The score on low scoring

Updated: December 31, 2003, 3:01 PM ET
ESPN Research

How low can scoring go in the NBA? So far, it's been low enough for teams to set franchise records in offensive futility. ESPN Research tracked down the trend.

Friday, Oct. 31

  • Minnesota's 61 points against New Jersey were a franchise-record low.
  • The Raptors scored a franchise-record low 27 points in the first half against Washington but recovered to beat the Wizards, 82-79. Vince Carter scored 18 of his 26 points in the second half.

    Saturday, Nov. 1

  • The Raptors were held to a franchise-worst 56 points in a 17-point loss to the Wolves. In fact, the 129 total points is tied for the seventh-lowest combined single-game total since the advent of the shot clock.
  • Toronto had 27 first-half points, which was a new franchise low for a first half.
  • The Raptors were 9-for-39 (23.1 percent) from the field in the first half. The nine field goals made ties a team record for fewest in a half.

    Monday, Nov. 3

  • The Bulls were smoked at home by the Rockets, 98-66. Chicago shot 26.6 percent from the floor, tying for the fourth-worst shooting performance in team history.
  • Meeting for the second time in a week, the Knicks and Magic once again failed to combine for 150 total points. This time, the Knicks won 75-68.
  • Orlando shot a franchise-record low 25 percent from the field. Tracy McGrady, with 19 points, was held under 20 points for just the second time in his last 55 games.

    Lowest league scoring averages (since 1976-77)
    Season PPG
    1998-99 91.2
    2003-04 92.4
    2000-01 93.1
    2002-03 93.6
    1996-97 94.5
    Friday, Nov. 7

  • The Raptors lose in Washington, 86-60, and score a franchise-worst four points in the second quarter and 23 points in the first half. The four points ties for the fourth-worst total in any quarter. The Raptors became just the fifth team in the shot-clock era to score 60 or fewer points in a game more than once in their history. And it's the fewest points (193) in any three-game span in the shot-clock era.

    Wednesday, Nov. 12

  • Jason Kidd recorded his 52nd career triple-double, but the Nets scored just 71 points in a loss to San Antonio. It was the fewest points scored by a team that had a player go for a triple-double in the shot-clock era.

    Friday, Nov. 14

  • The Raptors fall by 30 in Sacramento and, for the third time in nine games this season, are held to under 65 points. Those three occurrences tie for the most sub-65 point games in a single season (2002-03 Nuggets).

    Sunday, Nov. 16

  • The Lakers and Heat combined to shoot 0-for-21 on 3-pointers. They were by far the most 3-point attempts ever taken in an NBA game in which none were made. (The 3-point rule was implemented for the 1979-80 season.) The previous record was 16, set by the Pacers and Rockets on Jan. 5, 1991, and tied by the 76ers and Bulls on Nov. 1, 1991.

    Monday, Dec. 1

  • Detroit beats New York 79-78 in overtime, setting a shot clock-era record for fewest points by a winning team in an overtime game.

    Friday, Dec. 5

  • Allen Iverson scored 35 points in Philly's win over Miami, despite making just seven field goals. That tied for the fewest field goals made by a player who scored at least 35 points.

    Thursday, Dec. 11

  • The Spurs and Rockets set a shot-clock era record for fewest combined points in the first half of a game with 55 (Spurs, 30-25).

    Friday, Dec. 12

  • The Sonics beat the Pistons 93-72 in Detroit. The Pistons' 72 points were one shy of the fewest in a home game in franchise history.

    Wednesday, Dec. 17

  • New Jersey led Utah 13-9 after one quarter. The 22 points combined are the second-fewest points in a first quarter in the shot-clock era.

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