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What are the most points scored by a team in an NBA game?

The Detroit Pistons made NBA history in 1983 when they scored 186 points in a victory over the Denver Nuggets

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Isiah Thomas helped the Piston score an NBA record 186 points in a victory over the Denver Nuggets, the highest scoring game in NBA history.

In this June 6, 1990, file photo, Detroit Pistons star Isiah Thomas jokes with reporters before practice at the Palace in Auburn Hills, Michigan. Seven years earlier, Thomas helped the Piston score an NBA record 186 points in a victory over the Denver Nuggets, the highest scoring game in NBA history.

Amy Sancetta, Associated Press

On Dec. 13, 1983, the Detroit Pistons made NBA history, setting a record that has remained untouched for nearly four decades.

In their 186-184 triple overtime victory over the Denver Nuggets, the Pistons set the record for the most points scored by a team in a NBA game, in either the regular season or the playoffs.

Leading scorers

  • Isiah Thomas led the Pistons with 47 points. He shot 18 of 34 from the field and 10 of 19 from the free throw line. Thomas also handed out 17 assists.
  • Kiki Vandeweghe led the Nuggets with 51 points. He shot 21 of 29 from the field and 9 of 11 from the free throw line. He added nine rebounds and eight assists.
  • Other notable performers included Detroit’s John Long (41 points) and Kelly Tripucka (35 points), and Denver’s Alex English (47 points).

Notable team stats

  • The Pistons shot 54% from the field, making 74 of 136 field goal attempts.
  • The Nuggets actually made a higher better percentage of their shots (59%) but attempted 21 fewer shots (68 of 115).
  • Detroit trailed entering the fourth quarter, but rallied to send the game into overtime.
  • The combined 370 points scored remains the most points scored in a NBA game.
  • The Piston and Nuggets combined to attempt only four 3-pointers and each team made a single 3.