Daily Nugget: Highest scoring NBA game ever

by Alex Labidou
Nuggets.com Staff Writer

It was a tough loss for Denver, but one that would set a record that still stands 36 years later. 

On Dec. 13, 1983, the Nuggets and Pistons played in a three-overtime thriller that would end with Detroit edging Denver 186-184 (!). The combined total of 370 points would set the all-time high for points scored in a game a feat that still hasn’t been eclipsed to this day. 

It was a contest that typified the Doug Moe era in Denver, especially in games played in the old McNichols Sports Arena. Tons of scoring, some resemblance of defense and Alex English going off. English had 47 points, Kiki Vandeweghe had 51 and a then-young emerging superstar Isiah Thomas had a career-high 47 points for the Pistons. Overall, there were nine players to score at least 15 points in the game. 

Some other interesting stats include: 

1.       There were two made three-pointers in the game. Only four were even attempted
2.       The teams combined for 117 free-throw attempts (84 were made) 
3.       There were 93 total assists
4.       A whopping 251 field goals were attempted. Detroit made 74 (the team shot 54.4 percent) while Denver made 68 (it shot 59.1 percent). The 2019-20 Denver Nuggets currently average 40.4 made field goals per game. 

On March 1, 2019, the Bulls and Hawks put on a show that was the closest a 21st-century game has come to matching what the Pistons and Nuggets did in 1983. The Bulls would beat the Hawks 168-161 in Atlanta, combining for 316 points. It is the highest-scoring game in the 21st century. 

To watch the highlights of the classic game between the Pistons and Nuggets, watch the video below: 


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