Top 11 Biggest NBA Playoff Blowouts

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Nick Young, Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah at Wizards versus Bulls on February 28, 2011 inside Capital One Arena.
(Wikimedia Commons/Keith Allison)
Anatoly Pimentel @AnatolyPimentel Apr 11, 2023, 8:48 PM

NBA playoff games are supposed to be competitive and close as teams are vying to improve their NBA championship odds, but at times, teams are just overmatched. This results in a blowout. But which teams had the biggest winning margin in the NBA playoffs?

The Denver Nuggets and Minneapolis Lakers hold the record for the biggest blowout in NBA playoff history with a 58-point win margin over the New Orleans Pelicans and St. Louis Hawks. Denver defeated the Pelicans in Game 4 of the 2009 playoffs on their home floor. Carmelo Anthony led the beating with his 26 points output to take a commanding 3-1 series lead.

On the other hand, the Minneapolis Lakers dispatched the St. Louis Hawks in Game 2 of their Western Conference semifinals showdown on April 21, 1973. All of the Lakers’ 10 players were able to score in double digits, with Slater Martin and Dick Schnittker leading the scorers with 19 points and 18 points.

Following the Nuggets and Lakers on the list are the Los Angeles Lakers with their 56-point rout of the Golden State Warriors on April 21, 1973. It was Game 3 of the 1972 NBA Western Conference finals, and six Los Angeles players reached double-figure scoring as Jim McMillian spearheaded the team’s offense with his 28 points. Meanwhile, only Rick Barry scored 10 points for the Warriors.

Completing the top five playoff blowouts are the Chicago Bulls, who defeated the Milwaukee Bucks by 54 points, and the Milwaukee Bucks, who beat the San Francisco Warriors by 50 points. First, the Bulls closed out their first-round assignment in the 2015 postseason with a 54-point statement Game 6 win over the Bucks. Five Bulls players broke into double-digit scoring, while none of the Bucks players reached the 10-point mark.

On April 4, 1971, Bucks cruised past the San Francisco Warriors, 136-86, to record a 50-point win margin and set the fifth-biggest blowout in NBA playoff history. Jon McGlockin and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar led the team in scoring with 28 points and 23 points. The win also got them to the next round of the playoffs.

Below is a table of the top 11 biggest NBA playoff blowouts. Note that these numbers are as of the 2021-22 season.

Top 11 Biggest NBA Playoff Blowouts

RankTeams and ScoreWin MarginDate
T-1Denver Nuggets (121) vs. New Orleans Pelicans (63)58April 27, 2009
T-1Minneapolis Lakers (133) vs. St. Louis Hawks (75)58March 19, 1956
2Los Angeles Lakers (126) vs. Golden State Warriors (70)56April 21, 1973
3Chicago Bulls (120) vs. Milwaukee Bucks (66)54April 30, 2015
4Milwaukee Bucks (136) vs. San Francisco Warriors (86)50April 4, 1972
T-5Orlando Magic (124) vs. Boston Celtics (77)47April 28, 1995
T-5Los Angeles Lakers (135) vs. San Antonio Spurs (88)47April 17, 1986
T-8Cleveland Cavaliers (130) vs. Boston Celtics (86)44May 19, 2017
T-8Seattle SuperSonics (122) vs. Phoenix Suns (78)44April 27, 1997
T-8Los Angeles Lakers (153) vs. Denver Nuggets (109)44May 22, 1985
T-8St. Louis Hawks (145) vs. Detroit Pistons (101)44March 25, 1958

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About the Author

Anatoly Pimentel

Read More @AnatolyPimentel

Anatoly Pimentel is an NBA and MMA writer previously featured in ASEAN Sports, Asian Persuasion MMA, and Overtime Heroics MMA. He graduated from Adamson University with a B.A in Communication and is a Web Content Writer for BetMGM.

Anatoly Pimentel is an NBA and MMA writer previously featured in ASEAN Sports, Asian Persuasion MMA, and Overtime Heroics MMA. He graduated from Adamson University with a B.A in Communication and is a Web Content Writer for BetMGM.