Who has the most points in a quarter in NBA history? Full list of players includes Klay Thompson, Kevin Love

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The NBA’s transition into the pace-and-space era has opened up the floor for some of the league’s most talented offensive weapons. When placed in the right system, players such as Klay Thompson and Kevin Love have shown that they are capable of lighting up the scoreboard and putting a game out of reach in a matter of minutes.

That is not said to dismiss the stars of the 20th century, of course. There is a reason George Gervin and David Thompson are in the Hall of Fame. They could get buckets in a hurry, and the league hadn’t yet embraced the 3-point shot during their careers.

Which players own the highest-scoring quarters in NBA history? Let’s run down the list.

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Most points in a quarter in NBA history

Thompson set the record for the highest-scoring quarter in NBA history with 37 points in the third period of a 2015 game (more on that below). Love nearly matched him in 2016, racking up 34 points in a quarter for the Cavaliers.

Why isn’t Wilt Chamberlain higher on the list? The guy had a 100-point game! Well, his scoring in that contest was spread out across four quarters: 23, 18, 28 and 31. He does own the record for the highest-scoring half, though (59 points).

Player Points Date Quarter
Klay Thompson 37 Jan. 23, 2015 Third
Kevin Love 34 Nov. 23, 2016 First
George Gervin 33 April 9, 1978 Second
Carmelo Anthony 33 Dec. 10, 2008 Third
David Thompson 32 April 9, 1978 First
Wilt Chamberlain 31 March 2, 1962 Fourth

(Via the Elias Sports Bureau)

Klay Thompson’s electric 37-point quarter vs. Kings

Thompson exploded for 52 points in 33 minutes of action on Jan. 23, 2015, leading the Warriors to a 126-101 victory over the Kings. Thompson hit all 13 of his field goal attempts in the quarter, including nine 3-pointers, scoring all but four of Golden State’s points in that frame.

“I was one of the luckiest NBA players ever to play with Michael Jordan, Tim Duncan, David Robinson and some of the greatest players ever,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said after the game. “As many spectacular things as Michael did, which he did nightly, I never saw him do that.”

The All-Star guard averaged 21.7 points per game and shot 46.3 percent from 3-point range during the 2014-15 season. Golden State went on to win the 2015 NBA championship, starting a stretch in which the Warriors won three titles in four seasons.

While Thompson added another impressive record to his resume in 2018 — he broke the NBA record for 3-pointers in a game with 14 — that performance against the Kings represents him at his scorching best, a sniper that (quite literally) couldn’t miss.





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