What Is The Highest Scoring NBA Game?

Highest Scoring NBA Game

Key Takeaway: NBA games with high scores and thrilling plays attract more fans, contributing to the growth of the sport. The evolution of basketball and impressive performances by players have led to record-breaking games enjoyed by fans worldwide.

Every fan loved to see an exciting basketball game so that their money would be worth it. Fans also wanted a long basketball game so that they will be able to see many dunks and lots of impossible shots. Lastly, the fans also wanted a high-scoring basketball game where two basketball teams hit shots in every of their possession of the ball especially if it is a close game. This gives thrilling feelings to basketball fans and makes them more willing to support and watch basketball games more.

Scoring many points in one NBA game became more popular in today’s basketball era because of the evolution of the game, and many basketball plays emerged. When the game of basketball evolved well, the number of basketball fans started to grow as well. That is why the NBA has a huge fandom today compared to the past eras. 

In this article, we are going to tackle two different highest scoring games in NBA history. The first highest-scoring NBA game had overtime, and the second game had no overtime. To give you an insight, the three NBA teams that set the record were the Detroit Pistons, Denver Nuggets, and Golden State Warriors.

Highest Scoring NBA Game In Regular Season History With OT

The two teams who competed in this impressive game were the Detroit Pistons and the Denver Nuggets. When you add up their scores, it will give you a total of 370 points, which is so unbelievable to think. Another amazing thing that happened from this game is that it takes three overtimes to decide the winner. This impressive game happened on December 13, 1983, in Denver, Colorado. The final score of both teams was: Detroit Pistons – 186 and Denver Nuggets – 184.

Both Coaches implemented different types of impressive plays. Coach Doug Moe, the coach of Denver, implemented his gun style offense to beat the Detroit Pistons. He uses this strategy to outplay most NBA teams they face, which is precisely effective. However, coach Chuck Daly and the Detroit Pistons were ready for this. They use their defensive mechanism to outplay Denver’s gun style offense. 

The 1983 Pistons’ defense was not that strong as they were in the late 1980s. However, they tried their best to run a good defense so that the Denver Nuggets would not dump them easily. They gave the Nuggets a good fight, and they show that they are not backing down. 

Each team had different superb lineups who fought in this impressive game. The Detroit Pistons had some NBA stars like Isiah Thomas, Bill Laimbeer, Kelly Tripucka, and John Long. Three of them scored numerous points. Thomas scored a total of 47 points, Long scored 41 points, and Tripucka scored 35 points. On the other hand, the Nuggets had Kiki Vandeweghe, Alex English, and Dan Issel, which led the Nuggets’ scoring. Vandeweghe had a total of 51 points, English had 47 points, and Issel had 28 points. 

This game was not only the highest-scoring game because this game had broken many NBA records. This game is the only game where four players scored 40+ points. Another record such as the most points scored by a single team (Detroit 186), most scored by the losing team (Denver 184), most field goals by two NBA teams (142), most field goals by one NBA team, (Detroit 74) and lastly, the most assists made by two teams (93). 

From the start of the game, fans thought that this game would be exciting. Both teams were tied at 74 in halftime, which seems high compared to other games. At the final second of the fourth quarter, the Pistons were down by three points. Bill Laimbeer had given a chance to try his luck at the foul line where he made one and intentionally missed the second free-throw. After the intentional miss, Isaiah Thomas tipped the ball into the ring to tie the game as the time ran out.

Because of the impressive play made by Isiah Thomas, the game entered the first OT. The Nuggets were able to push their lead to five, but the Pistons never got discouraged. They went into a 7-2 run to tie the game at the end of overtime. 

In the second overtime, Kelly Tripucka was the main man for the Pistons. He scored a total of twelve points, and he is the only man who scored for the Pistons. However, the Nuggets were still on track, and they found a way to score. In the third overtime, Denver’s scoring was lacking to tie the match for another overtime. The Pistons won the game 186-184.

This scoring in this NBA game was tremendous. They broke many NBA records, and many players scored from both teams. They made the game look like a basketball scrimmage because of the hot offense both teams made.  

Highest Scoring NBA Game In Regular Season History Without OT

On November 2, 1990, the Golden State Warriors faced the Denver Nuggets. Once again, Denver is included in the highest-scoring NBA game, but this time no overtime happened. The Warriors and Nuggets scoring were impressive. When you combine their total scores you will get a total of 320 points. Another thing that made this game amazing is because both teams don’t need overtime to score many points. 

A total of 12 players combined from both teams scored in double figures. The Golden State Warriors were led by their big three Chris Mullin, Tim Hardaway, and Mitch Richmond. Chris Mullin had a total of 38 points, Tim Hardaway had 32 points and Mitch Richmond with 29 points. Three of them contributed a total of 99 points for the Warriors scoreboard. 

For Denver, it was Orlando Woolridge and Walter Davis who led the Nuggets’ scoring. The game was the first home game of the Denver Nuggets. During that season, Denver also averaged a league’s best points per game which they averaged 119.9 points per game. 

Both teams were led by two different good coaches. Don Nelson for the Golden State Warriors and Paul Westhead for Denver Nuggets. Don Nelson made a good offensive run to beat the Nuggets. On the other hand, even though it was the first year of Paul Westhead as head coach for the Nuggets, Westhead didn’t back down and gave the Warriors a good fight. 

Likewise, the Denver Nuggets lost to the Warriors. The game finished with a total score of Warriors -162 and Nuggets – 158. 

Other Highest Scoring NBA Games

Aside from these two historic NBA games, there are other noticeable NBA games where both teams scored high. This shows that the NBA is improving, and the NBA players are becoming more proficient scorers. 

Check out this list of other highest-scoring NBA games. Another thing that I would like to share with you is this site. You can check your favorite NBA player’s stats and achievements. Hope you enjoy it!

Final Verdict

Scoring tons of points is becoming more common in today’s NBA era because of the current playstyle, and intense workout NBA players are doing these days. These games are indeed exciting to watch, and it will surely be more exciting in the following years. 

The Denver Nuggets proved that they can compete and score tons of points with or without overtime. The two highest-scoring NBA games are surely an exciting game to watch, especially when you watch it live. 

Do you think there will be another highest-scoring NBA game soon? Will a team ever score more than 200 points? If yes, what NBA team do you think? Let us hear your thoughts in the comments section below!

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