Dive into a world of David and Goliath battles as we analyze five monumental games that saw the biggest blowouts in NBA history. From dominant performances to sobering losses, let’s explore what shaped these epic moments on the court.
NBA is a league that has been around since 1946, and over the years, there have been some amazing games. Yet, not all games are memorable for their close scores or nail-biting finishes. Some games are remembered because of the sheer dominance of one team over the other. These games, also known as “blowouts,” are the focus of this article. Here, we’ll explore the five biggest blowouts in NBA history and analyze the factors that led to these games’ lopsided scores.
5. Syracuse Nationals 162-100 New York Knicks & Golden State Warriors 153-91 Sacramento Kings (62 Point Margin)
A 62-point winning margin has only occurred twice in NBA history, and both times it was a lopsided victory that left fans in awe. The first time this happened was on Christmas Day in 1960. The now-defunct Syracuse Nationals thrashed the New York Knicks 162-100. It was a game that few could have predicted, with the Nationals dominating from start to finish.
The second time this feat happened was over three decades later, on November 2, 1991. The Golden State Warriors were the victors. They emulated the Nationals by defeating the Sacramento Kings 153-91 at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Arena. The Warriors’ victory was equally impressive, as they outplayed the Kings in every aspect of the game. It’s unlikely we’ll see a 62-point winning margin again soon, but these two games will always be remembered as two of the most dominant performances in the history of the NBA.
4. Los Angeles Lakers 162 – 99 Golden State Warriors (63 Point Margin)
On March 19, 1972, a significant event took place in the history of the NBA. It was a game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Golden State Warriors. The Lakers emerged victorious by an astonishing 63-point margin. This historic moment stood as the biggest blowout in the NBA for almost two decades.
The game was a complete domination by the Lakers, with the team scoring over 40 points in three of the quarters. It was an impressive team effort, with eight Lakers players contributing to the scoreboard with double figures in scoring. Gail Goodrich was the star performer of the game, leading the way with 30 points. Happy Hairston also played an instrumental role with 16 points and 20 rebounds. Leroy Ellis scored 16 points and grabbed 15 rebounds, while Wilt Chamberlain had 10 points and 10 rebounds. Jerry West, the legendary Lakers player, had a double-double with 17 points and 13 assists.
3. Indiana Pacers 124 – 59 Portland Trail Blazers (65 Point Margin)
On February 27, 1998, the Indiana Pacers played the Portland Trail Blazers in what would turn out to be a historic game. The Pacers had an impressive victory, winning by a whopping 65 points. Scoring 40 points in the fourth quarter, the Pacers demonstrated their incredible skill. In fact, they shot an impressive 63% from the field, making 9 of their 15 three-pointers.
On the other hand, the Trail Blazers had a rough game. They failed to score over 16 points in any of the four quarters. The Pacers’ defense was so tight that Portland could hardly find a way to score.
Despite the lopsided score, the Pacers had some standout performances. Mark Jackson was the team’s top scorer, putting up 18 points and seven assists. Rik Smits also had a great game, achieving a double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds.
2. Cleveland Cavaliers 148 – 80 Miami Heat (68 Point Margin)
On December 17, 1991, the Cleveland Cavaliers achieved a remarkable victory over the Miami Heat by a whopping 68-point margin. Mark Price and John Battle led the way for the team, scoring 18 points each and showcasing their impressive skills on the court. Price also contributed 11 assists, demonstrating not just his scoring ability but also his ability to create opportunities for his teammates. Danny Ferry also shone in the game, with a double-double of 11 points and 11 rebounds.
The Cavs’ dominance was evident throughout the matchup. In the fourth quarter alone, Cleveland won by an incredible 29 points, further solidifying the victory.
1. Memphis Grizzlies 152 – 79 Oklahoma City Thunder (73 Point Margin)
On December 2, 2021, the Memphis Grizzlies set an NBA record by defeating the Oklahoma City Thunder with a 73-point margin. This victory stands on top of the biggest blowouts in NBA history. The Grizzlies dominated the game from start to finish. Nine players of their players scored in double digits.
Jaren Jackson Jr was the star of the game. ‘Block Panther’ shot an incredible 6-7 from beyond the arc, scoring 27 points in over 20 minutes of play. Santi Aldama also had an impressive performance, finishing with 18 points and 10 rebounds.
Besides that, the Grizzlies also set a franchise record for shooting accuracy, making an incredible 62.5% of their 96 shots.