Any fan of the NBA knows that in the current era of basketball, scoring is the main feature of the game. It seems like defense has been forgotten about and everyone wants to score. The Brooklyn Nets for example are a high scoring team with Duran. Irving and Harden and huge numbers are regularly put up. This may make you wonder has any NBA team scored more than 200 points in a single game?
Has any NBA team scored more than 200 points in a single game? No NBA team has scored more than points in a single game. The Detriot Pistons came the closest to achieving this feat in 1983.
The NBA has seen a lot of famous matches that featured both teams scoring a lot of points. In the ’90s teams were more focused on defense and if we take a look at the modern period, scoring points has become easier and statistics demonstrate that clearly. Almost every match nowadays ends with both teams amassing more than 100 points.
Although there have been matches at the amateur level where one team scored more than 200 points, it is something very tough to repeat in a professional match, where you are competing against the best players of the league. However, if we will have a look at the games described below, everything was made possible, regardless of the fact that they did not score 200.
Even though we had numerous matches when both teams crossed a mark of 150 points still there has no been a game where any NBA team scored more than 200 points including overtime. In this article, we will have a look at 3 famous games where teams got closer to that milestone but did not succeed. It is necessary to point out that the regular time was not enough to determine the winner and several overtimes helped teams to achieve the results that remain unbroken till this time.
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Detroit Pistons – Denver Nuggets 186:184, 3OT
This match took place on December 13, 1983. To this time, this game remains a record for the NBA, and while some teams came closer it is still unbroken.
It was a super-resistant and one of the wildest matches of super-resulting teams, in which 4 players scored more than 40 points at once. The quarter-time score says it all: 38:34, 36:40, 34:39, 37:32, 14:14, 12:12, 15:13 (OT).
Amazingly, in the match with such a high number of points, only two 3-pointers were made. If the teams had made more attempts, they would definitely have crossed the mark of 200. But we are talking about a period, which was very different from the one that we see now. Both teams made only 2 attempts from beyond the arc in 63 minutes of game time, making one of them.
Furthermore, these teams combined 142 field goals and 93 assists in total. Ernest “Kiki” VanDeWeghe managed to score a game and career-high 51 points. Isaiah Thomas, one of the most prominent players of the NBA also featured in this game, netting 47 points and adding 17 assists. Both teams in this game scored the most and second-most points in the history of the NBA in a single game.
Perhaps it was not expected from the Detroit Pistons – a team that was famous for its defensive capabilities to score so many points. However, this is what the NBA is all about – surprises and unexpected events.
San Antonio Spurs – Milwaukee Bucks 171:166, 3OT
This match occurred on March 6, 1982. Before the abovementioned game, this match for 21 months was the most resultative basketball confrontation in the NBA. For the whole game the teams went head to head – 33:35, 32:34, 35:34, 31:28, 14:14, 12:12, 14:9. It was a very tense and arduous game.
40 points and more were scored by 3 players, and three-pointers here were also scored quite a few – 4 of 7 attempts, with 3 successful long-range shots accounted for by the losing team. Brian Winters made 2 out of 3. The Spurs finally broke the resistance from the Bucks and beat them by 5 points. Neither of these teams had more than a 6-point advantage at any period of the game.
The San Antonio Spurs’ leader George Gervin was dominant, scoring 50 points, adding 8 rebounds, and making 21 shots from 31 attempts. Gervin was actually the one that scored 8 straight points in the third overtime. Other names also included Mike Mitchell (45), Brian Winters (42), Junior Bridgeman (31), and Bob Lanier (29).
Atlanta Hawks – Chicago Bulls 161:168, 4OT
If you thought that all records are a thing of the past, which is hard to disagree with, then you are wrong! There are also games in a modern period where both teams scored a lot of points. It’s been almost 2 years since the Atlanta Hawks and Chicago Bulls produced the third highest-scoring game in history. On March 1, 2019, the Bulls beat the Hawks by 7 points – 168:161.
Each of the quarters was highly resultative: 33:26, 27:31, 24:38, 40:29, 16:16, 7:7, 8:8, 6:13. During the fourth quarter, the hosts had to eliminate the gap of 13 points, and 43 three-pointers were scored in this game.
By far this game remains the highest scoring match of the 21st century and the highest-scoring game with 4 or more overtimes. Trae Young was a leading scorer amassing 49 points. Zach LaVine was dominant from the Bulls side, netting 47 points. Otto Porter Jr, Lauri Markkanen, and Alex Len also shone in the game.
The bottom line
Perhaps it is surprising that none of these games feature players that have broken a record of the most points in a single game (Wilt Chamberlain is still untouchable with his record of 100 points in a single game, as well as, Kobe Bryant). As we see a growing tendency in modern games where teams are inclined to scoring more points, spectators should anticipate that breaking these records is only a matter of time – especially by taking into account the fact, that overtimes are also counted and the defense is indeed a far cry from the past.