US basketball

LOOKBACK: NBA stars who scored 70 or more 

Rob Andrew Dongiapon

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LOOKBACK: NBA stars who scored 70 or more 

HISTORY. Reigning NBA MVP Joel Embiid becomes just the ninth player to drop 70 points.

NBA

After Joel Embiid’s historic 70-point explosion, here’s a look at the eight other players who unleashed 70 points or more in a single NBA game

MANILA, Philippines – When Joel Embiid’s 70-point outburst coincided with the anniversary of another legend’s scoring feat, many basketball fans reminisced on the other superb shooting performances in the 78 seasons of the NBA.

Embiid became just the ninth player in league history to pull off the feat, towing the Philadelphia 76ers past the San Antonio Spurs, 133-123, on January 23, 2024 – the 18th anniversary of Kobe Bryant’s 81-point explosion. 

The reigning MVP also registered just the 14th 70-point game in league history, with the incomparable Wilt Chamberlain doing it six times, according to NBA records.

LOOKBACK: NBA stars who scored 70 or more 

Here are the other eight players who scored 70 or more in an NBA game:

Wilt Chamberlain (78, 73, 100, 72, 73, 70)

Wilt Chamberlain holds more scoring records than any other basketball player, with the most famous of all happening on March 2, 1962 when he he dropped a staggering 100 points.  

Then playing with the Philadelphia Warriors, Chamberlain notched the seemingly unbreakable feat by shooting 36-for-63 from the field, and 28-for-32 from the free throw line. 

Earlier that season, Chamberlain scored 78 points (31-for-62 FGs) in a triple-overtime loss against the Los Angeles Lakers on December 8, 1961. He followed it up with a 73-point performance (29-for-48 FGs) in a win versus the Chicago Packers on January 13, 1962. 

LOOKBACK: NBA stars who scored 70 or more 

Chamberlain averaged an all-time high 50.4 points per game in the 1961-1962 season. 

He replicated the feat twice in the following season starting in a November 3, 1962 showcase where he tallied 72 points (29-for-48 FGs) in a loss to the Lakers. Two weeks later, he dropped 73 points (29-for-43 FGs) in Philly’s win versus the New York Knicks. 

Chamberlain last reached the mark on March 10, 1963 in a 148-163 loss against the Syracuse Nationals, scoring 70 points. 

Elgin Baylor (71)

Before Wilt ran roughshod on the scoring records, Elgin Baylor set the bar for 70-point games with the LA Lakers. 

Baylor erupted for 71 points on November 15, 1960 as the Lakers dispatched the Knicks. Baylor shot 28-for-48 from the field, and 15-for-19 at the charity stripe. 

In the process, Baylor became the first ever player to surpass the 70-point mark in NBA history. 

LOOKBACK: NBA stars who scored 70 or more 
David Thompson (73)

Before Nikola Jokic ruled Denver, Nuggets legend David Thompson was overwhelming opponents with his scoring finesse. 

Thompson reached his scoring peak on April 9, 1978 when he delivered 73 points in a closely contested 137-139 loss against the Detroit Pistons. 

Thompson shot 28-for-38 from the field on his way to being the most efficient 70-point game in NBA history. He also knocked down 17 of his 20 free throw in the game. 

LOOKBACK: NBA stars who scored 70 or more 
David Robinson (71)

Nicknamed “The Admiral,” David Robinson has often been overlooked among his contemporaries. Yet, he holds a unique distinction among his peers — being the only player to score 70 or more points in the 1990s. 

Robinson did so on April 24, 1994, the final game day of the regular season, scoring 71 points in the San Antonio Spurs’ blowout win versus the Los Angeles Clippers. 

It was a performance of a lifetime for Robinson as he snatched the end-of-season scoring title from Shaquille O’Neal, who earlier that day scored 32 points.  

Robinson made 26 of his 41 shots while shooting 18-for-25 from the free throw line.

LOOKBACK: NBA stars who scored 70 or more 
Kobe Bryant (81)

Kobe Bryant notched 81 points on January 23, 2006 in what has been one of the most told tale in recent basketball lore.

It was the second-highest scoring tally of any player after Chamberlain’s 100, becoming one of the biggest signature games of Bryant’s career. 

Bryant shot 28-for-46 from the field and was 18-for-20 in his charities to beat the Toronto Raptors, 122-104.

Bryant’s 2006 Lakers run saw him average 35.4 points per game, the 10th highest scoring average in a season ever. 

LOOKBACK: NBA stars who scored 70 or more 
Devin Booker (70)

Still a young promising prospect at the time, Phoenix Suns’ Devin Booker put his scoring abilities on full display on March 24, 2017 in Boston. 

Booker posted 70 points, but lost to the Celtics, 120-130. Booker took advantage of the foul-happy Celtics, nailing 24 of his 26 free throws in the game alongside 21 made shots off 40 attempts. 

The Suns had since built a competitive team around Booker, even reaching the NBA Finals in 2021. 

LOOKBACK: NBA stars who scored 70 or more 
Donovan Mitchell (71)

Donovan Mitchell is built on the archetype as Booker and Bryant — a flashy, unrelenting scoring machine. 

On January 2, 2023, Mitchell joined the 70-point club after he led the Cleveland Cavaliers in an overtime thriller against the Chicago Bulls, 145-134. 

Only months after being traded to the Cavs, Mitchell set a franchise-record 71 points on 22-for-34 shooting from the field and 20-for-25 from the free throw line. 

Mitchell’s performance was the highest single-game tally in 17 years. 

LOOKBACK: NBA stars who scored 70 or more 
Damian Lillard (71)

Spitfire guard Damian Lillard replicated Mitchell’s mark a month later, tallying 71 points to put the Portland Trail Blazers over the Houston Rockets, 131-114, on February 26, 2023. 

Lillard was perfect from the line (14-for-14) and hit 22 of his 38 shots in the then rebuilding Rockets. 

It was one of the final major feats Lillard achieved before leaving Portland for the Milwaukee Bucks the following season. 

LOOKBACK: NBA stars who scored 70 or more 

– Rappler.com

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