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The Highest Scoring Quarter in NBA History

Basketball scores points when a team makes field goals or free throws.

When one team scores more points than the other in a quarter of play, they are declared the victor. This is known as a high scoring quarter.

Dec 15, 2022

On Christmas Day, the Dallas Mavericks scored an amazing 124 points in the third period - breaking their franchise record and setting a new mark for most points scored by an NBA team since 1961 (the Los Angeles Lakers' mark was set back then). Perhaps most remarkable of all, no one else was watching as this record-setting performance unfolded.

One remarkable feat was achieved by David Thompson, who after struggling in the early going achieved an amazing turnaround. Not only did he record the first triple double ever seen in an NBA game (along with its highest score ever), but this remarkable accomplishment came despite having just returned from a four-game injury absence and playing with an edge on his shoulders.

Dec 21, 2022

Though not a new trend for the NBA, it's still fascinating to observe how many points per game teams have been able to score. As of December 21, teams had averaged 114 points per game - its highest rate since teams averaged 116.7 during 1969-70, according to data collected from a research firm.

However, this season has seen several high-scoring quarters. On Wednesday night, Milwaukee and Toronto combined for 25 points in the opening quarter of their game while Phoenix and Cleveland did so just hours earlier.

The opening quarter is typically the lowest scoring period of any game, so when it gets worse it's a cause for celebration. Miami's 87-point performance against Indiana and New York's 90-point showing against Philadelphia on Dec. 12 were both season lows that came after the initial quarter had commenced play.

One of the most remarkable aspects of these games was that neither team scored a field goal until after the third quarter - something rarely seen in modern NBA history. On Saturday night, Knicks and Magic combined to score 15 points in the second quarter of their matchup against Orlando; it was the lowest scoring quarter ever recorded during shot clock era (since 1954-55), spanning 209,888 quarters since its inception.

This season has been filled with some incredible moments in the NBA, and Donovan Mitchell of Cleveland stands as one of the great single-game scorers to remember. Here are some of the top ones, starting with his 71 points against Chicago on January 3.

Dec 22, 2022

On December 22, the Dallas Mavericks produced the highest scoring quarter of the 2022 NBA season: Luka Doncic scored 50 points to lead his team to a thrilling one point victory over San Antonio Spurs.

The highest scoring quarter of the 2022 NBA year also featured some other remarkable performances, such as Donovan Mitchell's 71-point effort - his most points ever scored in a quarter! Other high points included making 3 pointers at an astounding percentage and two players each recording more than one triple-double on one night. It's no secret that markets have been struggling over recent years, yet this 2022 surge wasn't without its share of memorable moments.

Dec 23, 2022

At midway point in the NBA season, many players have put on incredible single-game performances. One star player in particular has been particularly impressive this year - Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic.

On Christmas Day, the Mavericks set a franchise record with 51 points in a third quarter of their win against the Los Angeles Lakers. It was their highest scoring quarter since 1961 when 45 points were scored against Cincinnati Royals.

This marks the second time this season that Dallas Mavericks have scored 50 or more points in a game, following their 50 point performance against Utah Jazz last November when they prevailed 105-98.

Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid has been one of the top scorers this season, scoring three 50-point games including two within eight days.

He made a name for himself last November by dominating the Utah Jazz, and on New Year's Eve he did it again against San Antonio. In a 105-98 victory, he shot 19-of-28 from the field and finished with 20 free throws.

His 70-point performance set a new record for highest point total ever in an NBA quarter - one which only Wilt Chamberlain, Elgin Baylor and Gervin have ever achieved.

This season, the league is on an offensive tear with teams scoring an average of 114 points per game. Despite this high scoring rate, some teams have struggled to score, particularly in the early going. Milwaukee and Toronto each managed only 25 points Wednesday night while Phoenix and Cleveland combined for 29.