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The Elite Club: NBA Players Who've Scored 70 or More

The National Basketball Association (NBA) has been graced by some of the most prodigious scorers ever seen. These are players who have pushed the boundaries of what's possible on the basketball court, etching their names in the annals of history with their awe-inspiring offensive prowess.

A rare few have accomplished the extraordinary feat - scoring 70 or more points in a single game. In January 2024, the prestigious "70-point club" welcomed its 9th illustrious member: Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers.

A Journey Through the High-Scoring Performances of the NBA's 70-Point Club

The journey begins with Elgin Baylor, who first unlocked the door to the 70-point club in the 1960-61 season. His 71-point game was a testament to his incredible scoring ability, setting the stage for future high-scoring performances. Wilt Chamberlain, a name synonymous with scoring records, had six games scoring over 70 points, with his remarkable 100-point game still standing as the pinnacle of individual scoring performances.

David Thompson's 73-point game in the 1977-78 season added him to the club and showcased his exceptional scoring prowess. The 80s and 90s saw no new members, but then Kobe Bryant stormed onto the scene in 2006 with a jaw-dropping 81-point game, redefining what was possible in the modern era.

In recent years, Devin Booker's 70-point game in 2017 made him the youngest player to join the club, a testament to his extraordinary talent. And just recently, Joel Embiid, with his 70-point game, reminded us that this exclusive club is still open to those who dare to dream big and have the odds to win NBA glory. These performances are a testament to the incredible talent and competitiveness that define the NBA.

A Historical Overview of Every 70-point Performance in NBA History

Here is a look at every 70-point performance in the history of the NBA:

  • Elgin Baylor, Los Angeles Lakers: Baylor was the first to break the 70-point barrier, scoring 71 points against the New York Knicks on November 15, 1960.
  • Wilt Chamberlain, San Francisco Warriors: Chamberlain surpassed the 70-point mark an astonishing six times, including an unprecedented 100-point game against the New York Knicks on March 2, 1962.
  • David Thompson, Denver Nuggets: Thompson scored a remarkable 73 points against the Detroit Pistons on April 9, 1978.
  • David Robinson, San Antonio Spurs: Robinson's 71-point game against the Los Angeles Clippers on April 24, 1994, ensured his place in the 70-point club.
  • Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers: Bryant scored an impressive 81 points against the Toronto Raptors on January 22, 2006, the second-highest single-game total in NBA history.
  • Devin Booker, Phoenix Suns: Booker became the youngest player to join the club with a 70-point game against the Boston Celtics on March 24, 2017.
  • Donovan Mitchell, Cleveland Cavaliers: Mitchell scored 71 points in an overtime victory against the Chicago Bulls on January 2, 2023.
  • Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers: Lillard joined the 70-point club with a 71-point game against the Houston Rockets on February 26, 2023.
  • Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers: Embiid scored 70 points against the San Antonio Spurs on January 22, 2024, becoming the latest player to join this exclusive club.

    These players, with their exceptional scoring prowess, have set a high standard for the generations to come, showcasing the epitome of offensive mastery in the game of basketball.

    Close Calls: Players Who Just Missed Out on the 70-Point Club

    Michael Jordan is synonymous with incredible performances, scoring 30.1 points per game during his career and 33.4 during the playoffs. He achieved a 69-point game on March 28, 1990, against the Cleveland Cavaliers. He’s most remembered for his 63-point performance against the Boston Celtics in the 1986 playoffs, the game that put the league on notice that greatness had arrived.

    Incredibly, Chamberlain also had nine games where he scored between 65 and 68 points in a game. Pete Maravich scored 68 points in a 1977contest for the New Orleans Jazz. Among active players, Giannis Antetokoumpo scored 64 points this past December against the Indiana Pacers. Karl-Anthony Towns scored 62 for the Timberwolves in January. Steph Curry and Lebron James’ highest point totals in a game were 62 and 61 points, respectively.


    In summary, the 70-point club in the NBA represents a remarkable accomplishment in basketball. The extraordinary talent and tenacity of these players have etched their names in the annals of history, challenging future generations to strive for the same heights. They have not only redefined the boundaries of scoring prowess, but they've also illuminated the beauty of the sport in its highest form.

    As the game continues to evolve, we can expect to witness more awe-inspiring performances and perhaps, more additions to this prestigious 70-point club.