Individual players to score the most points in a single NBA game 

Only three active players Devin Booker, Donovan Mitchell, and Damian Lillard have even reached 70 points in a game.

wilt-chamberlain in a file photo (Image credits: Twitter)
By Niranjan Shivalkar | Mar 4, 2023 | 7 Min Read follow icon Follow Us

They put up shows that leave you speechless. You are aware of the ones we are referring to. the ones in which the shooter is unstoppable and the big man is unstoppable. These are the games where an NBA player’s point total continues rising, making you wonder how many points he will end up with. It is appropriate at this point to take stock of the record books and consider the greatest individual scoring displays in history. The NBA players who have scored the most points in a game are listed below.

At 100 points, Wilt Chamberlain owns the NBA record for most points ever scored in a game. With 81 points, Kobe Bryant is in second place. The only other players in NBA history to score 70 points in a game were Chamberlain and Bryant. They were followed by David Thompson (73), Elgin Baylor (71), David Robinson (71), Donovan Mitchell (71), Damian Lillard (71), and Devin Booker (71). (70). The only NBA player to have several games with 70 points is Chamberlain. In his career, he played in six such games.

The only person to come close to Chamberlain’s record in the six decades thereafter is Lakers legend Kobe Bryant, who scored 81 points on January 22, 2006. Only three active players—Devin Booker of Phoenix, Donovan Mitchell of Cleveland, and Damian Lillard of Portland—have even reached 70 points in a game. 

7. Wilt Chamberlain and Devin Booker (70)

Wilt Chamberlain in a file photo (Image credits: Twitter)

One player scoring at least 70 points in a single game has only happened 12 times in NBA history. The person’s real name was Wilt Chamberlain. Our countdown is continued by the two-time NBA champion with a contest between his San Francisco Warriors and the Syracuse Nationals on March 10, 1963. 

Devin Booker a file photo (Image credits: Twitter)

11 years after Kobe Bryant joined this list of NBA games with the most points ever scored, Devin Booker became the third player to reach 70 points on March 24, 2017. Devin Booker, a guard for the Phoenix Suns, scored 70 points against the Boston Celtics in a losing effort for the Suns, according to ESPN. He ended with eight rebounds and six assists while shooting 21 of 40 from the field. Booker, a three-time All-Star, is still playing with the Phoenix Suns.

6. Elgin Baylor, David Robinson, Donovan Mitchell and Damian Lillard (71)

Elgin Baylor a file photo (Image credits: Twitter)

In 1960, Elgin Baylor scored the most points of his career, helping the Lakers defeat the Knicks 123-108. The 1959 Rookie of the Year made 28 field goals and 15 of 19 free throw attempts on this November night. At the time, Baylor’s effort accounted for the greatest point total in a single game. In the ensuing years, Chamberlain, however, broke this record.  

David Robinson a file photo (Image credits: Twitter)

David Robinson of the San Antonio Spurs edged Shaquille O’Neal for the 1994 scoring crown with a 71-point explosion in the regular-season finale, a 112-97 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers (26-of-41 from the field, 18-of-25 from the line). Shaq averaged 29.3 points per game, while Robinson finished with 29.8. Nevertheless, Robinson’s final several goals came only after San Antonio purposefully fouled with a 20-plus point advantage down the stretch.

The Modern Era

Donovan Mitchell a file photo (Image credits: Twitter)

Even though it may seem impossible for anyone other than LeBron James to hold the single-game franchise record for the Cleveland Cavaliers, Donovan Mitchell did so with a 71-point performance against the Chicago Bulls on January 2, 2023. Even though the Cavaliers’ 145-134 victory over the Bulls required overtime, Mitchell was outstanding all the way through. The talented guard made 20 of his 25 attempts at the free throw line, hit seven triples, shot 22 of 34 from the field, and still had time to dish out 11 assists. As of right now, he is the only player in Association history to have a 70-point, 10-assist performance.

Damian Lillard a file photo (Image credits: Twitter)

Damian Lillard scored 71 points against the Houston Rockets as Portland Trail Blazers beat the Rockets 131-114 on February 26, 2023. Lillard became the seventh player in NBA history to reach that mark in a single game. The display is the most recent in a streak of standout efforts from the Blazers guard. In his previous 18 games, he had averaged 37.6 points going into the contest on Sunday. That sum has since increased. Lillard started the run with 50 points in a loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers, and he hit 60 points in a victory against the Utah Jazz in late January. He surpassed his previous career high of 71 points while leading the Blazers to an important victory over the Rockets.

5. Wilt Chamberlain (72)

Wilt Chamberlain in a file photo (Image credits: Twitter)

Wilt was extremely efficient against the New York Knicks on November 16th, 1962, shooting 29-43 from the field with a field-goal percentage of 67.4 and grabbing 14 rebounds. Chamberlain alone made 29 shots out of the team’s total of 22. He went 15-19 from the charity stripe. Though the Knicks trailed by 7 at halftime, the Warriors showed up stronger in the third and fourth quarters to extend their lead. As an outcome, the Warriors outscored the Knicks by 16 points.

4. Wilt Chamberlain (x2) and David Thompson (73)

Wilt Chamberlain in a file photo (Image credits: Twitter)

When the San Francisco Warriors traveled to New York to play the Knicks, they were on a two-game losing streak. New York was 3-12 after a poor start to the year. Wilt once again shone with a spectacular effort, scoring 73 points in a victory by 16 points. This time, the Warriors’ San Francisco incarnation humiliated the defenseless Knicks on November 16, 1962. Score in the end: 127–111. Wilt Chamberlain, the 1960 Rookie of the Year, averaged a drab 44.8 points a game in the 1962–1963 campaign, which was noticeably lower than his 50+ average the previous year. Wilt’s blazing performance was met with no resistance from the Packers. The two-time NBA champion attempted 25 free throws, making 15 of them, for a percentage of 15 percent. The Warriors improved to 26-19 with their victory on January 13, 1962.

David Thompson a file photo (Image credits: Twitter)

In the final game of the 1977–78 season, David Thompson of the Nuggets scored 73 points, but it wasn’t enough. On April 9, 1978 Denver lost against the Pistons’ evenly distributed offensive effort by a score of 139-137. In Detroit, at least 19 points were scored by five different players. During his career night, the four-time All-Star made 28 field goals and was 17 of 20 from the charity stripe.

3. Wilt Chamberlain (78)

Wilt Chamberlain in a file photo (Image credits: Twitter)

On December 8, 1961 the Los Angeles Lakers traveled to Philadelphia to play the Warriors, who were trying to rebound from losing their last game at home to the St. Louis Hawks. While Wilt Chamberlain scored a game-high 78 points, the Lakers defeated the Warriors in a close contest. Wilt played all 63 minutes in this triple-overtime thriller and had a field goal percentage of 50.0 on 31-62 shots from the field. Together with an assist, he also grabbed 43 boards. Chamberlain went to the free-throw line 31 times, making 16 of them. Envisage what a delight it was for spectators to witness that game with Chamberlain scoring 78 points and Baylor scoring only 63.

2. Kobe Bryant (81)

Kobe Bryant in a file photo (Image credits: Twitter)

At more than 35 points per game in the NBA in 2005–2006, the late Kobe Bryant was the league’s top scorer. Yet on January 22 2006, when playing the Toronto Raptors, the five-time NBA champion reached a totally another and otherworldly zone. Bryant scored 55 points after the break to help the Lakers overcome a second-half deficit of 18 points to win 122-104. Kobe finished with 81 points on 28 of his 46 attempts. He also made 18 of 20 free throw attempts. A month ago, Bryant made history by outscoring the Mavericks by 62 points in just three quarters. Despite having a sizable advantage, he chose to sit out the game’s last frame. Los Angeles needed the points against Toronto, and Bryant delivered.

1. Wilt Chamberlain (100)

Wilt Chamberlain in a file photo (Image credits: Twitter)

The Philadelphia Warriors entered this match with a record of 45-29 after defeating the Chicago Packers by a score of 9. In that game, Wilt scored 61 points and pulled down 28 rebounds. The next evening, Wilt accomplished something that had never been done before. He scored 100 points in a single scoring burst on 36 of 63 shots for a 57.1 field goal percentage. Wilt also had two assists and 25 rebounds. It is extremely improbable that one of basketball’s most esteemed records will be broken. 

Chamberlain completed the entire game’s 48 minutes while picking up two personal fouls. He made an absurd 32 free throw attempts and made 28 of them. The four-time NBA MVP finished the game with 31 points and 12-21 field goal attempts. Because of Wilt’s valor, the Warriors prevailed 169–147 in the contest.

The points table

PlayerPointsTeamOpponentFinal ScoreDate
Wilt Chamberlain100Philadelphia WarriorsNew York Knicks169–147March 2, 1962
Kobe Bryant81Los Angeles LakersToronto Raptors122–104January 22, 2006
Wilt Chamberlain78Philadelphia WarriorsLos Angeles Lakers147–151December 8, 1961
Wilt Chamberlain*73Philadelphia WarriorsChicago Packers135–117January 13, 1962
Wilt Chamberlain*73San Francisco WarriorsNew York Knicks127–111November 16, 1962
David Thompson*73Denver NuggetsDetroit Pistons137–139April 9, 1978
Wilt Chamberlain*72San Francisco WarriorsLos Angeles Lakers115–127November 3, 1962
Elgin Baylor*71Los Angeles LakersNew York Knicks123–108November 15, 1960
David Robinson*71San Antonio SpursLos Angeles Clippers112–97April 24, 1994
Donovan Mitchell^71Cleveland CavaliersChicago Bulls145–134January 2, 2023
Damian Lillard^71Portland Trail BlazersHouston Rockets131–114February 26, 2023
Wilt Chamberlain*70San Francisco WarriorsSyracuse Nationals148–163March 10, 1963
Devin Booker^70Phoenix SunsBoston Celtics120–130March 24, 2017