What’s the Biggest Blowout in NBA History?

What’s the Biggest Blowout in NBA History?

What’s the Biggest Blowout in NBA History?

The National Basketball Association (NBA) has a rich history. It was born as the Basketball Association of America in the year 1946 and stayed by that title for three years, converting its name to what we know today as the NBA. This came as a result of a merger between the National Basketball League and the Basketball Association of America in 1949.

Today NBA has grown to a giant and a very famous basketball league on the planet. It has produced well-known basketball talents from different corners of the globe, such as; Michael Jordan, LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Larry Bird, and Stephen Curry, to mention a few. 

Currently, the NBA is termed to be more competitive than ever, as well as a powerhouse of talents. It’s surprising that no team in the NBA maybe Los Angeles Lakers, Toronto Raptors, Boston Celtics, Miami Heat, Cleveland Cavaliers, or whatever has a guaranteed win in any fixture of date.

This is not exactly how things have been some decades before. The NBA league has had dominant giants of decades, such as the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers, whereby these teams have—clinched championship several years in a decade.

Any well-known league in the world, may it be soccer, rugby, volleyball, basketball name them, has its biggest blowout. In its, history NBA has seen many giant matches featuring greatest superstars at different times in its life, and everyone would wish to know which is the biggest blowout ever staged in NBA history.

Biggest blowouts and margins of all times in NBA history

NBA has seen several blowouts in its life, and it will be imperative we go through a number of them before we conclude, which is the greatest of all.

A weekend of a regular season in the NBA league will see so many matches whereby in most cases, the winner is determined by the last shot. A win would definitely be clinched by the team, which can make most runs in a non-dramatic game. On some occasions, which we can call “special," a match outcome can be decided sometime before the final whistle.

Record margins in NBA History.

A typical basketball match in the NBA league is likely to witness a play recording a point differential margin of 10 to 20 points. In some cases, the difference can even hit 30 points, though on rare occasions. At times a team may not be at its best form, not in the game mood, or even things may probably not work according to its game plan. If it happens at a time when playing against sharp opponents, a record of slightly to 40 points margin difference may be witnessed; however, this may take several seasons to happen. In the current NBA league, such differential margins are hard to come by. Yet, some most significant margins of over 50 point margin differences have seen their way to NBA books of records.

Let’s revisit some of the highest margins to ever happen in NBA history: A margin of 56 points went to record in the match of 11/12/1966 between the Los Angeles Lakers and Detroit Pistons teams. In this match, Los Angeles scored 144 points against 88 of Detroit Pistons. On 02/20/1976, Chicago Bulls beat Portland Trail Blazers 130 baskets to 74, putting another 56 record margin. On 03/14/1979, NBA saw another 56 margin record when Milwaukee Bucks won 158 points against 102 of New Orleans Jazz.

Seattle Supersonics extended the 56 margin record mark in 1986 June on 12th  by beating Houston Rockets 136 by 80. This 56 margin record continued in 1993 1st February and 3rd June when  Sacramento Kings beat Philadelphia 76ers 154 to 98 baskets.  Seattle Supersonics repeated what it had already achieved in 1986 by putting Philadelphia 76ers through the same experience it had gone through the same year in Sacramento Kings' hands by hammering them 149 points to 93. Since then, the NBA forgot the 56 record margin until August, 12th 2018, when Boston Celtics managed to score 133 baskets to 77 of Chicago bulls.

On 12th December 1992, Sacramento Kings defeated Dallas Mavericks by 58 points differential margin upon scoring 139 against 81 baskets. A similar margin had been recorded in a match between Milwaukee Bucks upon winning on a score sheet record of 140 to 82 points against Sacramento Kings on 15th December 1985. The trouble that had befallen Sacramento Kings in 1985 in the hands of Milwaukee Bucks repeated itself on 11th February 1991. Still, this time the margin record extended by 4 points, making it 62 record margin. This was after they were rained on 153 baskets to 91 by Golden State Warriors. The 62 margin record was also witnessed in the 1960 month of December when Syracuse Nationals hammered New York Knicks 162 to 100 baskets.

The year 1972 March on 19th was an exceptional day for Los Angeles Lakers as they managed a 63 margin record mark, which had never been recorded in the NBA history since its birth. On this date, the Lakers scored 162 baskets against Golden State Warriors, who managed to score 99. Portland Trail Blazers had to suffer more humiliation than they had suffered in the year 1976. This happened on 2nd February 1998 this round, not on the hands of Their later tormentors Chicago Bulls but Indiana  Pacers. They made 124 baskets against 59 from the Trails setting a record margin at 65. 

The Indiana Pacers 65 margin record of 1998 was not the best in the history of NBA since on 17th December 1991, the record margin of 68 difference went down on historical books, which has lasted up to date. This saw the team of Cleveland Cavalier's thrush Miami Heat 148 baskets to 80. Up to now, this remains the most significant margin in NBA history.  

The Leading Blowouts in NBA Regular season History

Guided by the teams’ highest margins as discussed in the above subtopic, it is evident that the chief blowouts in NBA history can be ranked as follows:

7.The 58 margin tie as shared in the matches of  Milwaukee Bucks against  Sacramento Kings of 1985 and Sacramento Kings against  Dallas Mavericks in 1992.

  1. This is credited to the March of 2018 played by Charlotte Hornets against Memphis Grizzlies, producing a differential margin of 61 points upon the Hornets scoring 140 to the Grizzlies 79. In March, the Hornet’s player Kimber Walker managed to score 46 points and ten 3-pointers in a time spurn of 28 minutes. The difference of 61 points is the biggest win in Hornets history and the most massive loss to Grizzlies too. 
  2. The fourth-largest margin in the NBA history is a game differential of 62 points shared in the marches of Golden State Warriors against the Sacramento Kings in 1991 and the March featuring Syracuse Nationals against New York Knicks of the year 1960. The game between the Warriors against the Sacramento is remembered for the wrong reasons. This is because the day of the showpiece, the Golden Warriors coach, had traded Mitch Richmond, a key player on his side for the opponent player Billy. This thing has gone to the books of State Warriors history as a very controversial trade ever. However, Richmond did not appear in March to secure his new team from the humiliation of 62-point margin difference record defeat.

  1. The 3rd most significant Margin in NBA regular season was recorded in March played during the NBA 1971-1972 season. The game in the record here saw Los Angeles Lakers score 162 against Golden State Warriors 99, a record point difference of 63. This season saw the Lakers go to historical records of the NBA for having recorded the largest ever point differential margin in the league, doing a clean 33 unbeaten record in a row and winning record 69 games a record that stayed until the season of 1995-1996.
  2. The match of Indians Pacers playing Portland Trail Blazers in 1997/1998 season comes second in the biggest blowouts of NBA regular season. This March of 02/02/1998  saw the Blazers go down by a differential margin of 65 points, having beaten 124 to 59 baskets thanks to Chris Mullin, Rick Carlisle, and Dale Davis, Derrick McKay among other big names in Pacers team that time.
  3. The Mother of all blowouts in the NBA history is a 68 points difference margin record of 17th December 1991; a match staged by Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Miami Heat. This game was played on a time when the Cavaliers enjoyed its best form ever in NBA history while the Miami heat were still beginners. By the final whistle, the Cleveland Cavaliers had scored 148 points against 80 of Miami Heat. Any basketball lover, whether young or old, must want to know more about this mammoth blowout of all time in the history of the NBA. Let's see it bit by bit.

17th December 1991: Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Miami Heat.

 This game came sometime early in the season, Miami heat were the visitors of their opponent. The two teams had shown a good play since the start of the season. Nobody imagined whether this game could have any significance in the history of the NBA, not even the Cleveland Cavaliers players. After all, they had no intention of writing any new record until when it happened. How were these teams before the record date?

Miami Heat

When this March happened, the Miami heat was only four years old in the NBA league. Their starting five consisted of Glen Rice, Rony Siekly, Steve Smith, Willie Burton, and Grant Long. None of these players had made any significant achievements in the history of the NBA. The Heat boosted only two players, Steve Smith, and Glen Rice.

Cleveland Cavaliers.

The Cavaliers had enjoyed a number of years in the NBA league, and one can say that they had some excellent experience, and their fans had confidence in them. Their starting five was made up of; Winston Bennett, Daugherty, Craig Ehlo, Larry Nance, Mark Prince. They had three reliable and experienced players that’s Brad Daugherty, Mark Prince, and Larry Nance. They had completed the NBA Eastern Conference standings of 1991/1992 in third place. 

To get the real picture of exactly what happened in this match since there is no footage captured online, we will look at what is transferred step by step.

In the second half, Heats had been outscored 48 points by the cavaliers, whereby by the 4th quarter, the Cavaliers were 29 points ahead of the Heat!

By the second half of the game, the Cavaliers were leading by 20 clean points at a score sheet recording of 73-53. In a regular NBA game, this could just have taken a number of dribbles, or let's say stretches, and the gap is closed, but this did not happen in this match. More interestingly, by the end of the 3rd quarter, The Heat were far away behind the Cavs, and anybody could predict how the game would end.

The Heat was behind Cavs by 78 points at appoint of this game.

What a game!  A game of its kind, miserable Miami Heat!

No single Cavs player managed to score over 18 points in this match.

This tells me that the scoring amongst the Cavaliers players was well balanced, again also the players who started the March did not take part in the fourth quarter.

Game statistics leading to a blowout.

The possible game statistics which made this game end out as a blowout are that; Cleveland managed 29 throw attempts while the Heat managed only 11, Miami made 33 field goals while the Cavs made 59. Cleveland had 59 rebounds against 41 0f Miami, 39 assists against Heat's 18, and 9 turnovers against 23 by Miami Heat.


The Cleveland Cavaliers and Miami Heat game must have been one of its kind in NBA history. Maybe at one time, a repeat of such a match will manifest itself in NBA league and beat the 68 difference point margin. 

What’s the Biggest Blowout in NBA History?

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