Highest Scoring NBA Game in History


Basketball is one of the most popular sports in the world, with professional leagues all around the globe. The NBA being the pinnacle of all those basketball leagues. Over the years, there have been many memorable moments in the NBA, but one that stands out is the highest-scoring game in NBA history.

In this article, we will take a look at the game, the players, and the records that were set.

The Game

On December 13, 1983, the Detroit Pistons faced off against the Denver Nuggets in what would become the highest-scoring game in NBA history. It´s crazy that the game happened in the 80´s, an era in which people are adamit it was the hardest to score and the most physcial. I know what you´re thinking, but I´ll spoil something... there was a few overtimes. The game took place at McNichols Sports Arena in Denver, Colorado, and was a back-and-forth affair that saw both teams putting up huge numbers on the scoreboard.

The first half of the game was dominated by the Denver Nuggets, who scored a whopping 84 points in the first two quarters. The Pistons seemingly struggled to keep up, but still somehow managed to score 77 points of their own, keeping the game within reach.

In the second half, the Pistons started to mount a comeback, outscoring the Nuggets 47-40 in the third quarter. The game was tied 124-124 at the end of regulation, sending it into the first overtime.

In overtime, both teams continued to score at will, and the game eventually ended after 3 overtimes with the Denver Nuggets winning 186-184. The game set a new record for the highest-scoring game in NBA history, a record that still stands to this day.

The Players

The Detroit Pistons were led by Isiah Thomas, who scored 47 points and dished out 17 assists in the game. Kelly Tripucka added 35 points, while John Long scored 41 points off the bench.

On the other side, the Denver Nuggets had several players put up huge numbers. Kiki Vandeweghe led the way with 51 points, while Alex English added 47 points. Dan Issel scored 28 points, and even the backup point guard, Fat Lever, contributed 20 points in the game.

Records Set

The highest-scoring game in NBA history set several records that still stand today. The combined total of 370 points is the highest ever recorded in an NBA game. The game also set records for the most field goals made (143), the most field goals attempted (318), and the most assists in a game (93).

Isiah Thomas set a record for the most assists in a losing effort, dishing out 17 in the game. The game also featured the most points ever scored by a player in a losing effort, with Thomas´ 47 points falling short of the Nuggets´ high-scoring output.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What was the previous record for the highest-scoring game in NBA history?

The previous record was set in 1960 when the Detroit Pistons and the Denver Nuggets (then known as the Denver Rockets) combined for 316 points in a game.

How many overtimes were played in the highest-scoring game in NBA history?

The game went into three overtime periods, which saw both teams continue to score at a high rate.

What was the average points per player in the highest-scoring game in NBA history?

The game featured 11 players who scored 20 or more points, with an average of 22 points per player.


The highest-scoring game in NBA history was a thrilling contest that featured two teams playing at an incredibly high level. The game set several records, including the most combined points, the most field goals made, and the most assists in a game.