Ranking the top 10 players with the most blocks in an NBA game

Ranking the top 10 players with the most blocks in an NBA game

Kenneth Mwenda
updated at April 12, 2023 at 8:08 PM

One of the stats that receives the least regard is the most blocks in an NBA game. A defensive player is given a block when they divert an offensive player's field goal attempt away from the goal, stopping it from going in. It rarely appears in triple-doubles, and the single-game number never rises over 4 or 5. The stat has significantly decreased in value as basketball has grown more offensively oriented in the league, and high-scoring guards have started to appear.

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

Here, we'll examine the players and contests with the best perfomance regarding the skill. We'll accomplish that by covering all the readily available information regarding the games, as gathered from reliable sources.

Players with the most blocks in an NBA game

Even while the stat doesn't appear on every highlight video, it's still spectacular when someone writes oneself into the annals of history. Every player on the list below made a career on playing strong defence down low, rejecting shots at an unprecedented rate.

10. Robert Parish | 2,361 career blocks

Most blocks in an NBA game
Robert Parish of the Boston Celtics runs up the court during an NBA game against the Philadelphia 76ers on April 18, 1991, at the Spectrum in Philadelphia. Photo: Bruce Bennett Studios
Source: Getty Images

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In the history of the game, Robert Parish participated in more games than any other player. Parish, a 7-foot centre who combined power, agility, and extraordinary endurance, formed one of the best front lines in NBA history with Larry Bird and Kevin McHale during the 1980s while playing for the Boston Celtics. He won three NBA titles with the team.

9. Tree Rollins | 2,542 career blocks

The most blocks in an NBA finals game
Tree Rollins of the Atlanta Hawks looks on from the bench against the Washington Bullets during an NBA game in 1979 at the Capital Centre in Landover, Maryland. Photo: Focus on Sport.
Source: Getty Images

Centre Tree Rollins, whose real name is Wayne Monte, played for 5 clubs throughout 18 seasons. In 1156 regular season games, Rollins averaged 5.4 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 0.6 assists.

Is Tree Rollins in the Hall of Fame? Yes, although he has garnered several honours and trophies throughout his career, his 1981 induction into the National Baseball Hall of Fame may be his most famous achievement.

8. Shaquille O'Neal | 2,732 career blocks

The greatest NBA player of all time
Shaquille O'Neal attends the UFC 276 event at T-Mobile Arena on July 02, 2022, in Las Vegas, Nevada. Photo: Chris Unger.
Source: Getty Images

It's difficult to overstate the contribution Shaquille O'Neal made while playing professionally. He was not just one of the greatest NBA players of all time but also well-liked in popular culture. Shaq left his large imprint on everything from MVPs and rings to movies, hip-hop, and video games.

7. Patrick Ewing | 2,894 career blocks

The most blocks in an NBA game
Patrick Ewing is introduced as the Georgetown Hoyas' new head basketball coach at John Thompson Jr. Athletic Center on April 5, 2017. Photo: Mitchell Layton.
Source: Getty Images

Ewing was one of the best centres when he played, despite the fact that he never won an NBA Championship in his career. In his 17 seasons in the league, he averaged 21 points and 9.8 rebounds each game. In his first year of eligibility, when he was one of the greatest players in college and professional basketball history, he was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame.

6. David Robinson | 2,954 career blocks

The most blocks in an NBA finals game
David Robinson, #50 of the San Antonio Spurs, battles for position with Sam Perkins, #14 of the Los Angeles Lakers, during an NBA game in 1990 in Inglewood, California. Photo: Focus on Sport.
Source: Getty Images

From 1989 until 2003, he was a member of the San Antonio Spurs of the National Basketball Association. Because of his time spent serving in the U.S. Navy, Robinson earned the moniker "the Admiral." He was a 10-time NBA All-Star, the 1995 NBA MVP, a two-time NBA champion (1999 and 2003), and an Olympic gold medalist twice (1992, 1996).

5. Tim Duncan | 3,020 career blocks

NBA's most blocks per game in a season
Assistant coach Tim Duncan of the San Antonio Spurs during the second half against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse on March 08, 2020, in Cleveland, Ohio. Photo: Jason Miller.
Source: Getty Images

It makes sense that The Big Fundamental is currently ranked fifth all-time in defending. So why wouldn't Tim Duncan's defence be underappreciated, given his criminally underestimated nature?

Each of Duncan's first 10 seasons in the league saw him record north of 2.0 blocks per game on average.

4. Mark Eaton | 3,064 career blocks

The most blocks in an NBA playoff game
Mark Eaton, #53 of the Utah Jazz, looks on as he plays against the Chicago Bulls during an NBA game in 1989 at Chicago Stadium in Chicago, Illinois. Photo: Focus on Sport.
Source: Getty Images

Mark Eaton, who stood 7 feet 4 inches tall, was a defensive dynamo for the Utah Jazz. He holds the NBA career record for blocks per game average with 3.5 a contest. Eaton recorded 5.6 blocks per game in 1984–1985.

Eaton wasn't a standout player and didn't join the NBA until he was 26 years old. Nevertheless, during his 11-year career, the big guy made opposition defences' lives a living nightmare. Thanks to his outstanding defence, he travelled to the 1989 All-Star Game with teammates John Stockton and Karl Malone.

3. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar | 3,189 career blocks

What's the record for the most blocks in an NBA game
Former basketball player Kareem Abdul-Jabbar arrives to his interview with host Jimmy Fallon on Monday, June 20, 2022. Photo: Todd Owyoung.
Source: Getty Images

You probably immediately think of slow-motion footage of Kareem Abdul-infamous Jabbar's skyhook when you close your eyes and visualize him. Why wouldn't you? Abdul-Jabbar possessed one of the most adored and potent offensive tools in the history of the NBA.

2. Dikembe Mutombo | 3,289 career blocks

The most blocks in an NBA game
Dikembe Mutombo attends the 2022 ESPYs at Dolby Theatre on July 20, 2022, in Hollywood, California. Photo: Leon Bennett.
Source: Getty Images

On a basketball floor, few players have a signature block. On the other hand, not many people have a physique quite like Dikembe Mutombo. So if you were able to visualize Kareem's skyhook, chances are good that you can already picture Dikembe waving his frightening finger in the air.

1. Hakeem Olajuwon | 3,830 career blocks

The most blocks in an NBA game by a team
Former Houston Rockets player Hakeem Olajuwon holds the game ball before Game 6 of the 2019 World Series between the Washington Nationals and the Houston in Houston, Texas. Photo: Alex Trautwig.
Source: Getty Images

NBA champion Hakeem Olajuwon also won MVP honours in each of the last two Finals. The Dream has an impeccable record. Olajuwon led the NBA in blocks for three seasons and was a two-time defensive player of the year.

What's the record for most blocks in an NBA game?

Many of the greatest players in history took tremendous delight in opposing an opponent's shot since it would result in a basket in transition and discourage the opposition. Of course, there are plenty of the league's greatest shot blockers, but we'll focus on the top few today.

4. Mark Eaton | January 18, 1985, and February 18, 1989, | 14 Blocks

The most blocks in an NBA game
Mark Eaton, #53 of the Utah Jazz, grabs a rebound against the Washington Bullets during an NBA game in 1990 at the Capital Centre in Landover, Maryland. Photo: Focus on Sport.
Source: Getty Images

The majority of the athletes on this list are well-known figures. Mark Eaton is an exception to this rule. That said, his accomplishments are nonetheless amazing despite this.

The 7'4" big man had a successful career playing for the Jazz for twelve seasons. He stopped 14 shots in two different contests during that span. He also holds the NBA record for the most blocks in a season, per game, ever (5.56).

3. Manute Bol | January 25, 1985, and February 26, 1987 | 15 Blocks

Player with the most blocks in an NBA game
Sudanese former NBA star Manute Bol sits while at the southern Sudanese capital of Juba on February 16, 2009. Photo: PETER MARTELL.
Source: Getty Images

The only other player to record 15 blocks in a game was known for his defence, but Shaq was known for his offence and dunks. Due to his length, defensive prowess, and extraordinarily tall 7'7 body, Manute Bol, a pure defender, played in the league for 12 years.

2. Shaquille O'Neal | November 20, 1993 | 15 Blocks

What's the record for most the blocks in an NBA game
Shaquille O'Neal performs on stage during Governors Ball 2022 at Citi Field on June 11, 2022, in New York City. Photo: Mychal Watts.
Source: Getty Images

Even while the kind of defence was significantly more common in the 1970s and 1980s, its frequency gradually decreased over time. Because of this, Shaq's performance in the early 1990s is remembered as one of the NBA's greatest single-game defensive performances.

1. Elmore Smith | October 28, 1973 | 17 blocks

Most blocks in an NBA game
Elmore Smith of the Cleveland Cavaliers during an NBA basketball game circa 1977 at the Capital Centre in Landover, Maryland. Photo: Focus on Sport.
Source: Getty Images

The 1973 season's block party by Elmore Smith against the Trail Blazers still stands out as one of the NBA's best defensive displays, despite the league having seen many excellent defensive efforts over the years. He still holds the record for the most defences made in a game with 17.

What are the most blocks in an NBA game by a team?

With 24 blocks in a 109-92 victory over the visiting Golden State Warriors in November 2001, the Toronto Raptors hold the record for the most shots defended by a team in a single contest. The Raptors broke their own 23 NBA mark, which they had set in March of the same year, thanks to Vince Carter's 39 points and 39 rebounds.

What are the most blocks in an NBA playoff game?

What are the most blocks in an NBA playoff game?
Jaden Springer, #11 of the Philadelphia 76ers, shoots over Tre Mann, #23 of the Oklahoma City Thunder, during the NBA Summer League game on July 7, 2022, in Salt Lake City, Utah. Photo: Chris Gardner.
Source: Getty Images

In a playoff game, the Philadelphia 76ers have blocked the most shots of any team. In Game 1 of the 1981 Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Bucks, they recorded 20 blocks.

What are the most blocks in an NBA finals game?

The majority of shots in an NBA Finals game were defended by Dwight Howard. On June 11, 2009, he had 9 blocks against the Lakers.

The modern NBA game is built on offence, with players regularly pulling up from well beyond the 3-point arc. The importance of getting the ball to the basket has evolved significantly, as has the requirement for rim protection. Players with the most blocks in an NBA game feel like titans from those blocks.

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Kenneth Mwenda photo
Kenneth Mwenda
Kenneth Mwenda is a business and sports writer with over five years of experience. At Sportsbrief, he contributes to writing biographies and listicles.