What Is The Most Points Scored In A Basketball Game?

What Is The Most Points Scored In A Basketball Game

Famously, Wilt Chamberlain holds the record for the most points ever scored in an NBA game with 100 points. This record has held up for 60 years as the only player ever to come close was Kobe Bryant's 81-point performance in 2006. Believe it or not, a college basketball player has scored more than Chamberlain. Jack Taylor, an NCAA Division III basketball player, scored 138 points in a single game back in 2012.

As far as the most combined points in a game, the Detroit Pistons and Denver Nuggets hold that record for their triple-overtime game back in 1983, in which 370 points were scored. Once again, even more points were scored in a 1992 college basketball game when Troy State faced off against DeVry, scoring 399 points combined.

Most Points in an NBA Game by a Player

The most points ever recorded by a single player in NBA history is Wilt Chamberlain’s 100-point game. In 1962, Wilt Chamberlain and the Philadelphia Warriors faced off against the New York Knicks at Hershey Sports Arena in Hershey, Pennsylvania. The Warriors won the game 169-147, which set a record for the most total points scored in a game at the time. The Knicks starting center was out with an illness, so rookie 6’9” center Cleveland Buckner had to cover 7'1” Chamberlain.

Chamberlain scored 100 points, shattering his own record of 78, which was also an NBA record at the time. Chamberlain went 36-63 from the field and 28-32 from the free throw line, setting a record for the most free throws made in a single game. This was particularly impressive, considering Chamberlain was a poor free throw shooter, only shooting 51.1% for his career. 

At this time, the NBA was not considered a serious professional sporting league, and many basketball fans paid much more attention to college basketball. Although the game was not televised, Warriors players told the media they force-fed Chamberlain the ball when they realized it was possible for him to score 100 points. Chamberlain’s record of 100 points in an NBA game still stands today, as the only player to come close was Kobe Bryant, who rattled off 81 points in 2006 against the Toronto Raptors.

Most Points Combined in an NBA Game

The most points scored in a single NBA game was 370 points in a game between the Denver Nuggets and Detroit Pistons in the 1983 season. On December 13, 1983, the Pistons defeated the Nuggets in triple overtime by a score of 186-184. The score remains the most combined points ever in an NBA game. Both teams came out on fire, and it stayed that way as both scored at least 32 points in every single quarter. Star point guard Isiah Thomas led the way for the Pistons, scoring 47 points and racking up 17 assists. John Long pitched in with 41 points, and Kelly Tripucka scored 35.

The Nuggets were led by Kiki Vandeweghe’s 51 points, followed by Alex English’s 47 points. The Nuggets shot a shocking 59% from the field and 83% from the free throw line. Even more shocking is the fact that both teams combined for just four three-point attempts the entire game. This is because, in 1983, the three-point shot was not nearly as prevalent as it is in the game today.

Most Points in an NCAA Game by a Player

Jack Taylor scored the most points in a single college basketball game with 138 points. Taylor played Division III basketball for Grinnell College, a small school in Grinnell, Iowa. On November 20, 2012, Taylor had the game of his life. He took 108 shots from the field, cashing in on 52 of them. He also shot 71 threes, making 27 of them. This set records for field goals made and attempted, as well as three-pointers made and attempted by a college player.

Grinell’s offense often ran through Taylor, but on this night, he was their entire offense. Grinell won the game 179-104 over Faith Baptist Bible College. Taylor also owns the record for the most points scored in a half of basketball, with 80 in the second half of this game. Reports stated that Grinnell College specifically set aside the game to pursue the record if Taylor got off to a good start.

Most Points Combined in an NCAA Game

The most combined points in a college basketball game came in 1992 when Troy State faced off against DeVry, scoring 399 points in total. Troy State was coached by Don Maestri, who followed the coaching philosophy of Paul Westhead's Loyola Marymount teams. The play style was taking quick shots and a lot of threes, or what we now call seven seconds or less. Troy State led 123-53 in the first half, breaking the record for the most points scored in a half of a college basketball game. This record would be broken in the very next half as Troy State scored 135 points. They made 51 three pointers in the game, more than doubling the record for three pointers made in a single college basketball game. 10 of the 11 Troy State players that entered the game scored in double figures. Even more bizarre was the three combined free throws taken in this game due to the amount of three pointers attempted by both teams.