The NBA game with the most points
One of the great attractions of the NBA is the rhythm of its games and how it sometimes leads to a cascade of baskets that leads us to experience exciting moments. Throughout history there have been many such nights, nights in which offensive talent shines at such a level that defenses can only be mere spectators of a flow of emotion that crosses the screens. Today we are going to immerse ourselves in those nights. Today we are going to talk about the NBA game with the most points.
We currently live in the era of small ballthat of an unleashed Stephen Curry who has changed the rules of the game. However, we must dig all the way back to 1983 to find the NBA game with the most points. It was exactly on December 13, in Denver, when the Nuggets and Pistons turned a time in the best league in the world into a historic episode of it.
Kiki VanDeWeghe and Alex English led a set Nuggets in the playoffs at that point in their history. Isiah Thomas took his first steps as the head of some Pistons who were still unaware that they would become bad boys. They were two good teams, one established and the other on the rise, but no one could imagine that they would add between them the madness of 370 points, a mark that has never been seen again in the NBA.
That’s how it was, with three overtimes on the way, Detroit prevailed on the Nuggets court by an almost ridiculous 184-186. The end of the match was as even as its development. In a contest completely dominated by attacks, the first half ended with a tie at 74 and the second with equity at 71. Exactly, after 48 regulation minutes the score was already unimaginable 145-145. At that point of shock it was clear that it had been a night to remember, but it was even more so after three extra times that led to it becoming the NBA game with the most points.
That such an exhibition took place in the 1980s and not before is no coincidence. It was in the face of the 1979-80 campaign, specifically in the second half of 1979, when the NBA introduced the triple in its rules, a decision that of course made it possible to reach higher scoring levels. As we will see later, the podium of games with the most points is completed by games in which the three-point shot was already established.
Other records in the NBA game with the most points
Given the number of points they added between Denver and Detroit (370 in total), it is not surprising that this mark led to the achievement of other statistical milestones that we now review.
For starters, that December 13, 1983 became the only time in history that four players have exceeded 40 points. Kiki VanDeWeghe was the game’s top scorer with a career-high 51 points, while team-mate Alex English went up to 47. On the opposite side, Isiah Thomas had 47 points and John Long added another 41 .
This data represents a milestone individually, but collectively we also find the highest score of a team that loses a game (184), the highest number of field goals made between two teams (142), the highest number of shots from field goals scored by a team (Detroit with 74), and the most assists between two teams (93).
completing the podium
To close the circle of this enjoyable historical journey, we are going to take a look at the two games that complete the podium of the NBA games with the most points.
Curiously, and although it is an exception to see clashes in such scoring figures, it was only a year before; that is, in 1982, when the second game with the most points took place. This time with the San Antonio Spurs and Milwaukee Bucks as protagonists, 337 goals were reached after three extensions. The Spurs, with a 50-point George Gervin, beat Wisconsin 171-166.
For the bronze we have to travel almost to the present. It was on March 2, 2019 when Chicago visited Atlanta in a game that seemed insignificant. Few could have imagined that there would be four overtimes and a final score of 161-168 in favor of the Bulls. Yes, 329 points were scored in what turned out to be a historic night in Georgia. None of the teams were even close to the playoffs that 2018-19 course, but they left their signature on it.
(Photograph by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)