Basketball has developed into a high-scoring game with non-stop action at either end of the court. It’s a sport where you can miss something amazing if you take your eyes off it for one second. One game where fans stayed tuned until the very last second was the 1983 meeting between the Detroit Pistons and the Denver Nuggets. It was so exciting because it became the highest-scoring game in NBA history.
Offense vs. offense
The Detroit Pistons and Denver Nuggets had two of the NBA’s best offenses coming into their legendary game against each other on Dec 13, 1983. Denver was hosting Detroit in the game, and no fan would have left the arena early during this contest. Pretty early on, it was clear that offense was the order of the day, with teams doing everything they could to get to the basket.
In fact, this game would look nothing like an NBA contest played today. Both the Pistons and Nuggets attempted just two three-pointers each in a game with 37-0 points scored. It would be almost unheard of to have two NBA teams in the current era to only throw two three-point attempts in a game, with teams averaging around 15 each.
No way to separate them
Not only was there a lot of action inside the arc, but the game itself was evenly matched. Whichever team went ahead, the other found a way to fight back and remain in touching distance. The back-and-forth contest entered overtime, then another overtime, and then a third overtime period to try and finally settle things.
Racking up the points
In the end, the game was settled by just two points. The Detroit Pistons scored 186 points, while the Nuggets succumbed to a loss in their home arena with 184 points. There was only one real winner after this contest, however, and that was basketball fans who got to watch an instant classic. It was a draining experience just watching this triple-overtime contest, and we can only imagine how tough it was on the players.
It’s not a huge surprise that some of the players who played in this high-scoring game put up some amazing personal numbers. Isiah Thomas led the way for the Pistons after scoring 47 points and collecting 17 assists. He was backed up by his teammate John Long, who scored 41 points, eight assists, and managed six rebounds.
In the other locker room, Kiki Vandeweghe will have been disappointed to be on the losing team after scoring a game-high 51 points. Vandeweghe’s teammate Alex English also had a game to remember, scoring 47 points and hitting 12 rebounds. It must have been tough for anyone on the Nuggets team to walk off that court a loser after putting so much effort into trying to outscore the Pistons.
Although the NBA and other sporting events have been put on hold for the foreseeable future due to the COVID-19 outbreak, there are a ton of classic basketball games to rewatch. If you’re looking for a game with non-stop action, then the highest-scoring NBA game ever might just do the trick.