The NBA has always, and most likely will always, be about scoring. Putting up points on the board wins you games. Fans love to tune into high-scoring games. And the players who consistently put up the most points? They are usually considered the best players in the league and are also among the most beloved by fans. And while most NBA players can score many points on any given day, a select few have a prowess for scoring like no other players in the NBA’s history.
Which NBA player has the most 70-point games? Wilt Chamberlain is the record holder for the most games with 70 points scored or more, with 6 such games. Chamberlain’s highest scoring game saw him score 100 points, on March 2nd, 1962, against the New York Knicks. The total number of games featuring a player scoring 70 points or more is 12 games (6 of those being Chamberlain’s games), and the total number of players to ever score 70 points or more in a single game is 7 (1 of them being Wilt Chamberlain).
List of all players with recorded 70 point NBA Games
|Elgin Baylor||71||1960-11-15||26||LAL||@||NYK||W 123-108||45||48||58%||19||79%|
|Wilt Chamberlain||78||1961-12-08||25||PHW||LAL||L 147-151 (3OT)||63||62||50%||31||52%|
|Wilt Chamberlain||73||1962-01-13||25||PHW||CHP||W 135-117||48||48||60%||25||60%|
|Wilt Chamberlain||100||1962-03-02||25||PHW||NYK||W 169-147||48||63||57%||32||88%|
|Wilt Chamberlain||72||1962-11-03||26||SFW||@||LAL||L 115-127||48||48||60%||18||78%|
|Wilt Chamberlain||73||1962-11-16||26||SFW||@||NYK||W 127-111||48||43||67%||19||79%|
|Wilt Chamberlain||70||1963-03-10||26||SFW||@||SYR||L 148-163||48||38||71%||22||73%|
|David Thompson||73||1978-04-09||23||DEN||@||DET||L 137-139||43||38||74%||20||85%|
|David Robinson||71||1994-04-24||28||SAS||@||LAC||W 112-97||44||41||63%||25||72%|
|Kobe Bryant||81||2006-01-22||27||LAL||TOR||W 122-104||42||46||61%||20||90%|
|Devin Booker||70||2017-03-24||20||PHO||@||BOS||L 120-130||45||40||53%||26||92%|
|Donovan Mitchell||71||2023-01-02||26||Cavs||Chi||W 145-134||50||34||64%||25||80%|
How was Wilt Chamberlain able to score 70 points in a game so often?
Wilt Chamberlain was the definition of dominance when he stepped on the court. His incredible height was matched with unreal speed, strength, and overall athleticism. Chamberlain played in the infancy of the NBA, where the game was focused around centers like him, both offensively and defensively. But even with that style, Chamberlain was far more dominant than any of his peers, including rival Bill Russell. His sensational ability to score saw him average 30 points a game easily, and had one season where he averaged 50 points per game.
Chamberlain had a great field goal percentage playing so close to the basket, averaging 54% from the floor for his career. He also averaged a lot of minutes, as he still holds the NBA’s single-season record in that statistic. Chamberlain’s free-throw shooting ability, however, was notoriously poor; had he managed to improve that aspect of his game, he would be able to score even more points than he had.
Chamberlain’s physical attributes, combined with his basketball ability and style, made him one of the best scorers the league has ever seen. He has scored 70 points or more 6 times, while no other player has achieved that more than once. His most memorable performance is the 100-point game, which occurred on March 2nd, 1962, against the New York Knicks. He shot 36/63 from the field, and had an uncharacteristically good game from the free-throw line: 28/32. No one has managed to replicate Chamberlain’s extremely high scoring ability on a consistent level, even though Chamberlain’s last game in the NBA was nearly 50 years ago.
Who was the first player to score more than 70 points in a game?
Although Wilt did it the most, he was not the first: Elgin Baylor scored 71 points in a game against the New York Knicks on November 15th, 1960 (in an interesting side note, the Knicks have been on the opposing end of 70-point games three times; no other team has suffered that more than once). Baylor went 28/48 from the field, and also knocked down 15 of his 18 free throw attempts in that game.
Who was the most recent player to score more than 70 points in a game?
The most recent player (and the only active player) to score 70 points in a game is Devin Booker. In a March 24, 2017 matchup against the Boston Celtics, Booker scored 70 points in 45 minutes, making 21 of his 40 attempts, including 4/11 from behind the arc; he also went 24/26 on his free throw attempts.
Which other players have scored 70 points or more in an NBA game?
The other players to score 70 points or more in a single game, excluding Chamberlain, Baylor, and Booker, are the following: Kobe Bryant (81 points against the Toronto Raptors in 2006), David Thompson (73 points against the Detroit Pistons in 1978), and David Robinson (71 points against the Los Angeles Clippers in 1994).
Which player has the highest career scoring average in NBA history?
The highest career scoring average in NBA history belongs to Michael Jordan, with a career average of 30.1 points per game. Wilt Chamberlain also holds a 30.1 points per game career average, but a closer look at the stats has Michael Jordan slightly edging out Wilt: Jordan’s average is 30.12, while Wilt’s average is 30.07. Wilt, however, does hold the highest season average for points per game, with a whopping 50.4 points per game in the 1961-1962 season.
Which player has scored the most points in NBA history?
The record for most points scored in NBA history belongs to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who scored 38,387 points in his 20 season career. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was very similar to Wilt Chamberlain in terms of their extraordinary size and scoring ability and efficiency. The record for most points scored in a career is a testament to not only dominance, but also to longevity and consistency: while Kareem’s more than respectable 24.6 points per game career average is less than Wilt’s or Jordan’s, he kept up his scoring for nearly 500 more games than either Wilt or Jordan.
While seeing a player explode for so many points is one of the most impressive and entertaining things in basketball, it also puts a dent in the idea that scoring is the end-all, be-all. In the 11 games in which a player scored 70 points or more, his team lost 5 of those games. Another example is Wilt Chamberlain himself, known for his high-scoring games, but not being nearly as successful in the postseason as his rival Bill Russell, who is remembered as the better defender and teammate. All in all, while scoring is considered the name of the game, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it will make you win the game. And while history remembers scorers, it celebrates winners.