It's Jan. 22, 2006, and the Los Angeles Lakers are going up against the Toronto Raptors. You turn on the game in the middle of the fourth quarter and hear the announcer say Kobe Bryant has scored over 70 points. Can he do it? Can the "Black Mamba" break the single-game scoring record? Who even holds the record? Do you know? Find out with this quiz!
There's something special about watching a player go for a record in an NBA game, especially when it's unexpected. Unlike in an NBA season, all of the action happens so quickly, within 48 minutes in fact, so fans don't have to wait weeks or months to see if the record will stand or pass on to a new player as events play out. It's thrilling and is what makes sports so compelling to watch.
How well do you know the players throughout NBA history who sit at the top of these single-game record books? Some of these players were stars in the league, while others hold records that they'd rather get rid of. See if you know who they are!
If you're ready for a challenge, get started and try to have a record-setting performance on this quiz by getting a perfect score!
A sniper from the outside, Dale Ellis shot 40% from three-point range during his career. He even entered and won the Three-Point Contest in 1989.
Klay Thompson is the son of Mychal Thompson. Mychal is a former NBA player himself who won two titles with the Lakers in the '80s.
Despite being an all-world athlete, Wilt Chamberlain had a history of heart trouble throughout his life. He died from heart failure in 1999 at the age of 63.
In 1951, the Indianapolis Olympians and the Rochester Royals played the longest game in NBA history, which lasted 78 minutes. The game required six overtimes for a winner to be announced.
Manute Bol never averaged more than four points throughout his NBA career. When he retired, Bol had blocked more shots than he scored points.
James Harden led the Houston Rockets to Game 7 of the 2018 Western Conference Finals against a loaded Golden State Warriors' team. The Rockets lost Game 7 after going 7 of 44 from three-point range.
Nikola Jokic was part of a Nuggets' team in 2017-18 that came up one game short of making the playoffs. In the season finale, the Nuggets lost to the Timberwolves, who were also playing for a playoff spot.
Joe Fulks spent his entire NBA career with the Philadelphia Warriors, where he played from 1946 until 1954. At his height, Fulks averaged 26 points per game.
David Thompson's highest-scoring game came in 1978 when he scored 73 points against the Detroit Pistons. Only five other players have scored over 70 points in a game.
Tim Hardaway attended UTEP while he played college basketball. There, he developed a crossover that became known as the "UTEP Two-step."
Jason Kidd finished his career second on the list of all-time assists. In his 19 seasons in the NBA, Kidd racked up 12,091 assists.
Elmore Smith came into the league in 1971 ready to dominate the competition. Earning NBA All-Rookie First Team, Smith averaged over 17 points and 15 rebounds per game in his rookie season.
Quinn Buckner was a champion on multiple levels throughout his basketball career. He won championships in high school, college, the NBA, and even won Olympic Gold in 1976.
Klay Thompson helped the Golden State Warriors win an NBA championship in 2015. The team lost in the Finals the next seasons to the Cavaliers after taking a 3-1 lead in the series.
Damon Stoudamire played in the league at only 5 ft 10 in. Despite his short stature, Stoudamire had a successful career and was even named the NBA Rookie of the Year in 1996.
Kendall Gill led the league in steals in 1999. That season, Gill averaged 2.7 steals per game for the New Jersey Nets.
Bob Cousy won six NBA titles playing for the Boston Celtics. For his accomplishments, the Celtics retired Cousy's number 14.
Ben Gordon averaged 40% from three-point range throughout his NBA career. At his height, Gordon also averaged over 21 points per game.
Ty Lawson won an NCAA championship in 2009 playing for the North Carolina Tar Heels. Lawson was coached by Roy Williams, the long-time Tar Heels coach.
Standing 7 ft tall, Brook Lopez entered the league in 2008. He played at Stanford in college alongside his brother Robin Lopez, who also declared for the 2008 NBA draft.
Steve Blake played point guard for 13 seasons in the NBA. A journeyman, Blake played for eight different teams throughout his NBA career.
Fat Lever had 43 triple-doubles in the regular season throughout his NBA career. That puts him at eighth on the list of all-time triple-doubles.
Scott Skiles went into coaching after he left the NBA in 1996. Skiles has served as the head coach for such franchises as Chicago, Phoenix and Orlando.
After some stellar seasons in the NBA, Chandler Parsons' career has been hampered by injuries. Those injuries have certainly been a reason that the small forward has played for three different teams.
Adrian Dantley was the NBA scoring champion in 1981 and 1984. Both seasons, he averaged over 30 points per game.
Known for his dunking ability, Dominique Wilkins was called "The Human Highlight Reel." He was named the NBA Slam Dunk Contest winner twice, in 1985 and 1990.
Wilt Chamberlain wore number 13 throughout his college and NBA career. His number was retired by the University of Kansas, the Warriors, the 76ers and the Lakers.
Moses Malone won a single NBA title in 1983 while playing for the 76ers. Moses was a star on the team that also featured Julius Erving, better known as "Dr. J."
Charles Barkley was drafted out of Auburn with the fifth pick in the 1984 NBA draft. Other star players in the draft included Hakeem Olajuwon and Michael Jordan.
In 2018, DeMar DeRozan was traded from the Raptors to the Spurs for Kawhi Leonard. The move was a surprise for many in Toronto, who saw DeRozan as the franchise player.
NBA coaches developed a strategy to foul Shaquille O'Neal instead of allowing him to get the basketball in the post. The strategy became known as "Hack-a-Shaq."
While playing for U.S. basketball, Dwight Howard won a gold medal in the 2008 Olympics. He was part of a team that defeated Spain in the finals.
Bill Russell served as a player-coach his last few seasons in the NBA. With his hiring, he became the first African American coach in the NBA.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar won six NBA MVPs over the course of his NBA career. That's one more than the next closest players, Michael Jordan and Bill Russell, who both have five.
Ben Simmons won the NBA Rookie of the Year award in 2018. He beat out Donovan Mitchell who many thought should have won.
Nate Thurmond played in seven NBA All-Star Games throughout his 14-year career. He was named to the NBA Hall of Fame in 1985.
Andre Drummond led the NBA in rebounding twice in his career. Over the course of the 2017-18 season, Drummond averaged 16 rebounds per game.
Larry Smith never won an NBA title as a player during his 13-year career. However, he did win two titles as an assistant coach with the Houston Rockets in 1994 and 1995. That team was led by Hakeem Olajuwon.
Happy Hairston helped the Los Angeles Lakers win an NBA championship in 1972. That Lakers' team won an NBA record 33 games in a row.