What are the highest-scoring games in NBA playoff history?
What are the highest-scoring games in NBA playoff history? originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
Defense is said to win championships, but sometimes offensive explosions can offset that – at least for one game.
Throughout the history of the NBA playoffs, some games have seen both teams catch fire and put up mesmerizing shotmaking performances.
As Game 1 between the Los Angeles Lakers and Denver Nuggets illustrated in the 2023 Western Conference Finals, the toughest buckets can see the game hit a 132-126 scoreline, with the latter triumphing on home soil.
But the 258 combined points on display from that affair actually doesn’t come close to the highest-scoring games in NBA postseason history. Let’s look back at the contests that bloated the scoreboard.
What are the highest-scoring NBA playoff games in history?
The highest-scoring game in NBA playoff history dates back to 1992, when the Phoenix Suns played host to the Portland Trail Blazers. The game needed two overtimes to decide a winner, thus resulting in Portland triumph over Phoenix 153-151 – a combined 304 points.
Along with that showing, here’s a list of the top 10:
1. 304: Portland Trail Blazers 153, Phoenix Suns 151 (2OT) on May 11, 1992
T-2. 285: Boston Celtics 157, New York Knicks 128 on April 25, 1990
T-2. 285: San Antonio Spurs 152, Denver Nuggets 133 on April 26, 1983
4. 280: Dallas Mavericks 151, Seattle Sonics 129 on April 23, 1987
5. 279: San Francisco Warriors 143, St. Louis Hawks 136 on April 1, 1967
T-6. 278: Dallas Mavericks 141, Sacramento Kings 137 on May 10, 2003
T-6. 278: St. Louis Hawks 143, Minneapolis Lakers 135 on March 25, 1957
T-8. 277: Portland Trail Blazers 140, Denver Nuggets 137 on May 3, 2019
T-8. 277: Los Angeles Lakers 147, Phoenix Suns 130 on April 29, 1985
T-10. 276: Chicago Bulls 142, Brooklyn Nets 134 on April 17, 2013
T-10. 276: Milwaukee Bucks 156, Philadelphia 76ers 120 on May 30, 1970
T-10. 276: Philadelphia 76ers 141, San Francisco Warriors 135 on April 14, 1967
Which team scored the most points in an NBA playoff game?
Despite combining for the highest-scoring game, neither Portland nor Phoenix scored the most in a game. The record belongs to the Boston Celtics, who scored 157 points against the New York Knicks on April 28, 1990 in the first round.
Which player scored the most points in an NBA playoff game?
On April 20, 1986, Michael Jordan dropped 63 points in the Chicago Bulls’ 135-131 loss to the Boston Celtics in double overtime of their first-round series.