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Top 5 Highest Scoring Matches in NBA History

We'll look at the top five highest-scoring games in NBA history in this article. The match between the Detroit Pistons and Denver Nuggets from 1983 is still the highest scoring match with 186-184. Check out more in details.

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Last updated: 15.09.2021
Top 5 Highest Scoring Matches in NBA History

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Points are used in basketball to keep track of the game's score. At the conclusion of a game, the side with the most points is declared the winner. If the game is still tied at the completion of the regular season, the winner is decided by playing further overtime periods. In the years after the National Basketball Association (NBA) was founded in 1946, teams only averaged around 80 points per game. The NBA began using a 24-second shot clock in the 1954–55 season. The offensive team will lose possession if they do not hit the rim with the ball within the time limit. This invention resulted in much greater game scores. During the shot-clock era, all of the NBA's highest-scoring games occurred. 

We'll look at the five highest-scoring games in NBA history in this article.


1. Detroit Pistons 186-184 Denver Nuggets (1983)

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On Dec. 13, 1983, one of the wildest games in NBA history was played against two of the finest offenses in the league during 1983-84 season. The Pistons defeated the Nuggets 186–184, scoring a total of 370 points in the process. Four players scored over 40 points in the game, including Kiki Vandeweghe of the Nuggets, who had a game-high 51. With 47 points, 17 assists, five rebounds, and four steals, Isiah Thomas led the way for Detroit. Long contributed 41 points, six rebounds, and eight assists to his stat line. The Nuggets' Vandeweghe (51) and English (47) and the Pistons' Thomas (47) and Long (41) each scored at least 40 points.


2. San Antonio Spurs 171-166 Milwaukee Bucks (1982)


The Midwest Division-leading San Antonio Spurs and the Central Division-leading Milwaukee Bucks met in a second-half matchup on March 6, 1982, with two teams jostling for position in the playoff standings. In a triple-overtime contest at San Antonio's HemisFair Arena, the two teams combined for 337 points. The Spurs won 171-166 thanks to George Gervin's 50 points and Mike Mitchell's 45. Brian Winters scored 42 points for Milwaukee, and Junior Bridgeman added 31.


3. Chicago Bulls 168-161 Atlanta Hawks (2019)


This one is a recent one on the list. It was only surpassed by a pair of three-overtime games as the third-highest combined point total for two teams in NBA history. Detroit defeated Denver 186-184 on Dec. 13, 1983, while San Antonio defeated Milwaukee 171-166 at home on March 6, 1982. Markkanen had 31 points and 17 rebounds in the game. After being fouled by Alex Len, made three free throws to break the 159-159 deadlock. In the final 30 seconds of the third overtime, Young and DeAndre Bembry both had turnovers, denying the Hawks the chance to break the 155-155 deadlock.


4. Golden State Warriors 162-158 Denver Nuggets (1990)


The Nuggets were a part of the NBA regulation game with the highest points combined by two teams on November 2nd, 1990. (320). In the first game of the NBA regular season for both clubs, the Warriors led by Chris Mullin upset the Nuggets 162-158. Mullin led Golden State to victory with 39 points. Tim Hardaway (32) and Mitch Richmond (29) - his teammates – also shone on the attacking end. With 37 and 33 points, respectively, Orlando Woolridge and Walter Davis led the Nuggets in scoring.


5. Denver Nuggets 163-155 San Antonio Spurs (1984)


The 11th of January, 1984, was a historic day in Denver, with the Nuggets' fast-paced attack under Coach Doug Moe. In a regulation game, the Denver Nuggets and San Antonio Spurs combined for 318 points. The Nuggets defeated the Spurs 163-155, and both teams combined for an NBA-record 99 points in the fourth quarter (San Antonio led 53-46). That's an incredible rate of 8.25 points each minute. Fourteen players scored in double figures, but the two teams combined for only seven 3-pointers.

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