Earlier this year, Fred VanVleet set the Toronto Raptors’ franchise record for points against the Orlando Magic, which got us thinking about where all the other teams’ single-game NBA scoring records currently stand. Since 2010, 12 different teams saw their scoring records broken or tied including the 11th 70-point game in NBA history.
In addition to VanVleet’s unprecedented Raptors performance — which was also the most ever for an undrafted player — this season has also seen a team’s scoring record tied, as Bradley Beal now holds a portion of the Wizards’ single-game record.
With this in mind, let’s take a look at the most points scored by an individual in a game for each NBA team.
Atlanta Hawks: Bob Pettit, Dominique Wilkins (57 points)
On three separate occasions, a Hawks player scored a franchise-high 57 points in a game. The first came in 1961 when Bob Pettit dropped 57 for the St. Louis Hawks in a 141-138 win against the Detroit Pistons. Pettit also recorded 28 rebounds in the game. The other two franchise record 57-point performances were done by Dominique Wilkins.
His first 57-point game came in the penultimate matchup of the 1985-1986 season when the Hawks faced the New Jersey Nets. This performance helped him become the NBA’s scoring leader for the season. He would once again tie the Hawks’ single-game scoring record in December 1986 against the Chicago Bulls. Wilkins was extremely efficient, shooting 68% from the field helping lead the Hawks to a 123-95 win. He also added nine rebounds, four assists and two steals.
Boston Celtics: Larry Bird (60 points)
On March 3, 1985, McHale scored 56 points in a matchup against the Detroit Pistons. It set a new single-game scoring record for the Celtics. Nine days later, Larry Bird would break that record in a game against the Atlanta Hawks. He scored 60 points on 22-of-36 shooting, leading the Celtics to a 126-115 win over the Hawks. This game was notable for cameras catching Hawks players reacting in amazement to Bird’s performance on the bench.
Brooklyn Nets: Deron Williams (57 points)
Deron Williams’ franchise record 57-point performance came in a game against the Charlotte Bobcats with the Nets taking a 104-101 win. This came during the 2011-2012 lockout season in the Nets’ final season in New Jersey. Williams scored 40 points in the second half, including 22 points in the third quarter and 18 points in the fourth quarter. In the two games prior to his 57-point performance, Williams scored 24 points on just 29% shooting.
Charlotte Hornets: Kemba Walker (60 points)
In the Charlotte Hornets’ franchise history, there have only been two 50-point games, both recorded by Kemba Walker. He first broke the Hornets’ franchise record for points in a game in 2016 when he scored 52 points against the Utah Jazz. He nearly recorded a triple-double in the game, adding nine rebounds and eight assists as the Hornets took a 124-119 win.
Two years later, Kemba broke his own franchise record scoring 60 points against the Philadelphia 76ers in an overtime loss. This included scoring 35 points in the second half going into overtime with 58 points. In the overtime period, Kemba went cold scoring just two points on 1-of-5 shooting.
Chicago Bulls: Michael Jordan (69 points)
Michael Jordan holds the NBA record for the highest career scoring average in league history. He was a 10-time scoring champion in his career, including an NBA record seven straight from the 1986-1987 season to the 1992-1993 campaign. The best scoring output of his career came on March 28, 1990, when he scored 69 points against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Jordan also recorded a career-high 18 rebounds along with six assists and four steals. The Bulls went on to win the game 117-113 win in overtime.
Cleveland Cavaliers: Kyrie Irving/LeBron James (57 points)
Since the 1983-1984 season, there have been 11 Cleveland Cavalier 50-point performances. All 11 of those 50-point performances were done by either Kyrie Irving or LeBron James. That being said, it’s fitting that both men share the Cavaliers single-game scoring record, scoring 57 points in a game.
Kyrie Irving set the mark first doing so on March 12, 2015 in a matchup against the San Antonio Spurs. Irving shot 20-of-32 from the field in the game and a perfect 7-of-7 from three-point range, leading the Cavs to a 128-125 overtime win. He scored 27 points in the fourth quarter and overtime periods, making two three-pointers in each period. LeBron James would accomplish the feat two years later against the Washington Wizards. James added 11 rebounds, seven assists, three steals and two blocks to his totals.
Dallas Mavericks: Dirk Nowitzki (53 points)
It was in the 2004-2005 season that Dirk Nowitzki set a Mavericks franchise single-game scoring record. He scored 53 points in an overtime win against the Houston Rockets. This included scoring 10 points in the overtime period, helping the Mavericks secure the win. In that same game, Houston’s Tracy McGrady scored 48 points in what was arguably the best duel between two All-Star caliber players that season.
Denver Nuggets: David Thompson (73 points)
There have been six players in NBA history that have scored 70 points in a game. Of those players, David Thompson is the only one to do so that played in the ABA. In the final game of the 1977-1978 season, David Thompson went off for 73 points in a game, shooting a super efficient 28-of-38 from the field. However, it was not enough to give the Nuggets the win as they went on to lose 139-137 to the Detroit Pistons.
Detroit Pistons: Jerry Stackhouse (57 points)
Jerry Stackhouse’s 2000-2001 season with the Detroit Pistons saw him set a franchise best for scoring average in a single-season. He averaged 29.8 points per game, leading the NBA in total points scored. During the season, Stackhouse also set the Pistons franchise record for points in a game, scoring 57 points against the Chicago Bulls in the final month of the season. He started the game off hot scoring 24 points in the opening quarter on 8-of-11 shooting. He went on to finish the game strong by scoring 16 points helping the Pistons secure a 110-83 win.
Golden State Warriors: Wilt Chamberlain (100 points)
During the 1961-1962 season, Wilt Chamberlain dominated by averaging 50.4 points and 27.2 rebounds for the year. He recorded 50 points or more in a game 45 times, highlighted by an NBA record 100-point game on March 2, 1962. Wilt Chamberlain’s 100-point game is not only the Golden State Warriors’ franchise record for points scored in a game, but it’s also the NBA record. In addition, he also set records for field goals made in a game and a half as well as points scored in a half.
Houston Rockets: James Harden (61 points twice)
Both of James Harden’s Rockets-record 61-point performances came in the 2018-2019 season. His first took place in January when he scored 61 points against the New York Knicks. He added 15 rebounds, five steals and four assists. Harden scored 36 points in the first half, connecting on four of his five three-point shots in the game.
His second half was a struggle as he shot 6-of-17 from the field and 1-of-11 from three-point range. Although, he was able to score 25 points helping the Rockets escape with a 114-110 win. Two months later, James Harden would replicate his franchise record performance against the San Antonio Spurs. This was a much more efficient performance as he shot 56% from the field and connected on nine of 14 3-pointers. It’ll be interesting to see if Harden becomes the rare player to break individual NBA scoring records with two separate franchises as a member of the Nets.
Indiana Pacers: Reggie Miller (57 points)
Reggie Miller played his entire 18-year career with the Indiana Pacers franchise. This makes him one of only six players in NBA history to play that many seasons with just one team. Miller had a decorated Hall of Fame career with the franchise setting numerous team records including most points in a single game with 57 points.
Reggie Miller’s 57-point performance is actually the lone 50-point game he had in his career. Taking place in November 1992, Miller also added eight assists and five rebounds as the Pacers took a 134-122 win over the Charlotte Hornets. In 2005, Jermaine O’Neal had a chance to break the record in a game against the Milwaukee Bucks. However, O’Neal showed great class opting to sit out the remaining minutes of what was already a blowout for the Pacers allowing Miller’s record to remain intact.
Los Angeles Clippers: Bob McAdoo/Charles Smith (52 points)
The Clippers single-game franchise scoring record has been set on three different occassions. Each of the first two franchise record performances were done by Bob McAdoo. The first came in February of 1974 when McAdoo scored 52 points against the Boston Celtics. McAdoo played all 48 minutes in the game, shooting an efficient 20-of-28 from the field while adding 22 rebounds. His second 52-point performance came against the Seattle Supersonics two years later.
Both of McAdoo’s franchise record performances ended up in losses for the Clippers (then Buffalo Braves). The third and final franchise record 52-point game was done by Charles Smith in December of 1990. This was Smith’s only 50-point game of his career. Unlike McAdoo, Smith was able to lead the Clippers to a win by defeating the Denver Nuggets,137-121.
Los Angeles Lakers: Kobe Bryant (81 points)
This is the second-highest scoring game in NBA history and arguably the greatest performance in the NBA’s modern era. Taking place January 22, 2006 against the Toronto Raptors, Kobe Bryant’s finished with an astonishing 81 points on 28-of-46 shooting while connecting on seven three-pointers.
Bryant actually had a relatively slow start, scoring just 26 points in the first half as the Lakers trailed 63-49. He picked things up when he scored 27 points in the third quarter shooting 11-of-15 from the field, connecting on four three-pointers as the Lakers took a six-point lead going into the fourth quarter. He then scored 28 in the final quarter leading the Lakers to a 122-104 win.
Memphis Grizzlies: Mike Miller (45 points)
The Memphis Grizzlies are the only NBA franchise that has never had a player score 50 points in a game. Their franchise high was set by Mike Miller on February 21, 2007 in a game against the Golden State Warriors. He scored 45 points in the game, shooting 16-of-27 from the field and connecting on nine three-pointers. This included scoring 18 points on 7-of-8 shooting in the second quarter and 12 points in the overtime period. The Grizzlies, however, went on to lose to the Warriors 118-115.
Miami Heat: LeBron James (61 points)
In his four years with the Miami Heat, LeBron James scored 50 points or more twice. One of those two performances saw him set the Heat single-game scoring record. In a March 2014 game against the Charlotte Bobcats (now Hornets), LeBron finished with 61 points on 22-of-33 shooting making eight three-pointers.
After a solid first half in which he scored 24 points on 8-of-13 shooting and 3-of-3 from three-point range, James turned up the pressure in the third quarter. He scored 25 points in the third on 9-of-11 shooting and a perfect 5-of-5 from three-point range. This helped blow the game open for the Heat as they went on to win 124-107.
Milwaukee Bucks: Michael Redd (57 points)
Michael Redd set the Bucks’ scoring record in November 2006 against the Utah Jazz. Redd started off slow scoring 15 points in the first half as the Bucks trailed by 21 points at halftime. He started to pick things up in the third quarter scoring 17 points but the Bucks still trailed by 17 points going into the fourth quarter. There Redd stayed hot, scoring 25 points on 8-of-13 shooting en route to helping the Bucks claw back in the game. However, he was unable to hit the three at the end of the game to complete the comeback as the Bucks lost 113-111.
Minnesota Timberwolves: Karl-Anthony Towns (56 points)
Karl Anthony-Towns is one of only five Minnesota Timberwolves players to ever score 50 points in a game. He broke the T-Wolves’ scoring record in March of 2018, dropping 56 points against the Atlanta Hawks. He scored 26 points in the first half and 30 in the second half, leading Minnesota to a 126-114 win.
New Orleans Pelicans: Anthony Davis (59 points)
Of the four 50-point games in Pelicans franchise history, Anthony Davis has three of them. This includes recording a Pelicans franchise record 59 points in February 2016 against the Detroit Pistons. He shot 70% from the field while also recording 20 rebounds and four assists. Davis was one of only two players to score in double figures in the game leading his team to a narrow 111-106 win.
New York Knicks: Carmelo Anthony (62 points)
In January 2014, Carmelo Anthony not only recorded the only 60-point game of his career, but he also set a New York Knicks franchise record. In a matchup against the Charlotte Bobcats, Anthony scored 62 points en route to leading the Knicks to a 125-96 win. He scored 37 points on 71% shooting in the first half culminated by a half-court shot at the buzzer. He also recorded 13 rebounds in the game.
Oklahoma City Thunder: Fred Brown/Russell Westbrook (58 points)
Fred Brown first set the Oklahoma City Thunder franchise record in March 1974. In a game against the Golden State Warriors, Brown scored 58 points for his one and only 50-point game of his career. He shot 65% from the field, leading the then Seattle Supersonics to a win.
While Fred Brown scored the most points in a single game for the Seattle Supersonics, Russell Westbrook holds that distinction for the Oklahoma City Thunder era. In March 2017, Westbrook scored 58 points against the Portland Trail Blazers including 28 in the first half and 30 in the second half. It was not enough to get the win for the Thunder as the Blazers won 126-121.
Orlando Magic: Tracy McGrady (62 points)
Tracy McGrady is the owner of four of the five 50-point games in Orlando Magic franchise history. His peak came in March 2004 when he scored 62 points against the Washington Wizards. This included scoring 21 points in the second quarter and 24 points in the third quarter. McGrady also recorded 10 rebounds and five assists in the game. On the opposite side, Gilbert Arenas scored 40 points but it wasn’t enough as the Magic won the game 108-99.
Philadelphia 76ers: Wilt Chamberlain (68 points)
In his career, Wilt Chamberlain has scored 60 points in a game 32 times. No other player in NBA history has more than 10. One of Chamberlain’s 60-point games was his franchise record 68-point game for the Philadelphia 76ers. In a December 1967 matchup against the Chicago Bulls, Chamberlain scored 68 points on 30-of-40 shooting in a 143-123 win. He also grabbed 34 rebounds in the game.
Phoenix Suns: Devin Booker (70 points)
The most recent 70-point game the NBA has seen, Devin Booker set the Suns franchise record in a 2017 matchup against the Boston Celtics. This also set the record for the most points scored in a game against the Boston Celtics and the most points they’ve allowed a player to score on their home floor. Prior to this game, Devin Booker had never even scored 40 points in a game. It was not enough to give the Suns the win as they went on to lose 130-120.
Portland Trail Blazers: Damian Lillard (61 points, twice)
In the Portland Trail Blazers’ franchise history, a player has scored 60 points three times. Damian Lillard has all three of those 60 point games. His two 61 point games are the Blazers’ franchise record for points in a game. Both games took place during the 2019-2020 season. His first 61-point performance was in January 2020 in an overtime win against the Golden State Warriors. The second 61-point game came during the NBA’s Restart against the Denver Nuggets. In each game, he set the Blazers franchise record making 11 three-pointers.
Sacramento Kings: Jack Twyman (59 points)
The Sacramento Kings have the longest standing franchise scoring record with Jack Twyman setting the team’s single-game record back in 1960. In January 1960, Twyman scored 59 points for the then Cincinnati Royals against the Minneapolis Lakers. The Royals took the win 122-118.
San Antonio Spurs: David Robinson (71 points)
In the final game of the 1993-1994 season, David Robinson set the Spurs franchise record to lock up the scoring title for the season. He scored 71 points against the Los Angeles Clippers leading the Spurs to a 112-97 win. Robinson was the only player for the Spurs to score in double figures in the game.
Toronto Raptors: Fred VanVleet (54 points)
The most recent game on this list, Fred VanVleet scored 54 points against the Orlando Magic to give the Raptors just their third 50-point game in franchise history. VanVleet was extremely efficient shooting 17-of-23 from the field and 11-of-14 from three. He scored 28 points in the first half with all eight of his field goals coming from three-point range. He then scored 18 points in the third quarter on his way to leading the Raptors to a 123-108 win.
Utah Jazz: Pete Maravich (68 points)
Pete Maravich set the Utah Jazz (then New Orleans Jazz) scoring record on February 26, 1977. In a game against the New York Knicks he scored 68 points leading the Jazz to a 124-107 win. He added six rebounds, six assists, three steals and two blocks to his totals.
Washington Wizards: Gilbert Arenas/Bradley Beal (60 points)
In December 2006, Gilbert Arenas set the Wizards franchise record scoring 60 points against the Los Angeles Lakers. He also recorded eight rebounds and eight assists in his record setting performance. With the game going into overtime, Arenas scored 16 points in the extra period to set an NBA record for most points in overtime that still stands to this day.
Bradley Beal tied the Wizards franchise record in January 2021 when he scored 60 points against the Philadelphia 76ers. Through three quarters, Beal scored 57 points including 25 points in the third quarter. However, he managed just three points in the fourth quarter as the Wizards went on to lose 141-136.