There are so many great moments in NBA history that I know, hence I am committed to starting compiling a list of the best NBA records. Nevertheless, with ego aside, I set out to do just that. Here’s what I came up with:
Teams With Best NBA Records
1. 2015-2016 Golden State Warriors
The best single regular-season record goes the 2015-2016 Golden State Warriors, hands down. This marked the team’s 70th year since their inception into the NBA, and the 54th ear they called the San Francisco home.
Bay area fans already had high hopes for the warriors that year, after all, they were the defending NBA champions. But, not even the most ardent Warrior fan could’ve predicted the season that was about to unfold.
That the team successfully defended their title came as no surprise to anyone, but what was surprising, perhaps, was the fashion in which they did it. The Warriors amassed an unheard-of 73-9 record, breaking the record set by the Bulls in the 1995-1996 season. It was one of the most dominant performances in sports history.
2. 1995-1996 Chicago Bulls
The 1995-1996 Chicago Bulls punctuated the 30th anniversary of their membership in the NBA with a national championship. Led by Michael Jordan, the Bulls powered their way to a then unheard of 72-10 regular-season record.
Basketball fans in general, and Bulls fans, in particular, knew they were about to witness something special when the team began the season with a 37-0 run at home, en route to a 44-game NBA win streak; a record that still stands to this day.
In addition to Michael Jordan, the Bulls success that year was powered by some key off-season and mid-season pickups; namely, Dennis Rodman (from the San Antonio Spurs) and Scottie Pippen among others. They were all part of the nucleus that led to one of the best NBA records in history.
3. 1982-1983 Philadelphia 76ers
The 1983 NBA World Championship was dubbed “Showdown 83” because it included two of the league’s premier teams at the time: The Philadelphia 76ers and the Los Angeles Lakers. But, the dream match turned out to be a mismatch, as the 76ers completely dominated the series, winning 4-0.
Led by Dr. J and Moses Malone, they powered their way through the regular season, amassing a 65-17 record, and completely dominating the league’s elite teams in the playoffs, losing only one game, making the 76ers championship performance in the playoffs one of the best NBA records ever.
4. The 1959-1966 Boston Celtics
The Boston Celtics won eight straight championships from 1959-1966, marking one of the greatest runs, not only in NBA history but in the anals of all sports.
Coached by the incomparable Red Auerbach, the team established a level of consistency that will probably never be matched, at least, no time soon.
Some notable players that made up this incredible championship included such greats as Bill Russell, Bb Cousy, K.C. Jones, John Havlicek, and Don Nelson.
5. The Chicago Bull’s Two 3-Peats
The Chicago Bulls were a team to be reckoned with during the 90s, putting together two 3-peats between the years 1991 and 1998. The 90’s Bulls are recognized as one of the greatest basketball dynasties the world has ever seen.
The effort was spearheaded by their Hall of Fame coach, Phil Jackson, but it wouldn’t have been possible without the participation of the man who is arguably the greatest basketball player to ever play the game, Michael Jordan.
And what’s more amazing is, the Bulls are the only NBA championship team that has never lost an NBA championship in their history.
6. The 2000-2002 Los Angelos Lakers
Ironically, it was the Lakers’ Hall of Fame coach who coined the phrase “3-peat in 1988. The Lakers had won two consecutive NBA championships, so Riley was already anticipating completing the milestone. However, it was not to be, as the Lakers were swept by the Detroit Pistons in the 1989 NBA Finals. Coach Riley would have to wait another 14 years – near the end of the Michael Jordan era – before his dream could be realized.
The Lakers’ championship was led by Hall of Fame Center, Shaquille O’Neal, and SG, Kobe Bryant.
Individual Players With Best NBA Records
1. Most minutes played in a single game
This record belongs to someone most of today’s NBA fans have never heard of, yet it is a significant record and one that is unlikely to ever be broken given the time limitations set on today’s NBA players.
In 1989, Dale Ellis of the Seattle Supersonics played for 69:00 minutes in a game against the Milwaukee Bucks. The game went into 5 OTs in a seesaw battle that looked like it would never end. But, end it did, cementing Dale Ellis’ place in the NBA history books.
2. Most points scored in a single game
This record belongs to none other than the great Wilt “The Stilt” Chamberlain. On March 2, 1962, Wilt Chamberlain, of the then Philadelphia Warriors, scored an unbelievable 100 points in a game against the New York Knicks. This record still stands to this day, and even the likes of Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant, prolific scorers in their own right, never came close to matching it.
3. Most Points in a half
Well, you guessed it. This record also belongs to Wilt Chamberlain. Not surprisingly, the fete occurred in the same game where he set the complete game record. It too still stands as one of the best NBA records.
4. Most points in a quarter
Finally, a stat that takes us into the modern era. The title for most points scored in a quarter belongs to Klay Thompson of the Golden State Warriors. Thompson accomplished the fete on January 23, 2015, in a game against the Sacramento Kings.
5. Most points scored as part of a triple-double
As if scoring a triple-double wasn’t hard enough, James Harden punctuated his triple-double with a 60-point explosion. Harden reached the milestone on January 30, 2018, in a game against the Orlando Magic. Now, I won’t rule this one as unapproachable, but Harden’s performance will be difficult to match, making it one of the best NBA records.
6. The shortest time it took a player to reach a triple-double
Most players will have played well into the 3rd or 4th quarter before the reach a triple-double. However, Nikola Jokic must’ve didn’t like wasting any time, as he reached the milestone within 14 minutes, 33 seconds in a game against the Milwaukee Bucks on February 15, 2018.
7. Most field goals made in a game
Okay, back to some more nostalgia for your next trivia game. and, leave it to Wilt the Stilt to provide us with the answer. Chamberlain made a whopping 36 field goals in a game while playing for the Philadelphia Warriors against the New York Knicks on March 2, 1962. Again, this was the same game where he set the total points in a game record and total points in a half. All I can say is, that must’ve been one helluva game.
8. Most field goals missed in a game
Well, this is a dubious title that I’m not sure the holder of would be proud of. Nevertheless, the owner of this dubious record is none other than a guy named Joe Fulks of the Philadelphia Warriors. He managed to unintentionally, I’m sure, set this record in a game against a team called the Providence Steamrollers on March 18, 1948.
9. Most 3-pointers made in a game
The GS Warriors’ Klay Thompsom returns to the lineup for this honor. Thompsom made an incredible 14 3-pointers in a game against the Chicago Bulls on October 29, 2018. Thompson is one of the games’ more prolific 3-point shooters, and when he gets hot, he gets real hot. I imagine that was a long night for the Bulls that night.
10. Most free throws made in a game
For this honor, we have two recipients – Wilt Chamberlain and Adrian Dantley.
Again, Chamberlain must’ve chosen that game against the New York Knicks to cement his place in the NBA history books because it was in that game that he set the record for free throws made at 28 (28/32). So, I think it is safe to say that Wilt Chamberlain was on a tear that night.
Then, on January 4, 1984, Adrian Dantley of the Utah Jazz decided to tie the longstanding record. The fete was accomplished in a game against the Houston Rockets.
Surprisingly, Dantley’s effort bested Chamberlain’s when you compare the made/miss categories (28/29). So, when it comes down to bragging rights, I guess Dantley fans can say that their man has the best free-throw record.
Now, I can’t think of a better way to end this list of the best NBA records than on a stat where Wilt Chamberlain figures into the mix. He was one of the game’s most dominant players, and when you factor in the period in which he played, it makes his accomplishments that much more remarkable.