The top five single-quarter scorers in NBA history
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The top five single-quarter scorers in NBA history

Many players in NBA history have had outstanding performances in a single quarter, breaking scoring records. Today we will review the top five single-quarter scorers in NBA history, and revisit their amazing performances.

Fifth place: Karl-Anthony Towns, 32 points

Towns is one of the best centers in the NBA today, and he showed his stunning scoring ability in a game in the 2021-22 season. Against the San Antonio Spurs, Towns exploded in the third quarter, shooting a scorching 69.2%, and scored 32 points. His performance not only broke his personal and team single-quarter scoring records, but also made him the first player to score 60 points in a single quarter that season. In that game, Towns had 60 points, 17 rebounds, three assists and one steal.

Fourth place: David Thompson, 32 points

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David Thompson is one of the best scorers in NBA history, and he created a staggering record of 73 points in a game in 1978. In that game, he scored 32 points in the first quarter, creating one of the single-quarter scoring records. That game was the last game of the 1977-78 season, and Thompson’s Denver Nuggets faced the Detroit Pistons. Thompson was on fire, and he wasted no opportunity. He shot 13-of-14 from the field in the first quarter, including two three-pointers and four free throws. His teammates also served him well, constantly passing him the ball and setting screens for him. Thompson eventually scored 73 points and broke the NBA single-quarter scoring record.

Third place: George Gervin and Carmelo Anthony, 33 points

George Gervin and Carmelo Anthony are both among the best scorers in NBA history, and they both scored 33 points in a single quarter. Gervin did it in a game in 1978, when he put on a show in the second quarter. This game was very important for Gervin, because he was competing with David Thompson for the scoring title of the season. To surpass Thompson, Gervin played excellently, scoring continuously in the second quarter and ending up with 33 points, breaking Thompson’s previous single-quarter scoring record. Anthony did it in a game in 2008, when he went off in the third quarter. He shot 12-of-15 from the field, scoring 33 points and helping the Nuggets come back and beat the Timberwolves.

Second place: Kevin Love, 34 points

Kevin Love is one of the best power forwards in the NBA today, and he put on an incredible performance in a game in the 2016-17 season. Against the Portland Trail Blazers, Love scored an astonishing 34 points in the first quarter. He was very efficient from the field, showing his excellent scoring ability. Love’s performance helped the Cavaliers win the game.

The top five single-quarter scorers in NBA history

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