70 Point Games in NBA History: The Complete Details

Jimmy Remland
By Jimmy Remland 6 Min Read
6 Min Read

The phenomenon of scoring 70 or more points in a single NBA game is a rare and monumental achievement that has only been accomplished by a select few. This exclusive club of players has demonstrated exceptional skill, determination, and sometimes a bit of serendipity to reach this scoring pinnacle. Let’s look into the details, facts, and stories behind these historic performances.

The Rarity of the Achievement

  • Total Instances: There have been 15 instances when a player has scored 70 points or more in an NBA game. This statistic highlights the rarity and difficulty of achieving such a feat in the league’s history.
  • Number of Players: Only 10 different players have ever scored 70 or more points in a game, showcasing the elite level of performance required to reach this milestone.

70 Point Games in NBA History: The Breakdown

Wilt Chamberlain: The Goliath of Scoring

  • Instances: Chamberlain scored 70 or more points six times, showcasing his dominance in the league during the 1960s.
  • Notable Performance: His 100-point game on March 2, 1962, against the New York Knicks stands as the pinnacle of individual scoring achievements in the NBA.
  • Impact: Chamberlain’s scoring records set a high bar for future generations, emphasizing the potential for offensive dominance in basketball.

Kobe Bryant: The Modern Maestro

  • Single Game: Bryant scored 81 points against the Toronto Raptors on January 22, 2006.
  • Significance: This game is the closest any player has come to Chamberlain’s 100-point record in the modern era, highlighting Bryant’s exceptional scoring ability and competitive spirit.

David Robinson: The Admiral’s Assault

  • Single Game: Robinson scored 71 points against the Los Angeles Clippers on April 24, 1994.
  • Context: This performance helped Robinson clinch the scoring title for the 1993-1994 season, showcasing his versatility and scoring prowess as a center.

David Thompson: The Sky Walker’s Soar

  • Single Game: Thompson scored 73 points for the Denver Nuggets against the Detroit Pistons on April 9, 1978.
  • Background: His performance came in a tight scoring title race with George Gervin, illustrating the fierce competitiveness of NBA scoring leaders.

Elgin Baylor: The Pioneer

  • Single Game: Baylor scored 71 points for the Los Angeles Lakers against the New York Knicks during the 1960-61 season.
  • Legacy: As the first player to reach the 70-point mark, Baylor set a precedent for future scoring feats, combining scoring efficiency with rebounding prowess.


Recent Entrants to the Club

Devin Booker: The Young Gun

  • Single Game: Booker scored 70 points against the Boston Celtics on March 24, 2017.
  • Noteworthy: At just 20 years old, Booker became the youngest player to score 70 or more points in a game, signaling the arrival of a new scoring talent.

Donovan Mitchell: The Dynamic Guard

  • Single Game: Mitchell scored 71 points for the Cleveland Cavaliers in an overtime victory against the Chicago Bulls on January 2, 2023.
  • Highlight: This game showcased Mitchell’s ability to take over games and his importance to his team’s offensive strategy.

Damian Lillard: The Long-Range Marksman

  • Single Game: Lillard’s entry into this exclusive club came with a game where he unleashed his scoring fury, emphasizing his role as one of the premier shooters in the league.

Luka Doncic: The European Sensation

  • Single Game: Doncic’s 73-point game against the Atlanta Hawks showcased his scoring versatility and ability to dominate the game in multiple facets, from shooting to playmaking.


The Significance of 70-Point Games

These games are not just about individual achievement but also about the circumstances that allow such performances to unfold. Factors such as the flow of the game, defensive strategies of opponents, and coaching decisions play significant roles in facilitating these historic nights.

  • Strategic Brilliance and Physical Endurance: Achieving 70 points requires a player to exhibit not just skill but also incredible stamina and strategic acumen to exploit the defenses effectively.
  • Game Conditions: Often, these performances come under unique conditions—either in closely contested games where every point counts or in situations where a player becomes the focal point of the offense.

Looking Ahead

The future may see more players joining this exclusive club as the game evolves and offensive strategies become even more sophisticated. Players like Steph Curry, known for their incredible shooting range, or Giannis Antetokounmpo, with his dominant physical presence, could potentially achieve this milestone under the right conditions.

Final Words

The 70-point game in NBA history is more than just a remarkable statistical achievement; it’s a landmark event that encapsulates the essence of basketball’s competitive spirit and its evolution. As the NBA continues to grow, the stories of these games and their protagonists will remain an integral part of its rich history, inspiring future generations to set new benchmarks of excellence.

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