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NBA Ball Hogs: The 15 NBA Players That Have Taken the Most Shots (FGA) in One Game

When I think of the player who takes the most shots in a game, I think of one of two players, he’s a superstar like Michael Jordan, Luka Doncic, or Kevin Durant or he’s a known chucker in the mold of early J.R. Smith, Pete Maravich, Jordan Clarkson or Michael Porter Jr – players where the ball movement not only stops but the shot goes up.

Then there’s players like Kobe Bryant, Pete Maravich, Russell Westbrook, Rick Barry, and James Harden  – players that are both considered NBA legends and bona fide ball hogs. As far as the NBA players that hold the record for the field goals attempted in one game, you’ll notice one thing. Many of the players on the list are in the Hall of Fame (or headed there). 

The NBA Players with Most FGA on One Game

Before I researched the list, I would have bet heavily that Michael Jordan held the record for the most FGAs. I was close. Kobe took the most field goal attempts in a game on April 13th, 2016. He shot 50 times. MJ is second with 49 attempts on January 16th, 1993. 

A 35 year old Jordan should know a little bit about shot selection, so it’s meaningful when he comments on Kobe at the 1998 All-Star Game. We’ll get more into that in a minute. There has been a big increase in betting on shots in the NBA across the US, but also across in Canada, Alberta sports betting sites have also seen a surge in activity.

So, you can’t quite get the list to 10 with all of the ties, so you’ll note that we’re slightly above that on the all time FGA listing. 

NBA's Biggest Ball Hogs
Rank Player FGA FGM FG% Pts Team Date
0 Wilt Chamberlain 63 36 0.571 100 PHI 03/02/1962
1 Kobe Bryant 50 22 0.44 60 LAL 04/13/2016
2 Michael Jordan 49 27 0.551 64 CHI 01/16/1993
3 Jalen Brunson 47 25 0.532 61 NYK 03/29/2024
3 Kobe Bryant 47 17 0.362 41 LAL 11/07/2002
3 Chris Webber 47 24 0.511 51 SAC 01/05/2001
6 Kobe Bryant 46 28 0.609 81 LAL 01/22/2006
7 Kobe Bryant 45 22 0.489 58 LAL 12/29/2006
8 Dejounte Murray 44 18 0.409 44 ATL 03/28/2024
8 Russell Westbrook 44 17 0.386 51 OKC 10/28/2016
8 Kobe Bryant 44 21 0.477 48 LAL 01/14/2008
8 Kobe Bryant 44 19 0.432 53 LAL 03/30/2007
12 Russell Westbrook 43 21 0.488 54 OKC 04/12/2015
12 Michael Jordan 43 21 0.488 49 CHI 02/14/1990
12 Michael Jordan 43 17 0.395 43 CHI 01/15/1987
12 Michael Jordan 43 19 0.442 41 CHI 11/28/1986
16 Allen Iverson 42 21 0.500 58 PHI 01/15/2002
16 Dominique Wilkins 42 17 0.405 38 ATL 02/19/1988
18 Tyrese Maxey 41 19 0.463 52 PHI 04/07/2024
18 Joel Embiid 41 24 0.585 70 PHI 01/22/2024
18 James Harden 41 16 0.390 49 HOU 11/16/2019
18 Kobe Bryant 41 16 0.390 34 LAL 12/22/2012
18 Kobe Bryant 41 17 0.415 50 LAL 01/07/2006
18 Kobe Bryant 41 19 0.463 44 LAL 02/14/2003
18 David Robinson* 41 26 0.634 71 SAN 04/24/1994

We included Wilt Chamberlain’s 100 point game when he shot the ball 63 times, but it’s not official as the league wasn’t recording field goal attempts in 1962. It’ll be another two decades before the NBA started to track efficiency.

Since the NBA started tracking field goal attempts at the start of the 1983-84 season, Kobe Bryant holds the record for the most shots taken in a single NBA game, It’s not surprising. Kobe is known for his relentless scoring drive and work ethic, Kobe’s tenacity (and selfishness) on the court led him to take daring, often difficult, shots. Bryant has been both revered and derided for that.

On April 13, 2016, Kobe Bryant capped off his NBA career by scoring 60 points, shooting 22 out of 50 in his final game, leading the Lakers to a 101-96 victory over the Jazz at the Staples Center. To fans of Kobe Bryant, this was another memorable performance that underlined his legendary status as he retired from professional basketball. On the other side of the coin, when you take 50 shots — the most ever on NBA record — of course you’re going to score a lot of points.

Which NBA Players Are The Biggest Ball Hogs? 

In our table, there are 25 times when a player shot 41 or more shots. Kobe Bryant owns nine of those times – which is nearly 40% of of the most shots ever taken in a single game. Of those nine KOBE games, only once did he make more than half of his shots and that was his famous 81 point game where he shot an impressive .609 from the field. The stats tell me that would definitively make Kobe Bryant the biggest ball hog in NBA history — at least since the 1983-84 season.

And Kobe has inspired others to take bad shots. Most recently, Atlanta Hawks guard Dejounte Murray delivered a 44-point performance against the Boston Celtics, clinching the game with a buzzer-beating shot in overtime for a 123-122 win. Murray’s scoring matched his number of field-goal attempts, as it took him 44 shots to achieve his total points, highlighting his crucial role in the game’s outcome. 

The most recent entry on the list is 76ers guard, Tyrese Maxey with 41 field goal attempts for the 76ers on April 7th, 2024. We’ll keep an eye out during the NBA Playoffs to see if anyone else makes the list. 

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