NBA games are fun and intense and will give you something to talk about afterwards. However, if blowouts occur, it wouldn’t be as exciting as a closely contested game, right?
Many fans will walk out of the arena early or change the channel whenever there’s a blowout. But the ones who stay are diehard fans or hoping that a comeback would likely occur.
In NBA history, there are quite a few historical blowouts that would go for a 15 to 25 margin of victory. But it can go over 30 points or even 40-plus points for some rare instances.
If you want to know the biggest blowouts in NBA history, then check out my comprehensive list below.
10 Biggest Blowouts In NBA History
Here are some of the biggest blowouts in NBA history. Let me start from the biggest one down to the least.
1. Memphis Grizzlies vs. Oklahoma City Thunder
- Date: December 2, 2021
- Final score: 152 – 79
- Margin of victory: 73
If we’re talking about the most lopsided game in the history of the NBA, then the game between the Grizzlies and Thunder would be in the number one spot.
For context, the Oklahoma City Thunder were tanking this season as they are piled up with young and unproven talents. They were securing the first overall pick for the next year’s NBA draft.
On the other hand, the Memphis Grizzlies are stacked with rising players like Ja Morant, Jarren Jackson Jr, and Dillon Brooks. The game was marred with boos and displeasure as the home team was quickly obliterated before the second half even started.
In one instance, the lead ballooned by up to 78 points! The Grizzlies were shooting very well during this game, whereas the Thunder were shocked at what just happened as they were shooting brick by brick.
When the final buzzer sounded, they made history for the wrong reasons. By the end of the game, it was recorded as one of the largest margins in NBA history.
The feat eclipsed the record set in 1991 when Cleveland Cavaliers beat Miami Heat during the NBA regular season. It was not the offensive futility the Thunder showed but their age.
2. Cleveland Cavaliers Beat Miami Heat
- Date: December 17, 1991
- Final score: 148 – 80
- Margin of victory: 68
Right before Lebron James turned the Cleveland Cavaliers franchise around, they were an organization that went through ups and downs in the 90s.
However, during their game against the Miami Heat in December of 1991, everything took a turn for the better for the Cleveland Cavaliers as they easily decimated their eastern conference rivals, Miami Heat.
The onslaught was led by Brad Daugherty, Mark Price, John “Hot Rod” Williams, Craig Ehlo, and Winston Bennett. No questions were raised as the Cleveland Cavaliers outdueled their bitter rivals towards the end.
Everyone witnessed how Brad Daugherty took the reins from the get-go and started racking up shots that he would hardly miss. Once the final buzzer sounded, it was the largest point differential in the 19th century before breaking it in 2020.
Even by today’s standards, the Cavs were so good that they peaked at the right time against their rivals. It took almost 29 years before the record was shattered. Simply a phenomenal showing for the boys.
3. Indiana Pacers vs. Portland Trail Blazers
- Date: February 29, 1998
- Final score: 124 – 59
- Margin of victory: 65
Indiana Pacers were gearing up to rack up another win off their books. Still, it was surprising enough for them in such a fashion because they would dominate the Portland Trail Blazers quarter by quarter until the final buzzer sounded.
Damon Stoudamire and Rasheed Wallace couldn’t find the answers to what was happening. When the final buzzer sounded, it was already one of the lowest team scores in a blowout game.
The Indiana Pacers were the clear favorites heading to this matchup.
But, no one knew how they easily dismantled the Portland Trail Blazers with up-and-coming talents such as Damon Stoudamire with such ease.
At one point, basketball fans were upset, and some had already left the building. The entire game was just futility at its finest for the home team.
But during this time, the Indiana Pacers were already an Eastern Conference powerhouse that was able to take on the Chicago Bulls and Michael Jordan in a 7-game series, but they eventually lost.
In fact, it was the year before (1997) that they matched up with the Chicago Bulls and gave basketball fans one of the greatest Eastern Conference matches of all time.
4. Los Angeles Lakers vs. Golden State Warriors
- Date: March 19, 1972
- Final score: 162 – 99
- Margin of victory: 63
The game happened between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Golden State Warriors, and ever since jump ball, the Lakers were cruising on double digits en route to a lopsided loss.
For context, the Los Angeles Lakers were widely regarded as among the best laker teams. They were with Jerry West, Wilt Chamberlain, and Gail Goodrich.
While the Golden State Warriors have Nate Thurmond at their disposal, there’s not much they can do as Jerry West was phenomenal during this game, along with its supporting cast, including Pat Riley.
In the next year of 1973, this exact matchup would happen in the Western Conference Finals.
In similar fashion in game 3, the Lakers annihilated the Warriors (126-70), with Rick Barry being the Warrior to have a double-digit score in the scoreboard.
This team was an immovable force during that season and won the championship that year. It was not the other team playing poorly; it was its transcendent players dominating the game the way they should.
If you have these legendary players such as Jerry West on your roster, you could easily dominate every possible game in the NBA regular season; that’s how good the Lakers are during this time.
5. Syracuse Nationals Beat New York Knicks
- Date: December 25, 1960
- Final score: 162 – 100
- Margin of victory: 62
First, you might be thinking, who are the Syracuse Nationals, right? They were the Philadelphia 76ers when the franchise was sold and relocated to Philadelphia.
During this time, the Syracuse Nationals was one of the top contenders to vie for the championship. They were the nation’s top offensive juggernaut, and facing the New York Knicks was a recipe for disaster.
The first half saw quite a few runs. Still, it was not until later in the game that the Syracuse Nationals could pull away and eventually march their way into victory while letting their third unit enjoy the shellacking.
In those days, they were freight trains that mauled their way into victory without many scratches. It was one of the few records set in the 60s.
6. Golden State Warriors vs. Sacramento Kings
- Date: November 2, 1991
- Final Score: 153 – 91
- Margin of victory: 62
With a similar margin of victory with Syracuse, the game between the Golden State Warriors and Sacramento Kings was also one of the few blowout records in the 90s.
The Golden State Warriors, along with its superstar lineup of Mitch Richmond, Chris Mullin, and Tim Hardaway, obliterated the poor Sacramento Kings en route to another record for the largest margin in the 90s.
Mitch Richmond was an unstoppable force in the 90s; combined with the sweet-shooting skills of Chris Mullin, nothing could stop the Golden State Warriors during this game.
When the game ended, the box score showed a margin of victory of 62. It was also one of the largest margins of victory during the 90s. One team clearly showed who was the better team.
7. Charlotte Hornets vs. Memphis Grizzlies
- Date: March 22, 2018
- Final Score: 140 – 79
- Margin of victory: 61
Even when the Charlotte Hornets played on their home turf, they were not the favorites entering this game.
However, like most miracles, it is bound to happen. The Charlotte Hornets, during this game, were shooting like there was no tomorrow. They were also without their superstar center, Dwight Howard.
And yet, they were able to steal a victory from the heavily-favored organization in an impressive fashion. The beatdown was thanks to Kemba Walker, who sizzled his way with 46 points along with 10 3-pointers in the beatdown.
The other team might be favored for this one, but Kemba Walker made it known they were no pushovers and carried his team to victory. Not many NBA players can do what he just did, and he did it superbly.
8. Milwaukee Bucks Defeated Sacramento Kings
- Date: December 15, 1985
- Score: 140 – 82
- Margin of victory: 58
If you’ve monitored the list, the Sacramento Kings are part of the wicked blowouts the game has ever seen.
Unfortunately, they are on the list again for the same reason. It is the second worst beatdown in the organization’s history, with a lopsided 58-point loss against the Milwaukee Bucks.
Sacramento has been marred with years of futility, and the organization is nowhere headed in the right direction. From bad draft picks, changing of the coaches, and an organization that is happy to be around the league.
The Milwaukee Bucks team was easily the better team out of the two. The Milwaukee Bucks, spearheaded by Sidney Moncrief, Paul Pressey, and Terry Cummings, was borderline unstoppable during this game.
It doesn’t help, considering the Sacramento Kings were stacked with unproven talents and unmotivated players. By the time the buzzer ended, two teams were part of the history as one of the most lopsided wins.
9. Sacramento Kings Defeated Dallas Mavericks
- Date: December 29, 1992
- Score: 139 – 81
- The margin of victory: 58
Finally, Sacramento Kings are on the opposite side of the spectrum regarding blowout margins. The Nuggets weren’t hitting the broad side of the barn.
During their regular season meeting, the Kings established an early lead and never looked back. The bizarre thing about this regular season game is that the Kings only took 12 more shots than the Dallas Mavericks.
This tells us that the Dallas Maverick shot poorly during this regular season and took futility to a new level. While Mitch Richmond was unstoppable during this game, he couldn’t help his team towards victory.
10. Denver Nuggets Defeated New Orleans Hornets
- Date: April 27, 2009
- Score: 121 – 63
- The margin of victory: 58
The Denver Nuggets beat the New Orleans Hornets with a score of 121 to 63. Carmelo Anthony was doing his things while his supporting cast pitched more.
The 58-point margin was one of the biggest blowouts in NBA playoff history. This event happened during the 2009 NBA playoffs and quickly dismantled the home team en route to an impressive victory.
Chris Paul and his team couldn’t match Carmelo’s offensive intensity, and the writing was already on the wall once the second half started.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
If you have further questions about the largest blowouts in the history of the NBA, you might find them in my FAQs below.
What Is the Largest Blowout in NBA History?
The largest blowout in NBA history happened between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Memphis Grizzlies.
From the first quarter down to the last second, Oklahoma was trailing by double figures and would soon lead to the biggest blowout in NBA history.
One of the reasons why the Grizzlies easily defeated them is they were tanking, meaning they were piling up losses to secure their chances of getting the first overall pick in the next NBA draft.
Suppose your organization is composed of young and unproven talents. In that case, your franchise is bound to face these similar experiences until they use these experiences to propel themselves to a better level.
What Is the Biggest Blowout in Sports History?
The biggest blowout in Sports History happened on October 7, 1916. It was a football game between the Cumberland College Bulldogs against the Georgia Tech Engineers.
Once the dust settled, the Georgia Tech Engineers scored 222 over Cumberland College Bulldogs ZERO. Yup, you read that right. Cumberland College couldn’t make a single point during the game.
What Is the Biggest Run In NBA History?
The biggest scoring run in the history of the NBA happened between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Sacramento Kings.
It was the time of the Showtime Lakers, and they opened up the quarter on a 35-0 run. The Kings couldn’t find answers to Magic Johnson’s brilliance or stop Kareem’s skyhook.
The Lakers were by far the better of the two, and they ended the quarter on a 40-4 run. It was just one of those days where no one could be stopped.
On the other hand, the second biggest run in NBA history was a game between the Cavs and Bucks on Dec 6th, 2009. The Cavs would score 29 unanswered points during the first half.
What Is The Biggest Blowout in Playoff History?
Back when the Lakers were still located in Minneapolis, the Lakers were up against the St. Louis Hawks in game 2 of the semifinals.
Once the final buzzer sounded, the Minneapolis Lakers defeated the St. Louis Hawks with a score of 133 to 75, one of the biggest margins of victory in NBA playoff history.
Lopsided wins and losses are bound to happen if NBA teams aren’t well-stacked up from one another. Blowouts are bound to happen if a contender with several superstars faces a bottom-tier franchise.
To wrap things up, blowouts and lopsided wins may sometimes be a thing of beauty. It only means that one organization is performing way better than the other, or the organization is doing its best to field the best players to win the game.
It’s all fun and games when the final buzzer sounds, but you don’t want to be on the other end of a blowout loss.