What are the highest-scoring NBA games of all time? - ESPN

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What are the highest-scoring NBA games of all time? - ESPN

High-scoring NBA games fire up players and fans across the league. What are the most notable matchups? Check out this all-time list for more details.

High-scoring NBA games fire up players and fans across the league. What are the most notable matchups? Check out this all-time list for more details.

In today's NBA, teams are shooting more 3-pointers than ever, and it's leading to some high-scoring contests. Last season, the Golden State Warriors broke the NBA record for most made 3-pointers in a single season with 1,363.

This year, every single NBA team is averaging at least 10 made 3s per game, with the Boston Celtics (16.2 per game) leading the way.

By comparison, 10 years ago, there wasn't a single NBA team averaging 10 made 3s, as the Houston Rockets led the league in 3s during the 2013-14 season with 9.5 per game.

Despite the fact that teams are knocking down more 3-pointers than ever, the highest-scoring game in NBA history actually occurred roughly 40 years ago -- just five years after the NBA introduced the 3-point line and back when teams averaged 0.6 made 3s per game.

Let's take a look at the highest-scoring games throughout NBA history.

370 points -- Detroit (186) at Denver (184), Dec. 13, 1983 (3 OT)

On Dec. 13, 1983, the Pistons and Nuggets combined for an NBA-record 370 points as Detroit won. The Pistons' 186 points is an NBA record to this day (and the Nuggets' 184 points is the second-most points scored by a team in a single game). Isiah Thomas led Detroit with 47 points, 17 assists, 5 rebounds, 4 steals and a block, shooting 52.9% from the field and 50% from 3-point range. John Long chipped in 41 points on 72% shooting, and Kelly Tripucka tallied 35 points. For Denver, Kiki VanDeWeghe finished with 51 points, 9 rebounds, 8 assists and 2 steals, shooting 72.4% from the field. Alex English also went off for 47 points, 12 rebounds and 7 assists, and Dan Issel contributed 28 points. Both teams had six players score in double figures. The teams combined to make just two 3s. The contest was so high-scoring because both teams had top-ranked offenses that played at a very fast pace, ultimately pushing the game to triple overtime.

351 points -- Sacramento (176) at LA Clippers (175), Feb. 24, 2023 (2 OT)

Last year, these two teams nearly made history in a double-overtime thriller. They came just 19 points short of the NBA record, and the contest was an offensive master class. The Kings' 176 points is the third-most in NBA history, led by De'Aaron Fox (42 points, 12 assists, 5 rebounds, 5 steals and 2 3s) and Malik Monk (45 points, 6 assists and 6 3s). Meanwhile, Los Angeles was led by Kawhi Leonard (44 points, 6 3s, 4 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals and 2 blocks) and Paul George (34 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists and 5 3s). Both teams had seven players score in double figures, and the two teams combined to shoot 44-of-86 from 3-point range.

337 points -- San Antonio (171) vs. Milwaukee (166), March 6, 1982 (3 OT)

This game took place less than three months after the record-setting Pistons-Nuggets contest atop this list. On this night, the Spurs won in another triple-overtime game. San Antonio was led by George Gervin (50 points, 8 rebounds and 5 assists) and Mike Mitchell (45 points, 11 rebounds and 2 steals). Meanwhile, both of Milwaukee's leading scorers came off the bench in this game. Brian Winters had 42 points in 40 minutes as a reserve, and Junior Bridgeman scored 31 points in 35 minutes with the second unit. Bob Lanier (29 points) also did his part for the Bucks. Milwaukee had six players score in double figures, while San Antonio had five players hit double digits. The two teams combined to make just four 3-pointers.

329 points -- Chicago (168) at Atlanta (161), March 1, 2019 (4 OT)

This is the longest game on this list, as it took four overtimes for the Bulls to put away the Hawks. Both teams had balanced scoring attacks, with seven players scoring in double figures for each squad. Chicago was led by Zach LaVine (47 points, 9 assists, 9 rebounds, 6 3s and 2 steals), Lauri Markkanen (31 points, 17 rebounds and 3 3s) and Otto Porter Jr. (31 points, 10 rebounds, 7 3s and 4 assists). For Atlanta, Trae Young (49 points, 16 assists, 8 rebounds and 6 3s) was the main contributor, as Alex Len (24 points, 10 rebounds and 2 blocks) was the Hawks' only other 20-point scorer. These teams attempted a combined 108 3-pointers and made 43, shooting 39.8% from deep.

320 points -- Golden State (162) at Denver (158), Nov. 2, 1990

What's most impressive about this high-scoring game was that all 320 points occurred in regulation. Run TMC led the way for the Warriors, as Chris Mullin had 38 points, 9 rebounds, 5 assists and 5 steals; Tim Hardaway finished with 32 points, 18 assists, 5 rebounds and 2 steals; and Mitch Richmond posted 29 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists. For the Nuggets, Orlando Woolridge scored 37 points and grabbed eight rebounds, and Walter Davis finished with 33 points and 10 rebounds off the bench. Denver had seven players score in double figures, and Golden State had five. The teams combined to make six 3s, shooting 35.3% from beyond the arc.

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