Getting blown out is a demoralizing way to lose. Because there are so many points scored, the margin of victory -- or the loss -- is something fans will remember and discuss depending on how big the numbers are.
On Christmas Day, in 1960, the Syracuse Nationals defeated the New York Knicks 162-100. It's incredible to imagine being on the losing side of such an outlandish score, yet that outcome would only be tied for fifth on a list of the NBA's top five blowouts of all time.
Let's check out the top five NBA blowouts of all time.
No. 5: Nov. 2, 1991: Golden State Warriors beat Sacramento Kings 153-91 (62 points) to rock the NBA
The Golden State Warriors ran over their Pacific Division peers, the Sacramento Kings, in November 1991 to the tune of 62 points. It was a lopsided affair that became commonplace for Warriors opponents ill prepared to run with Golden State.
Even with the trade of Mitch Richmond to Sacramento for the versatile Billy Owens (breaking up the famed Run TMC trio), Golden State ran at will. The Warriors led the NBA in scoring that season with 118.7 points per game, yet also gave up the most points in the league with 114.8.
In the blowout, the Kings, who were led by Jim Les' 17 points, shot 39% from the field while the Warriors shot 57%. Chris Mullin led Golden State with 32 points, seven rebounds, six assists and four steals. Šarūnas Marčiulionis had 27 points, six assists and four steals. Hardaway had seven points and 12 assists. Victor Alexander had 28 points, 16 rebounds and four steals.
The Warriors led 88-41 at halftime.
No. 4: March 19, 1972: LA Lakers blow out the Golden State Warriors 162-99 (63 points)
The talented trio of Gail Goodrich, Jerry West and Wilt Chamberlain were part of one of the NBA's best teams of all time in 1972. Los Angeles won a record 33 consecutive games in 1971-72. The 63-point margin was the largest of all time at that point in the NBA, a mark that stood for 20 years.
Eight Lakers scored in double figures. Goodrich led L.A. with 30 points, and Jim McMillan added 22 points. West had 17 points and 13 assists, while Chamberlain had 10 points, 10 rebounds and six assists. Future Lakers coach Pat Riley had 17 points off the bench. Happy Hairston had a big double-double with 16 points and 20 rebounds.
The Lakers shot 61% for the game, and later won their first ever NBA championship in Los Angeles.
Golden State hit just 34% of its shots. The Warriors were led by Jim Barnett's 15 points and Cazzie Russell's 13. Hall of Fame center Nate Thurmond had 10 points and nine rebounds but shot just 4 of 17 from the field.
No. 3: Feb. 28, 1998: Indiana Pacers beat the Portland Trailblazers 124-59 (65 points)
NBA legend and Indiana Pacers coach Larry Bird's comments said it all: "I don't think we've played defense any better than that." The Portland Trailblazers, who barely surpassed the NBA's all-time low in points, 57, shot just 33% (24 of 72) from the field, and an abysmal 42% (8 of 19) from the foul line.
It was the first time in NBA history that a winning team doubled up the losing squad.
Mark Jackson led seven Pacers in double figures with 18 points. Jalen Rose added 13 points, Rik Smits and Dale Davis 12 each and Reggie Miller 11.
Rasheed Wallace had 14 points to lead Portland, while Walt Williams had 13.
No. 2: Dec. 17, 1991: Cleveland Cavaliers beat Miami Heat 148-80 (68 points)
The 68-point win was the biggest in the NBA at the time. The game got so out of hand that a Danny Ferry 3-pointer made the margin the same as the next game on this list (73 points, played 30 years later) before Miami scored the game's final five points to "close" the final margin 68.
The lead was just 20 points at halftime, at 73-53, before exploding into the final result after a 43-15 fourth quarter.
Miami Heat coach Kevin Loughery pulled his starters in the second quarter, and the reserves played the rest of the way. After the Heat cut the lead to 36-30 in the second quarter, Cleveland essentially went on a 112-45 run.
The Cavaliers were a cohesive unit that day, and they dominated the Heat with no one scoring more than 18 points. Lenny Wilkens' comments postgame fit the bill: "Tonight was incredible." Spoken like a true Hall of Fame coach who was simply proud of his team that night.
No. 1: Dec. 2, 2021: Memphis Grizzlies beat the OKC Thunder 152-73 and set an NBA record (73points)
Jaren Jackson Jr. led all scorers with 27 points in the rout that made not only NBA history, but sports history. He had 6 3-pointers and shot 9 of 11 from the field.
Santi Aldama shot 8 of 16 for 18 points and was plus-52 in the rout. De'Anthony Melton shot 8 of 10 and added 19 along with his plus-46.
The rosters were short for both teams. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Josh Giddey, Theo Maledon, Derrick Favors, Aaron Wiggins and Vit Krejci were inactive for OKC. And Kyle Anderson, Yves Pons, Ziaire Williams, Ja Morant and Sam Merrill were inactive for the Grizzlies.
Nine Memphis players scored in double figures. Oklahoma City was playing the second game of a back-to-back. The Grizzles scored 93 points off the bench and shot 62% to the Thunder's 37%.
Luguentz Dort led OKC with 15 points and was minus-53; Jeremiah Robinson-Earl missed all seven of his shots and amassed a minus-56.
The 73-point win is the greatest points differential in NBA history and tied the Chicago Bears' 73-0 wipeout of the Washington Football Team in the 1940 NFL championship as the largest margin in American professional sports.