Biggest score difference in NBA is 73 points in a game between Memphis and Oklahoma. The old record was 68 points set by Cleveland and Miami in 1991.
Many NBA basketball games result in a close margin of victory because both teams deliver strong performances on the court. However, sometimes on rare occasions, fans get to witness a blowout match where one team completely dominates the opponent.
Big wins in NBA are common, but it is unusual to witness a game like when the Golden State Warriors beat the Portland Trail Blazers by a whopping 56 points gap on April 9, 2023.
Even though it was the biggest NBA blowout 2023, it does not even make it into the top 10 of the largest score differences in NBA history.
Here is a list of the largest winning leads in the league's history.
10. Denver Nuggets vs New Orleans Hornets - 58 Points
Denver Nuggets and New Orleans Hornets game in 2009 made it into the NBA record margin of victory. Denver won the match by 58 points lead.
On April 27, 2009, the Nuggets produced the biggest win in NBA playoff history as they beat New Orleans by 121-63.
- Denver: 36-25-27-33 = 121
- New Orleans: 15-24-11-13 = 63
Denver completely outplayed the New Orleans Hornets in Game 4 of the 2009 Western Conference First Round. The Nuggets were led by Carmelo Anthony, who scored 26 points and Chauncey Billups who had 17 points.
The 2nd seeded team from the West led the first quarter by 36-15 and did not let the Hornets get back in the game. Denver reached the Conference Finals but suffered a 4-2 series defeat to the champion Lakers.
9. Milwaukee Bucks vs Detroit Pistons - 59 Points
Milwaukee Bucks crushed the Detroit Pistons on 26 December 1978 with a score of 143 to 84. The Bucks registered a 59 points margin of victory.
Milwaukee won against Detroit with a big score of 143-84. In the game, Ernie Grunfeld scored 27 points, Junior Bridgeman got 24 points, and Kevin Restani earned 22 points for the Bucks.
- Detroit: 20-20-20-24 = 84 points
- Milwaukee: 33-45-33-32 = 143 points
The Bucks finished fourth in the Midwest Division with 38 wins and 44 defeats. Similarly, the Pistons faced a challenging season as well, ending up in fourth place within the Central Division with a record of 30-52. Unfortunately, neither team was able to secure a coveted playoff berth.
8. Golden State Warriors vs Indiana Pacers - 59 Points
Indiana Pacers largest NBA loss ever came in March 1997 against the Golden State Warriors. The Warriors humiliated Pacers securing a 59 point differential win.
- Golden State: 33-35-35-47 = 150
- Indiana: 21-22-28-20 = 91
The Warriors outscored The Pacers in every quarter as the final score read 150-91. Billy Knight was the scoring leader for Indiana that game with 22 points.
Meanwhile, Rick Barry led the Warriors' frontline scoring 28 points, assisting 7 and 3 rebounds. Substitute Charles Dudley hit 18 points along with 10 assists and Sonny Parker managed 20 points.
Unfortunately, both teams did not qualify for the playoffs as they were stranded in the 10th place of the Eastern and Western Conference ranking. Golden State went 30-52 while the Pacers finished comparatively better with 39 wins.
7. Charlotte Hornets vs Memphis Grizzlies - 61 Points
Charlotte Hornets convincingly defeated the Memphis Grizzlies with a score of 140 to 79 on 22 March 2018.
- Charlotte: 37-38-37-28 = 140
- Memphis: 14-28-15-22 = 79
With that, the Hornets became the only seven franchises to have registered a huge marginal win of 60+ points in the NBA. Efficiency and fierce attack were the key factors in Charlotte's dominant triumph over the Grizzlies.
The four times NBA All-Star Kemba Walker of the Hornets had a Man of the Match performance, scoring 46 points with 3 rebounds and 4 assists to his name. Similarly, Marvin Williams and Dwayne Bacon had 15 points each for the winning side.
The Hornets finished 3rd in the Southeast division while the Grizzlies were at the bottom of the Southwest division with a 22-60 record.
6. Golden State Warriors vs Sacramento Kings - 62 Points
Golden State Warriors recorded their highest margin of victory NBA on 2nd November 1991. They thrashed the Sacramento Kings by 153 to 91.
- Sacramento: 18-23-31-19 = 91
- Golden State: 48-40-31-34 = 153
At the Paycom Center, the Warriors, led by head coach Don Nelson achieved one of the lopsided victories in NBA history.
The Golden State team dominated the first two quarters. But Sacramento fought back in the 3rd quarter and the score was even at 31-31. However, the Warriors easily took control in the fourth quarter and dashed any hopes of a Kings comeback.
Chris Mullin and Victor Alexander were the key players in the Warriors' dominating performance. Sarunas Marciulionis, a shooting guard for Golden State also had a good game as he scored 27 points.
5. Syracuse Nationals vs New York Knicks - 62 Points
Syracuse Nationals 62-point victory over the New York Knicks in 1960 was the largest differential win at that time.
The Nationals crushed the Knicks in a regular season game on Christmas Day, December 25, 1960, with a scoreline of 162-100.
- New York: 27-24-17-32 = 100
- Syracuse: 39-39-42-42 = 162
Knicks fans did not have a happy Christmas after that heavy loss. Even though the Knicks had two players Willie Naulls and Jim Palmer who scored 21 points each, they could not stop the Nationals' offense.
Dave Gambee and Hal Greer both scored 24 points, and two more players on the Syracuse team contributed 18 points each.
4. Los Angeles Lakers vs Golden State Warriors - 63 Points
Los Angeles Lakers had their biggest NBA win on 19 March 1972 against the Golden State Warriors. Lakers defeated the Warriors by 63 points.
- Golden State: 24-32-21-22 = 99
- Los Angeles: 42-29-49-42 = 162
Filled by a talented roster of legendary players like Wilt Chamberlain, Jerry West and Pat Riley, the Lakers made a good start in the game. They led the first quarter by 42-24. But Golden State miraculously outscored the Lakers 32-29 during the second quarter.
Lakers topped the Pacific Division with an impressive 69 wins while the Golden State Warriors finished the campaign in second place in the Pacific Division with 51-31. Both teams qualified for the playoffs and Los Angeles went on to win the championship that season.
3. Indiana Pacers vs Portland Trail Blazers - 65 Points
Indiana Pacers outscored the Portland Trail Blazers by 65 points on 27 February 1998. Pacers won the game by 124 to 59 score.
- Portland: 14-15-14-16 = 59
- Indiana: 33-26-25-40 = 124
The Pacers' formidable defense held Portland to a meager total of 59 points, with the Trail Blazers failing to reach the 20-point mark in any quarter.
Mark Jackson was the top scorer in the game with 18 points. Jackson also contributed 7 assists and 5 rebounds for Indiana. They played in the Conference Finals that year after a scintillating display in the regular season, finishing second in the Central Division.
On the other hand, the Trail Blazers also reached the playoffs but lost to the Lakers in Round 1.
2. Cleveland Cavaliers vs Miami Heat - 68 Points
Cleveland Cavaliers foiled Miami Heat in the biggest blowout battle of 1991. The Cavaliers recorded a dominating 148-80 win over Miami.
- Miami: 24-29-14-13 = 80
- Cleveland: 34-39-33-42 = 148
Though Miami's first two quarters ended in a respectable defeat, they were not ready for what came after.
Following their halftime lead of 73-53, Cleveland overpowered Miami in the second half, with a remarkable 75-27 scoring advantage, including an astonishing 42-13 surge in the fourth quarter.
With that, the Cavaliers made history with the biggest win by score margin in NBA history outshining the previous record of 63 points.n
Mark Price and John Battle led the scoring line for Cleveland with 18 points each followed by Hot Rod Williams who had 16 points.
1. Memphis Grizzlies vs Oklahoma City Thunder - 73 Points
Memphis Grizzlies set the record for the biggest point differential in NBA history. The remarkable 73-point win over Oklahoma City in December 2021 was historic.
The Grizzlies achieved a monumental victory with a record-breaking margin in the NBA, scoring an impressive 152 points against the Thunder's 79.
- Oklahoma City: 16-20-26-17 = 79
- Memphis: 31-41-41-39 = 152
The game was one-sided right from the start. Memphis prevailed in the 1st quarter by 31-16 and they never looked back. They scored 41 points in 2nd and 3rd and finished off the match with 39 points in the last quarter.
Nine players on the Grizzlies team scored double figures. Jaren Jackson Jr had the most points, scoring 27. They finished ninth on the Western Conference table and booked a playoff spot while the Thunder were placed at 14th.