The NBA’s wild night: 5 teams score 140 points, 4 teams score 130 in losses


There had never been a day in NBA history where five teams all scored at least 140 points. And there had never been a day where the league saw four teams all score at least 130 points in losses.

That is, until Wednesday — when both events happened.

Mark it down: Jan. 3, 2024 was perhaps one of the oddest statistical nights the league has seen. Utah, Detroit, Indiana, Atlanta and Cleveland all topped the 140-point mark.

“Obviously, it’s fun to score the ball,” Utah’s Lauri Markkanen said after the Jazz beat Detroit in overtime.

True, though some teams had more fun than others. Just ask the four teams that also scored a ton of points on Wednesday but lost anyway.

For the Pistons, Oklahoma City, Orlando and Milwaukee, scoring 130 points wasn’t even enough to win. There was one previous instance of three teams scoring 130 in losses on the same day — that being April 10, 2019, when it happened to Utah, Sacramento and Atlanta.

“We didn’t have our best night, obviously,” Oklahoma City coach Mark Daigneault said.

Scoring has been up — really up — in the NBA this season, with teams averaging 115.5 points per game, the highest clip the league has seen since the average was 116.7 points in the 1969-70 season.

The scores of note in those super-high-scoring Wednesday games: Utah beat Detroit 154-148 in overtime, Indiana beat Milwaukee 142-130, Atlanta beat Oklahoma City 141-138, Cleveland beat Washington 140-101 and Sacramento edged Orlando in double overtime 138-135.

The previous record for teams scoring 140 or more points on the same day was four, done on Jan. 16, 2019. The four teams to do it that day were Brooklyn, Houston, Golden State and New Orleans — the Nets beat the Rockets 145-142, the Warriors beat the Pelicans 147-140.

Other stats of note on the wild Wednesday in the NBA:

— The Jazz-Pistons game was the second this season to top 300 total points; the 302 combined points tied for the 25th-most in a game in NBA history. Utah also became the ninth team in league history to shoot at least 50% from the field, 50% from 3-point range and 90% from the foul line in an overtime game.

— Miami beat the Los Angeles Lakers 110-96, and the Heat tied a franchise record by having eight players score at least 10 points.

— There were 10 teams scoring at least 130 on Wednesday (the Los Angeles Clippers had 131, joining the Jazz, Pistons, Pacers, Bucks, Hawks, Thunder, Cavaliers, Kings and Magic with 130 or more). There have now been 128 such games in the NBA this season, putting the league on pace for about 310 this season — which would break the record of 266, set last season.



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