St. Louis Hawks
Final Score: Hawks 123, Warriors 110

Chamberlain scored 65 points against the Hawks, making 26 of 46 field goals and 13 of 22 free throws. This performance was another example of his scoring dominance during the 1961-62 season.

Date: December 17, 1966
Team: Philadelphia 76ers
Opponent: Los Angeles Lakers
Final Score: 76ers 122, Lakers 112

Chamberlain’s 65-point game against the Lakers included 24 of 29 field goals and 17 of 21 free throws. This game showcased Chamberlain’s efficiency and scoring ability.

14. Michael Jordan – 63 Points

Date: April 20, 1986
Team: Chicago Bulls
Opponent: Boston Celtics
Final Score: Celtics 135, Bulls 131 (2OT)

Michael Jordan’s 63-point game came in the playoffs against the Celtics. Jordan made 22 of 41 field goals and 19 of 21 free throws. Despite the loss, Jordan’s performance is remembered as one of the greatest in playoff history and a sign of his future greatness.

Conclusion

These scoring feats highlight the exceptional talent and determination of some of the greatest players in NBA history. From Wilt Chamberlain’s dominance in the 1960s to Kobe Bryant and Devin Booker’s modern-era heroics, these performances have become legendary, etching these players’ names into the annals of basketball history. Each game reflects not just individual brilliance, but also the evolving nature of the NBA and the enduring appeal of remarkable athletic achievement.


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