Ranking the top 20 players with the most points in an NBA game

Ranking the top 20 players with the most points in an NBA game

The National Basketball Association (NBA) has produced legendary players who have scored unbeatable points for their teams. This list of the top 20 players with the most points in an NBA game ranks the famous players with a record number of points in a single match.

Players with the most points in an NBA game
Photo: canva.com (modified by author)
Source: UGC

Scoring in the NBA may appear easy, but not many are privileged to score what these top players have. Did you know that the highest number of points scored in an NBA game was almost 5 decades ago?

Players with the most points in an NBA game

According to research, over 20 basketball players have scored 60 pts and above in a single NBA game. Below is the list of best NBA scorers in one match.

PointsPlayerTeamSeason
100Wilt ChamberlainPhiladelphia Warriors1961-62
81Kobe BryantLos Angeles Lakers2005-06
73David ThompsonDenver Nuggets1977-78
71David RobinsonSan Antonio Spurs1993-94
71 Elgin BaylorAngeles Lakers1960-61
70 Devin BookerPhoenix Suns2016-17
69Michael JordanChicago Bulls1989-90
68Pete MaravichNew Orleans Jazz1976-77
64Rick BarryGolden State Warriors1973-74
63George GervinSan Antonio Spurs 1977-78
63Jerry WestLos Angeles Lakers1961-62
63Joe Fulks Philadelphia Warriors1948-49
62Stephen CurryGolden State Warriors2020-21
62Carmelo AnthonyNew York Knicks2013-14
62Tracy McGradyOrlando Magic2003-04
61Damian Lillard Portland Trail Blazers2019-20
61James HardenHouston Rockets2018-19
61LeBron JamesMiami Heat2013-14
61Shaquille O'NealLos Angeles Lakers1999-00
61Karl MaloneUtah Jazz1989-90

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20. Karl Malone - 61 pts (Utah Jazz 1989-90 W144-96 vs Bucks)

Karl Malone played for Utah Jazz and the Los Angeles Lakers. He managed 61 points for the Jazz against the Bucks in the 1989-90 season.

19. Shaquille O'Neal - 61 pts (LA Lakers 1999-00 W123-103 vs Clippers)

Famously known as the Shaq, O'Neal is one of the top stars in NBA history. In the 1999-00 season, he scored 61 pts for the Lakers in their victory over the Clippers.

18. LeBron James - 61 pts (Miami Heat 2013-14 W124-107 vs Bobcats)

LeBron James' highest tally in a single game was 61 for the Miami Heat in the 2013-14 season. He is currently playing for the Los Angeles Lakers.

17. James Harden - 61 pts (Houston Rockets 2018-19 W111-105 vs Spurs)

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James Harden managed 61 points for the Rockets against the Spurs in the 2018-19 season. The Rockets won 111-105.

16. Damian Lillard - 61 pts (Portland Trail Blazers 2019-20 W129-124 OT vs Warriors)

Damian Lillard scored 61 points for the Portland Trail Blazers against the Warriors in the 2019-20 season.

15. Tracy McGrady - 62 pts (Orlando Magic 2003-04 W108-99 vs Wizards)

Tracy McGrady was known for his quick moves and the ability to score from anywhere. He pulled 62 pts for Orlando Magic in a 108-99 win over the Wizards in 2004.

14. Carmelo Anthony - 62 pts (New York Knicks 2013-14 W125-96 vs Bobcats)

The former LA Lakers' power forward pulled an incredible 62 pts for the New York Knicks against the Bobcats in 2014.

13. Stephen Curry - 62 pts (Golden State Warriors 2020-21 W137-122 vs Trail Blazers)

The Warriors point guard, and NBA icon managed 62 points in his team's victory over the Trail Blazers in 2021.

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12. Joe Fulks - 63 pts (Philadelphia Warriors 1948-49 W108-87 vs Jets)

Joe Fulks scored 63 points for the Warriors, propelling them to victory over the Jets in the 1948-49 season.

11. Jerry West - 63 pts (LA Lakers 1961-62 W129-121 vs Knicks)

The retired basketball star scored 63 points for the Lakers in their narrow victory over the Knicks in 1962.

10. George Gervin - 63 pts (San Antonio Spurs 1977-78 L132-153 vs Jazz)

Gervin ranks among players with the top 10 most points in a game in NBA history. He scored 63 for the Spurs in a 132-153 defeat to the Jazz in 1978.

9. Rick Barry - 64 pts (Golden State Warriors 1973-74 W143-120 vs Trail Blazers)

Most points in an NBA playoff game
Rick Barry (L) of the Golden State Warriors is guarded by Jim McMillian of the Buffalo Braves at the Memorial Auditorium on 2 March 1976 in Buffalo, New York. Photo: George Gojkovich
Source: Getty Images

Rick Barry was one of the most unstoppable scorers in his era. He scored 64 pts in their victory over the Trail Blazers during the 1973-74 season.

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8. Pete Maravich - 68 pts (New Orleans Jazz 1976-77 W124-107 vs Knicks)

The legendary athlete is considered one of the greatest scorers in NCAA history. He managed 68 pts for the New Orleans Jazz against the Knicks in 1977.

7. Michael Jordan - 69 pts (Chicago Bulls 1989-90 W117-113 OT vs Cavaliers)

Michael Jordan has the most points in an NBA playoff game (69). His brilliance helped the Bulls beat the Cavaliers in the 1989-90 playoff match.

6. Devin Booker - 70 pts (Phoenix Suns 2016-17 L120-130 vs Celtics)

Devin Booker is among six players who have scored 70 points and above in a single NBA game. He achieved it for the Phoenix Suns in a 120-130 defeat to the Celtics.

5. Elgin Baylor 71 pts - (LA Lakers 1960-61 W123-108 vs Knicks)

Baylor scored 61, 63, 64, and 71 points in different games. He also holds the record for scoring the most points (71) in an NBA finals game.

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4. David Robinson - 71 pts (San Antonio Spurs 1993-94 W112-97 vs Clippers)

Most points in an NBA finals game
David Robinson of the San Antonio Spurs during their game against the Charlotte Hornets on 23 December 2000 at Charlotte Coliseum in Charlotte, North Carolina. Photo: Sporting News
Source: Getty Images

David Robinson ranks fourth with the 71 points he scored for the Spurs against the Clippers in the 1993-94 season.

3. David Thompson - 73 pts (Denver Nuggets 1977-78 L137-139 vs Pistons)

The legendary NBA star amassed 73 points for the Denver Nuggets despite losing narrowly to the Pistons in their 1978 clash.

2. Kobe Bryant - 81 pts (LA Lakers 2005-06 W122-104 vs Raptors)

Bryant notched 61, 62, 65, and 81 points in different games but is only second on the list. So, what is the record for most points in an NBA game?

1. Wilt Chamberlain - 100 pts (Philadelphia Warriors 1961-62 W169-147 vs Knicks)

NBA's most points per game in a season
Wilt Chamberlain of the Philadelphia Warriors holds a basketball while leaning against a trophy case. Photo: Bettmann
Source: Getty Images

Wilt Chamberlain's 100 points obtained in 1962 remain the best in the history of the NBA. Besides, he has reached the 60-mark in a single game 32 times. Chamberlain also holds the record for NBA's most points per game in a season (50.36).

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Who has the most points in a quarter in NBA?

Klay Thompson of the Golden State Warriors holds the record for the highest-scoring quarter in the history of the NBA with 37.

PlayerPointsQuarterDate
Klay Thompson37Third23 January 2015
Kevin Love34First23 November 2016
George Gervin33Second9 April 1978
Carmelo Anthony33Third10 December 2008
David Thompson32First9 April 1978
Karl-Anthony Towns32Third14 March 2022

Has any NBA team scored 200 points?

No team has ever reached 200 in a game. The Detroit Pistons vs Denver Nuggets (186-184) match in 1983 was the highest-scoring NBA game ever.

What is the lowest scoring NBA game?

The record of the lowest scoring NBA game goes to the Fort Wayne Pistons vs Minneapolis Lakers game (19-18) played on 22 November 1950.

Although we have witnessed many great basketball stars in NBA history, Chamberlain's record of the most points in an NBA game has remained intact for years. Will this record last forever?

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