The Most Memorable NBA Records in History 
NBA is among the world’s top basketball leagues and one of the top-tier sports leagues worldwide. As such, the league’s records are testaments to the world’s highest basketball skill levels.
We’ve researched and gathered the most impressive records defining the world’s most competitive basketball league of extraordinary teams and players.
Keep reading to find out more.
Highlights of the Article
- Wilt Chamberlain holds the most regular-season records, including a 100-point game.
- The Golden State Warriors went 73-9 in 2016, the best regular season record in the history of the NBA.
- The LA Lakers hold the single-season record for most consecutive wins, at 33 straight.
- Charlotte Bobcats’ seven wins in 2011–12 is the worst record in history.
- Lebron James’ career 38,652 points makes him the NBA’s All-Time Scoring Leader.
- Bill Russell is the winningest individual in the NBA, amassing 11 NBA titles.
- Michael “The GOAT” Jordan averaged 33.4 points in the playoffs, the most for any player in the postseason.
- LeBron James holds the most games and total points records in the playoffs.
- The NBA record for most rebounds ever goes to Wilt Chamberlain.
- Kobe Bryant is the sole player to make +600 points, +100 rebounds, and +100 assists in three straight playoffs.
- The Boston Celtics and the LA Lakers share the record for most titles at 17.
Best NBA Regular Season Records
The NBA season is a marathon of 82 games, 48 minutes each, with the possibility of a 5-minute OT. Its 2022 season NBA games had 1.4 million viewers on average.
That’s plenty of time to create history, juice up the stats, and set new records. Keep reading below to find out some remarkable regular-season records.
1. During the NBA 2015-2016 season, the Warriors set the record for most wins in a single season, going 73-9.
The 2015–2016 season was historic for the Golden State Warriors, the second most-valued NBA team. They broke the best regular-season NBA record for most regular-season wins, with 73.
That record surpassed the achievement set by the Chicago Bulls during the 1996 season with a record of 72-10.
2. The LA Lakers hold the NBA single-season record for most consecutive wins, with 33 straight wins in the ‘71-’72 season.
(Basketball Reference, NBA)
During the historic run, all-time greats Jerry West and Wilt Chamberlain led the ‘71-’72 Lakers, starting their streak on November 5, 1971, against the Baltimore Bullets (now the Washington Wizards).
The streak ended after 33 straight wins when they faced the Milwaukee Bucks, led by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who would eventually win the regular season MVP for the 1971-1972 season.
The closest a team has achieved this is the 2016 Golden State Warriors, with 28, and the 2013 Miami Heat, with 27 wins.
3. The Golden State Warriors have the best NBA record through 50 games before the All-Star game.
The All-Star break in February is usually the benchmark for mid-season and trade deadlines. On average, about 50 games are played by then.
In 2016, the Warriors went 48-4, with a winning percentage of 0.923, tallying one of the best NBA records that will be hard to break.
4. Wilt Chamberlain holds the most NBA records in the regular season, including a 100-point game.
Wilt Chamberlain was a force to witness, infamously scoring 100 points in a game, an NBA scoring record that will likely never be broken due to the modern playstyle.
He also holds the record for most rebounds in a game with 55, most games over 50 points with 118, and the highest points per season average, with 50.4.
Only one player had come close to Wilt’s 100 points in the history of the NBA.
Kobe Bryant once scored 81 points in 2006, in a game against the Toronto Raptors, making 60.9% from the field, 53.8% from the three-point line, and 18 out of 20 free throws.
5. Michael Jordan holds one of the best NBA records in points per game average.
(Basketball Reference, NBA)
The name Michael Jordan is as famous as the NBA itself, considered by most to be one of the most capable athletes to walk the earth.
Michael Jordan holds a prestigious record — career average points per game, with 30.12. NBA history statistics show that he managed to do that in 1,072 games.
He barely beats Wilt Chamberlain, who averaged 30.07 career points per game.
Aside from basketball, Jordan also tried his hand at professional baseball.
MJ famously retired from basketball from 1993 to 1995 to play as an Outfielder for two teams in Minor League Baseball.
6. The Milwaukee Bucks had the best record in the NBA in 2020 and became the fastest team to clinch playoffs.
(NBA, Fadeaway World)
The Bucks’ regular season in 2020 had fans believe the title could finally return to Milwaukee. The team managed to clinch the playoffs in just 56 games, beating the Warriors’ record of 2017.
Sadly, the team disappointed their fans and followers in the playoffs, losing to the Miami Heat 4-1.
7. Klay Thompson owns the NBA 3-point record in a single game, with 14 made.
(NBA, NBA, ESPN)
Three-pointers have become the norm in the NBA over the last decade, thanks to certain players they call the “Splash Brothers.”
Klay Thompson from the GSW currently holds the NBA record for most 3-pointers made when he exploded with 14 3s against the Bulls on October 29, 2018.
An honorable mention is his Splash Brother, Steph Curry, who has managed 13, 12, and 11 (on six occasions).
Klay Thompson once scored 60 points while taking only 11 dribbles in 29 minutes.
The other Splash Bro achieved this while only touching the ball for a cumulative 88.4 seconds, becoming the first player in the modern era to score 60 in less than 30 minutes.
Essential Playoff NBA Records
The NBA’s postseason is where the real action starts. Playoffs are the time for the best teams and players to step up and show who the No.1 is.
Playoffs are where the good ones are separated from the greats. Most of the 150 million people who watch live sports in the US follow the NBA playoffs.
8. LeBron James holds the most games and total NBA points records in the playoffs.
(NBA, Bleacher Report, Stat Muse)
In the Western Conference Semifinals Game 3 of the 2020 NBA Bubble Playoffs, King James won his 162nd playoff game, surpassing a record once held by Laker legend Derek Fisher.
He achieved the record during the pivotal game between the Lakers and the Rockets. The Akron Hammer finished the game with 36 points, 7 boards, 5 assists, 1 steal, and 4 blocks.
Lebron James also owns the NBA record for the most playoff appearances in the NBA.
After their run concluded in the Western Conference Finals against the Nuggets, The King recorded 282 playoff games, winning four rings.
9. Michael Jordan is the most prolific and efficient scorer in the postseason, with 33.4 points per game.
(NBC Sports, NBA, Casino)
No other NBA player was as deadly in the postseason as Michael Jordan. MJ was the most dominant and efficient scorer during the playoffs, going 6 out of 6 (100%) in the NBA Finals.
His career average is 33.4 points per game, higher than his regular-season average. He holds the NBA playoff score record for most points in a playoff game with 63 points.
Off the court, his competitiveness has made him a successful businessman and team owner. Unfortunately, it also led to some severe gambling problems.
Aside from being the basketball GOAT, Michael Jordan is also known as a serial gambler.
He was involved in one of the NBA’s biggest game-fixing issues in a playoff game loss in the 1993 NBA Finals.
10. Kobe Bryant is the only NBA player to record +600 points, +100 rebounds, and +100 assists in three straight playoffs.
During his Black Mamba era, Bryant tallied +600 points, +100 rebounds, and +100 assists in three consecutive playoffs.
Bryant led the Lakers in a losing effort to the Boston Celtics during the 2008 NBA finals, then helped them to 2 NBA Championships in 2009 and 2010, earning back-to-back Finals MVPs.
11. Magic Johnson and John Stockton share the playoff single-game NBA assist record.
Unsurprisingly, two of the greatest point guards in basketball, Johnson and Stockton, hold an assist record together.
The record is 24 assists made in a playoff game. Magic achieved the record in 1984 against the Phoenix Suns, and Stockton matched that result in 1988 against Magic’s Lakers.
12. The 2017 Golden State Warriors have the best NBA playoff run in NBA history.
(Basketball Reference, Bleacher Report, StatMuse)
During the 2017 playoffs, the Warriors dominated the postseason, making a 16-1 (0.941) run, defeating the Cleveland Cavs 4-1 to win their 5th NBA title in franchise history.
Coming close second was the 2001 Lakers run. During this playoffs, the Lakers made a 15-1 run to win their 2nd straight NBA title and their 13th overall.
13. The best overall record in NBA history in the playoffs for a team goes to the Los Angeles Lakers.
(Land of Basketball, Champs or Chumps)
With their most recent championship outing in 2020, the Los Angeles Lakers stake their claim as the NBA’s biggest achiever.
The organization has recorded a playoff win-loss record of 466-314 (0.600), the best in NBA history, reaching the NBA Finals 31 times out of their 62 playoff appearances, with 17 titles.
In second is their rivals, the Boston Celtics. The Bleed Green organization has a playoff winning percentage of 0.566, at 382 wins and 293 losses, tying the Lakers’ 17 NBA titles.
The Lakers-Celtics is one of the biggest rivalries in Sports history, alongside Ali-Frazier, FC Barcelona-Real Madrid FC, and Federer-Nadal.
14. Shaquille O’Neal holds the best NBA record for offensive rebounds in the playoffs.
Shaq is deemed the most dominant big man in basketball history. He is among the strongest and largest players in the league’s history and was a great scorer and rebounder.
The 7’1” center managed 866 offensive rebounds in 216 playoff games, averaging 4 per game, making it an NBA rebound record on the offensive.
15. Allen Iverson has the NBA’s best record for steals in a playoff game.
(NBC Sports, Sporting News)
In Game 3 of the Sixers-Magic first-round series in 1999, Iverson became the first and only player to get double-digit steals in a playoff game, recording 33 points, 10 steals, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists.
The Sixers would eventually win the series 3-1 but sadly lost to the Pacers in 6 games.
Recalling back to the 11th statistic in this article, “The Answer” was also the sole reason for the single loss in the Lakers’ playoff run.
AI scored 48 points in a 107–101 upset Game 1 victory, stepping over Tyronn Lue after hitting a crucial shot, creating one of the most iconic moments in NBA playoff history in the process.
Crucial NBA All-Time Records
Some NBA records stand the test of time and take a whole career (and more) to accomplish.
Below are some of the most important ones every fan needs to know. You decide which of the following is the best all-time NBA record.
16. Lebron James is the NBA’s All-Time Scoring Leader, with 38,652 points as of the 2022-2023 season.
The Kid from Akron has recently surpassed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as NBA’s All-Time Leading Scorer during the 2022-2023 season.
The overtaking happened during James’ 1,410th game. Lebron recorded 38,390 during that game to break Kareem’s 38,387 points (1,560 games).
This feat is just one of many talking points basketball heads put up during MJ vs. Lebron debates.
17. John Stockton’s All-Time Assists+Steals record ascends him to “Point God” status, with 19,071.
John Stockton spent his entire career with the Utah Jazz. While unknown in college and starting slowly in the NBA, he became a Jazz and basketball legend.
He broke the all-time record for assists, with 15,806, and for steals, with 3,265.
18. The NBA rebounding record of all time goes to Wilt Chamberlain.
Wilt Chamberlain was a freak athlete. He holds multiple NBA records, one of which is the best of the NBA rebound records. In his 1,045 career games, he achieved 23,924 rebounds.
That’s 22.9 per game, and when you add 30.1 points per game, his numbers might never be matched.
A glaring fact is that game statistics, such as defensive stats, were not regularly recorded during Wilt’s early career, meaning his record could have been much more.
19. Stephen Wardell Curry holds one of the most difficult records to attain in NBA history statistics-wise: the most 3-pointers made.
(Basketball Reference, USA Basketball, StatMuse, NBA)
The three-point shot is the most statistically difficult scoring option for any basketball player. The distance of the NBA’s 3-pt line is 22 ft. in the corners and 23 ft., 9 inches elsewhere.
Baron Davis owns the NBA record for the longest shot in a game, at around 89 ft. (27 m). The odds of making that shot are 1 in 100.
You have better odds at winning in Keno with 1-3 numbers than making a half-court shot.
This is why Steph Curry’s record of 3,390 3-pts. made is astounding as he achieved this by playing only 882 games, attempting 7,929 3-pt. shots with a 42.8% success rate.
The Baby-Faced Assassin has changed the game with his style of play, evident with the number of 3-pointers made in this modern era.
In the ‘80s, there was only 2.8 3PA per game, which grew to a substantial 39.2 3PA in the 2020s. Curry revolutionized the 3pt. shot and showed the basketball world how it can be efficient.
Steph Curry has been the NBA’s highest earner since 2017.
He has led the Warriors to dominate the league for the past decade. Many credit Curry for changing how the game is played in the modern age.
20. The Boston Celtics and the Los Angeles Lakers share the NBA record for most titles.
Both teams have managed to win 17 titles each. In perspective, they’ve won in 34 of the 74 seasons, the best record in the NBA.
The Celtics managed to win 11 out of 13 seasons during their dynasty in the 50s and 60s. On the other hand, the Lakers’ titles are spread out through the years, most recently in 2020.
21. One of the most unsurpassable NBA records ever is Bill Russell’s 11 rings.
(USA Today, Fadeaway World, Lakers Nation)
As established, the Celtics won 11 titles in 13 years in the ‘50s-‘60s. Bill Russell won all 11, one of the most impressive NBA basketball records. His teammate Sam Jones is second, with 10.
Tom Brady comes the closest in today’s major sports, but it’s hard to imagine anyone matching or beating Russell’s record.
The factors why Russell’s feat was almost impossible to achieve in the modern NBA include the following:
During Bill’s era, there were around 8-14 teams. Today, there are currently 30 NBA teams. Also considered is the amount of international talent in the modern era.
- Distribution of Talent:
Most of the players Bill played with for the Celtics in the ‘50s-’60s comprised Hall of Famers, compared to their oppositions.
The early NBA mutual agreement also factored in, where teams would have a max of two African-Americans on one team at a time, affecting the overall quality of league competition.
- Season Length:
In the early days of the NBA, those 8-10 teams only competed for 72 regular season games. Playoff teams played fewer rounds and needed only 2-3 wins to advance.
Compared to the modern era of 82 games, where teams traveled across North America. The postseason is also longer; each series is played in Best-of-7s.
22. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar owns the record for the most Regular Season MVPs, winning the award six times.
(AS, LA Times)
Once again, Abdul-Jabbar makes our list. That’s because we can’t ignore his 6 Regular Season MVPs, among the most chased individual NBA records ever.
The man formerly known as Lewis Alcindor Jr. won the award in 1971, 1980, and 1982 with the Milwaukee Bucks and in 1985, 1987, and 1988 with the LA Lakers.
Behind him, Bill Russell and Michael Jordan have 5, and LeBron James and Wilt Chamberlain have 4.
NBA Record Numbers No Player Wants To Achieve
You’ve learned about the best, but what about the worst records? We’ve collected a few that you may rank for yourself.
23. The most technical fouls any player has gotten in a single NBA season is 41, achieved by Rasheed Wallace in 2000-2001.
Rasheed Wallace managed to amass a cumulative 317 technical fouls in his entire NBA career, ranking third behind Karl Malone’s 332 and Charles Barkley’s 329.
While playing for the Blazers in ‘00-’01, he was awarded 41 technical fouls that season.
That record might never be broken, as rules have changed — players would miss games, and the NBA would fine them once they reached 16 technical fouls.
24. Bubba Wells’ is the fastest player to foul out in an NBA game, at 2 minutes and 43 seconds.
Wells managed to get in the history books in 1997 against Chicago Bulls’ Dennis Rodman. The Dallas Mavericks player averaged a foul every 27 seconds.
Moreover, Rodman is known for being a bad free-throw shooter but scored a career-high nine free throws that night.
25. The now-defunct Charlotte Bobcats won only seven games in the 2011–2012 season, the worst record in NBA history.
Charlotte Bobcats, now the Hornets, had a disgraceful NBA season to forget in 2011–2012.
The team amassed a 7-59 W-L (0.106) record. The Philadelphia 76ers hold the No.2 and No.3 spots, with a 9-73 record in 1972–73 and 10-72 in 2015–16.
26. The Golden State Warriors set one of the worst NBA records in 2020, the biggest wins dropoff.
The 2020 NBA season was one of the worst years for the GSW Dynasty, which started in 2015.
The Warriors lost their big three — Kevin Durant left, and the Splash Brothers missed the NBA Bubble season due to injury.
Basketball has the highest injury rate for professional sports, recording around 4.4 million reported injuries (26%) from 2012-2021.
The team finished with 15 wins, a 42-win drop from the previous year, in which they were in their fifth consecutive final.
The Final Score
The NBA is a genuinely spectacular league filled with action and excitement. So many players come and go, but only a few get to write their names in history by breaking one of the NBA records.
Wilt Chamberlain’s 100-point game or Charlotte Bobcats’ 7-win season might never be matched, while Lebron James recently surpassed Kareem’s scoring title in February 2023.
All we have to do is keep watching to see who’s next to have their name written in the records books.
Who holds the NBA record for the most points scored in a single game?
Wilt Chamberlain holds the prestigious record with his 100 points in 1962. He averaged 50.4 points in that season.
Who is the youngest NBA player to score 50 points?
Brandon Jennings is the youngest player to score 50 points. He achieved that while he was only 20 years and 52 days old.
Who has the worst losing streak in NBA history?
The Philadelphia 76ers’ loss streak started at the end of 2014–15 and continued in 2015–16, with 28 straight losses, breaking their previous record of 26 consecutive losses set in 2013–14.
Who has the most 80-point games in NBA history?
Only two players have achieved 80 points in a game. Wilt Chamberlain scored 100 points in 1962, the record. Kobe Bryant was the other player with 81 points in 2006.
List of Sources:
- Bleacher Report
- Fadeaway World
- Land of Basketball
- Bleacher Report
- NBC Sports
- NBC Sports
- NBC Sports
- Bleacher Report
- Champs or Chumps
- Sporting News
- Basketball Reference
- USA Basketball
- SB Nation
- USA Today
- LA Times
- Fadeaway World