December 12, 2018

The highest scoring games in NBA history (both teams combined)

2016/05/10 12:12 pm 012:12 pm0 0 comments

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Although the Splash Brothers have made all of the noise in the NBA during the best regular season in NBA History, one record the Warriors have not broken this season is obtaining one of the highest scoring NBA Games in history.

In fact, the last time two teams combined for enough points to make this list was in 2006.. That was almost a decade ago and neither Steph Curry nor Klay Thompson were even in the league yet.

The NBA Games with Most Points in History

Every one of the eight NBA games with most total points scored combined occurred during the shot-clock era in the NBA. Surprisingly, none of these high output games occurred during one of the handful of long NBA games that went into 3+ overtimes.

Rank Total Pts Winner Score Loser OTs Date
1 370 Denver Nuggets 186-184 Detroit Pistons 3 12/13/1983
2 337 San Antonio Spurs 171-166 Milwaukee Bucks 3 3/6/1982
3 320 Golden State Warriors 162-158 Denver Nuggets 0 11/2/1990
4 318 Denver Nuggets 163-155 San Antonio Spurs 0 1/11/1984
4 318 Phoenix Suns 167-161 New Jersey Nets 2 12/7/2006
6 316 Philadelphia Warriors 169-147 New York Knicks 0 3/2/1962
6 316 Cincinnati Royals 165-151 San Diego Rockets 0 3/12/1970
6 316 Phoenix Suns 173-143 Denver Nuggets 0 11/10/1990

#1 Highest Scoring Game (370 Pts)

Teams: Denver Nuggets vs. Detroit Pistons
Date: 12/13/1983
Total Points: 370
Final Score: 186-184
Overtimes: 3

Game Summary: The highest scoring regular season game with the most total points combined from both teams happened back in 1983. In a game that went into three overtimes and 370 total points, the high octane Denver Nuggets defeated a young Isiah Thomas and the Detroit Pistons.

The game, which lasted 3 hours 11 minutes, established three straight single-team marks. The Pistons’ point total surpassed the 173 the Boston Celtics scored against the Minneapolis Lakers on Feb. 27, 1959. Detroit made 74 field goals, surpassing the previous mark of 72 set by Boston in the 1959 game. The Nuggets established a record for points by a losing team, the previous standard having been 166 by the Milwaukee Bucks in a game against the San Antonio Spurs on March 6, 1982. There were also three two-team records. The combined total of 370 points eclipsed the mark of 337 set in the Bucks-Spurs game. The teams hit 136 field goals, beating the mark also set in that game. The total of 93 assists broke the previous record of 89 set in a game between Detroit and the Cleveland Cavaliers on March 28, 1973. Dozens of other club records were set.

The game with the most points in NBA History took place on December 13th, 1983 at McNichols Arena. Known as “The Great Denver Shootout” the Pistons and Nuggets combined for a total of 370 points with a final score was 186-184. Each team made 142 field goals with four players scoring more than 40 points in the game. The Nuggets Kiki Vandeweghe (51 points) and Alex English  (47) combined for 98 points; more than half of Denver’s total. The leading scorer for the Pistons was a second-year Isiah Thomas with career-high 47 points followed by John Long‘s career-high 41 points. Kelly Tripuka finished with 35 points for the Pistons. The “Shootout” broke several single-game NBA scoring records.

Related: NBA Games with the Most Overtimes

#2 Highest Scoring Game (337)

Teams: San Antonio Spurs vs. Milwaukee Bucks
Date: 03/06/1982
Total Points: 337
Final Score: 171-166
Overtimes: 3

The second highest scoring game in NBA history was one between the Spurs and the Bucks. The total score in the game was 337 points, and it was played on March 6th, 1982 at Hemis Fair Arena. The final score was San Antonio 171 and Milwaukee 166. George Gervin had a game-high 50 points, and the Bucks leading scorer was Brian Winters with 42 points.

#3 Highest Scoring Game (320)

Teams: Golden State Warriors vs. Denver Nuggets
Date: 11/02/1990
Total Points: 320
Final Score: 162-158
Overtimes: None!

The third highest scoring game in NBA history had a total of 320 points scored and took place between the Golden State Warriors and Denver Nuggets on November 2nd, 1990. The game was played in Denver, Colorado, and the Warriors won the game 162-158. It’s the highest-scoring game in NBA history without going into overtime.

Of course this game involved the high-scoring Denver Nuggets, but what made this game the most in four quarters was the inclusion of Run TMC. The leading scorers for Golden State were Chris Mullin (38 points) Tim Hardaway (32 points) and Mitch Richmond (29 points0, and Orlando Woolridge led the Nuggets with 37 points and Walter Davis “contributed” 33 points in the loss.

#4 Highest Scoring NBA Game (318)

Teams: Denver Nuggets vs. San Antonio Spurs
Date: 01/11/1984
Total Points: 318
Final Score: 163-155
Overtimes: None!

#4 Highest Scoring NBA Game (318)

Teams: New Jersey Nets vs. Phoenix Suns
Date: 12/07/2006
Total Points: 318
Final Score: 167-161
Overtimes: 2

Tied for the fourth highest combined score in an NBA game occurred twice with a total of 318 points between the two teams. The first time two teams combined for this total was on January 11th, 1984 at McNichols Arena in Denver, Colorado. The Denver Nuggets defeated the San Antonio Spurs 163-155. Kiki Vandeweghe scored 50 for the Nuggest and George Gervin notched 38 points in another high scoring output that didn’t require any extra quarters.

With a couple appearances on the list each, maybe Vandeweghe and Gervin are the true Splash Brothers?

On December 7th, 2006, the Phoenix Suns and New Jersey Nets tied this record in a game played in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Suns won the game 161-167 that went into two overtimes. Steve Nash led all scorers with 42 points. The Nets Jason Kidd had 38 points in the game.

#6 Highest Scoring Game (316)

Teams: Philadelphia Warriors vs. New York Knicks
Date: 03/02/1962
Total Points: 316
Final Score: 169-147
Overtimes: None

#6 Highest Scoring Game (316)

Teams: Cincinnati Royals vs. San Diego Rockets
Date: 03/12/1970
Total Points: 316
Final Score: 165-151
Overtimes: None

#6 Highest Scoring Game (316)

Teams: Phoenix Suns vs. Denver Nuggets
Date: 11/10/1990
Total Points: 316
Final Score: 173-143
Overtimes: None

The fifth highest total score combined in an NBA game was 316 combined points and it happened three times over the course of NBA history. Across three decades in the 1960’s, 1970’s and 1990’s, none of the three games surprisingly went into overtime.

The first was on March 2nd, 1962 when the Philadelphia Warriors defeated the New York Knicks 169-147. This was one of the NBA’s most-famous games because Wilt Chamberlain scored a NBA record 100 points in that game. As we go down the list, it’s truly amazing that many of these games didn’t have overtimes in them — especially for a player to score 100 points. The Knicks were led by Richie Guerin with 39 points.

On March 12th, 1970, the Cincinnati Royals defeated the San Diego Rockets 165-151. Elvin Hayes had a game high 40 points for the Rockets in the game, and the Royals were led by Tom Van Arsdale with 36 points.

The third time that 316 total points were achieved in a NBA game occurred on November 10th, 1990 at Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum. The Phoenix Suns defeated the Denver Nuggets 173-143 during the game, and the game’s high scorer was Orlando Woolridge with 40 points. The Suns were led by Cedric Ceballos with 32 points.

The most points scored by one team in an All-Star Game was by the West squad during the 2016 NBA All-Star game with 196 points.

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