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10 Highest Scoring NBA Games Ever

SENIOR ANALYST
Top 5 / Top 10
Timeless

The greatest scoring performance by an NBA Player
The greatest scoring performance by an NBA Player

The introduction of the shot clock is up there alongside the introduction of the 3-point line among the most impactful rule changes in NBA history. Without the shot clock, the league often had to endure drab dull, boring games with low scores such as 19-18, which is why the 1954 rule change served to open up the game.

However, this rule change prompted a lot of run-and-gun offenses, and teams from the late 50s and the 60s played at an average pace that far outstrips the pace at which the fastest team plays today. This consequently led to an opening of the scoring floodgates, as the likes of Wilt Chamberlain and Elgin Baylor put on scoring exhibitions alongside teams that force-fed the ball to their star offensive players early on in the shot clock, to either manufacture a shot for themselves, or to dish out to open teammates.

Here's a countdown of the top 10 highest scoring games in the history of the NBA:

#10 Boston Celtics 173-139 Minneapolis Lakers, February 27 1959

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Image courtesy of insidehoops.com

The Boston Celtics were on the verge of putting together the greatest dynastic run in NBA history at this point. They faced archrivals Minneapolis Lakers in the Finals in 1958, and lost a really close Finals series 4-3 to them. In the Lakers' final season in the city of Minneapolis, they were stuttering during their regular season campaign, eventually finishing with a 33-39 record - although they made it back to the Finals once again.

The game back then was played at an ultra-frantic pace, which explains how the Celtics were able to rack up 173 points in a blowout win, despite playing in second gear for much of the game. The 3 top scorers in this game were Celtics Tommy Heinsohn with 43 points, Bob Cousy with 31 and Bill Sharman with 29, while the Lakers' top scorer was Elgin Baylor with 28.

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