Few things in basketball are more thrilling than a team crushing their opponent by an incredible margin. These are the events that become legendary, the ones that fans talk about for years.
The NBA has seen its fair share of lopsided triumphs over the years, but three in particular stand out as the largest NBA results by margin in history.
Cleveland Cavaliers vs Miami Heat, 1991
Starting with a classic one, on December 17, 1991, the Cleveland Cavaliers defeated the Miami Heat in the first of these historic wins. It was obvious from the start that the Cavaliers were firing on all cylinders. Cleveland dominated the Heat in every facet of the game, led by Mark Price, who scored 15 points in the first quarter alone. The score at the conclusion of the first half was 75-35 in favor of the Cavaliers.
Cleveland, however, was not finished. They proceeded to pour on the points in the second half, eventually winning by 68 points with a final score of 148-80. The victory margin was the largest in NBA annals at the time, and it remains the second largest to this day.
Indiana Pacers vs Portland Trail Blazers, 1998
On February 27, 1998, the Pacers simply ran over the Blazers with a 65-point win which is now the 3rd largest victory in NBA history.
From the beginning of the game, the Pacers came out strong and quickly established a lead over their opponents. Their defense was tight, preventing the Blazers from making any significant offensive moves. Meanwhile, the Pacers’ offense was firing on all cylinders, with players such as Reggie Miller and Rik Smits making impressive shots and racking up points.
The Pacers’ dominance continued throughout the game, with the team’s intensity and focus never wavering. They maintained a high level of play, even when they had already secured a significant lead. The Blazers, on the other hand, struggled to keep up, with their players seeming outmatched and overwhelmed by the Pacers’ aggressive play.
The final score of 124-59 was a testament to the Pacers’ skill and determination. It was one of the most lopsided victories in NBA history, and it firmly established the Pacers as a dominant force in the league. For fans of the team, it was a thrilling and unforgettable moment, and it remains a highlight of Pacers history to this day.
Memphis Grizzlies vs Oklahoma City Thunder, 2021
The Memphis Grizzlies played the Oklahoma City Thunder on December 2nd, 2021, for the third and final largest win by margin in NBA history. This game was a mismatch from the start, with the Grizzlies being one of the league’s top teams and the Thunder failing to find their footing.
The Grizzlies quickly took control of the contest, leading 45-18 at the end of the first quarter. They continued to pour on the points throughout the game, eventually prevailing by an incredible 73 points, 152-79. This shattered the previous record for the largest victory by margin in NBA history, which had held for over 20 years, and now is the largest victory ever in NBA.
What makes these wins so remarkable is not only the margin of victory, but also the fact that they were achieved against professional teams in one of the world’s most competitive leagues. They are a testament to the players’ and coaches’ ability, dedication, and hard effort.
It remains to be seen whether these marks will ever be broken as the NBA evolves and grows. But, for the time being, the memories of these historic victories will linger on in the minds of basketball fans all over the globe.