Good playmakers are essential for any basketball team. They contribute to the team by dishing out assists and creating more chances. No wonder, they are always appreciated in the NBA.
Who has the most assists in an NBA game? Scott Skiles of the Orlando Magic is the leader, making 30 assists on December 30, 1990, against the Denver Nuggets. Skiles managed to achieve this feat in 44 minutes and his team won the match convincingly 155-116.
To this day this record remains unbreakable and hardly anyone can pull off another record. In the following article, we will have a look at other players as well.
Scott Skiles – Author of Excellency
A lot of people actually know Scott Skiles more as a coach than as a player. He had an average NBA career, but the milestone he accomplished in 1990 remains one of the most astonishing things in the whole NBA. His longest tenure was with the Orlando Magic.
The game against the Denver Nuggets in 1990 was not the most anticipated one. Both of these teams were struggling and having a bad season, but what happened in the game later, turned out to be history. Skiles was astonishing, contributing 30 assists and also collecting 22 points as well as 6 rebounds. He only had 4 turnovers, which is remarkable for a playmaker, making 30 assists. He broke a record which was set in 1978 by Kevin Porter.
Skiles who had 30 assists and a fantastic night against the Denver Nuggets earned the NBA Most Improved Player Award.
Which Players are Next on the List?
Scott Skiles’ record is indeed fascinating, but even having 20 assists or more is outstanding. Here are other players that have managed to achieve this feat.
Kevin Porter – 29 Assists
In 1978, Kevin Porter who was playing for the New Jersey Nets made 29 assists against the Houston Rockets. His team also won the match 126-112. Playing all 48 minutes, Porter also had 14 points and 5 rebounds.
Kevin Porter was a decent point guard who won the title of assists leader during the regular season 4 times. He did it in 1978 as well.
Bob Cousy – 28 Assists
Bob Cousy is a member of the Hall of Fame and a legend of the Boston Celtics. In 1959, when the NBA was completely different from what we know right now, Cousy made 28 assists against the Minneapolis Lakers, at the same time delivering 31 points. The Celtics won the match 173-139 and Cousy played 45 minutes. The 6x NBA champion, Cousy, is considered one of the best players in the history of the Boston Celtics and he was a leader of the regular season 8 times in the assists category.
Guy Rodgers – 28 Assists
4x time All-Star Guy Rodgers had 28 assists against the St. Louis Hawks when he was playing for the San Francisco Warriors in 1963. Playing the entire match, he collected 14 points, but his team lost the game 109-114.
Rodgers is also remembered for playing alongside Wilt Chamberlain – one of the most dominant players of all time. In 1964 his team reached the Finals but lost against the Boston Celtics.
John Stockton – 28 Assists
It would be surprising not to have John Stockton on the list, as he is an all-time leader in assists and one of the greatest players of all time. Unfortunately, he finished his career without winning a championship ring alongside Karl Malone in the Utah Jazz, but in 1991 against the San Antonio Spurs, he was simply remarkable. Stockton had 28 assists and the Jazz won the game 124-102. In addition, he had 20 points and 8 steals.
Geoff Huston – 27 Assists
Not a lot of people know about Geoff Huston’s career, but when he was playing for the Cleveland Cavaliers, Huston delivered 27 assists and had 24 points against the Golden State Warriors in 1982. He finished his career with 2509 points.
John Stockton – 27 Assists
John Stockton is mentioned on the list several times and it comes as no surprise because he had an excellent understanding of basketball. In 1989 against the New York Knicks, Stockton had 27 assists and 18 points. This did not help however the Jazz to win the game against the Knicks.
John Stockton – 26 Assists
The next one on the list is once again John Stockton with 26 assists. A year earlier in 1988, Stockton was playing against the Portland Trail Blazers, but the Jazz lost the game 123-128. It should be noted that Stockton only had 2 turnovers.
Ernie DiGregorio – 25 Assists
Because of the injuries, suffering during his short career, Ernie DiGregorio was forced to play only 5 seasons in the NBA. He nearly had a triple-double with 25 assists, 20 points and 9 rebounds. It happened in 1974 during his first season in the NBA, where he was also called the Rookie of the Year.
He played for the Buffalo Braves against the Portland Trail Blazers. The franchise, which DiGregorio played for, does not exist now.
Isiah Thomas – 25 Assists
Isiah Thomas, who is one of the best players in the history of the Detroit Pistons was a unique and extraordinary player because of his style. Delivering 25 assists and 23 points in 1985 against the Dallas Mavericks, Thomas’ performance in this game gained a massive appreciation. Thomas is considered one of the greatest 50 players in the history of the NBA.