The Most Impressive Individual Scoring Records

The Most Impressive Individual Scoring Records

Every athlete wants to do whatever they can to win. In every sport other than golf, the goal is to get as high of a score as possible. In basketball, players achieve this by shooting the ball through the hoop. These days, it’s incredibly common for players to do this via the three-point shot. Football games are often won by the team who scores the most touchdowns. In hockey, players attempt to get the puck into the back of the net. Some players have had legendary games and careers accomplishing these feats. 

Few records are as recognizable by sports fans as Wilt Chamberlain’s 100-point game. In 1962, Chamberlain played for the Philadelphia Warriors. On March 2 of that season, they matched up against the New York Knicks. Chamberlain finished the game with exactly 100 points, 28 of which were free throws. The legend of the game has spread on social media, as some folks have become annoyed that there’s no video footage of the game. While the record still stands, NBA fans are antsy to get their hands on the highlights of the game. 

In golf, the goal is to shoot as low of a score as possible. During majors, there’s extra pressure on the athletes to get the job done. Xander Schauffele was always right there among the best golfers in the world. He finally got his first major championship in 2024. It was poetic since he shot 21-under par, the record for any major in golf history. Ironically, Bryson DeChambeau, who finished in second place, shot a 20-under. For more sports content, click here to read about the most spectacular wins in baseball history. 

To compile this list of the most impressive individual scoring records, 24/7 Tempo consulted sports-related sources. These include NHL Records, ESPN, and Basketball Reference. 

Wilt Chamberlain’s 100-point game

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Wilt Chamberlain had his 100-point scoring outburst with the Philadelphia Warriors.

The NBA has become one of the most popular leagues in the world. Some of the best players in the league are from different countries. Thanks to social media and television, more games are able to be seen by people on the globe. However, before players like Nikola Jokic and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander were dominating the league, Wilt Chamberlain was setting records that still stand in 2024.

Arguably his most recognizable record is his single game scoring title. On March 2, 1962, Chamberlain and the Philadelphia Warriors squared off against the New York Knicks. Chamberlain finished the game with exactly 100 points. As time has progressed, Millennials and Gen-Zers who are sports fans have pleaded to see highlights of the game. However, there’s no video footage of any moment during the game. Only 4,000 people were in attendance and no members of the press were there. The lack of video has only enhanced the legend of what happened that night. 

Joe Malone’s seven-goal game

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While playing with the Houston Cougars, David Klinger threw 11 touchdowns in one game.

The original NHL is filled with records that likely won’t ever be broken. Joe Malone was one of the first superstars to showcase his talent in the sport. He most notably played for the Montreal Canadiens during his legendary career. Malone was touted as a goal scorer who opposing teams feared whenever he stepped onto the ice. 

In 1920, Malone and the Canadiens faced off against the Toronto St. Patricks (who would later change their name to the Maple Leafs). Malone finished the game with seven goals. The record is one that likely won’t fall at any point in the near future. It’s rare to see two teams combine for seven goals, let alone one player accomplish the feat. If a player were to score seven goals in a game, it would almost certainly be against a backup goalie. 

David Klinger’s 11-touchdown passing game

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Every fall, fans tailgate and get ready to watch their alma maters achieve greatness in college football. One of the most popular styles of offense is known as the “air-raid.” That’s when a team throws the ball as much as they can with the hopes of scoring as many points as possible. Fans love watching this style of offense because it’s incredibly fun. Few teams have perfected this style of offense better than the Houston Cougars. 

One of the most prolific players in program history was David Klinger. He showed an impressive ability at finding open receivers, while also hitting them perfectly in stride. In 1990, Klinger set the record for most touchdown passes in a single game with 11. He did so against Eastern Washington. Even with how much offenses have come along since 1990, no quarterback has successfully thrown more than 11 touchdowns. For this record to be broken, both teams would need to keep scoring at a high pace. That way, no quarterback is taken out early. 

Jack Taylor’s 138-point game

Orange basketball ball flying into the basketball hoop
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Jack Taylor managed to score 138 points in a single college basketball game.

Basketball players dream of scenarios where they’re allowed to shoot the ball whenever it touches their hands. Jack Taylor saw this dream turn into a reality in 2012. Taylor went to a Division III school named Grinnell College. Grinnell has become known for allowing players to chase records during some games during the year. Taylor had been in a slump, which made his coach decide to allow him to get as many shots up as he could during their game against Faith Baptist Bible College. 

Taylor finished the game with 138 points, setting an all-time record. There likely won’t ever be a chance for a player to top Taylor in the future. There was some positive and negative feedback given from fans and media member alike following the game. Most players are pulled when their team is up by a certain amount. Taylor wasn’t pulled until the very end of the game. 

Xander Schauffele’s 21-under at the PGA Championship

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Xander Schauffele captured his first major title in 2024.

Anyone who’s stepped foot on a golf course knows how challenging the sport is. Every shot has to be nearly perfect. At most courses, if you shoot even par, you’re likely not going to make the cut. Every year, there are four major golf events that take place. The PGA Championship is the second major event on the golf calendar. It takes place in May and was most recently at Valhalla in Louisville, Kentucky. 

Xander Schauffele had four legendary rounds at the course. His first day, Schauffele shot a 62 and was nine under par. The lead proved to be too much for anyone to overcome. Schauffele continued to play excellent golf and completed the tournament at 21-under par. This is the lowest score of any major in history. There’s a chance this record will be broken at some point. However, because few golfers finish below par at The Open Championship, there are only three events where golfers have a realistic shot. 

LeBron James’ 40,474 career points

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No basketball player has scored more points than LeBron James.

When talking about who the greatest basketball player in history is, many people name LeBron James as that athlete. Throughout his career, James has continued to dominate the league with his supreme athleticism and basketball I.Q. Even after more than two decades in the league, James has shown little signs of slowing down. He still is arguably a top five player in the NBA. However, many argue that James’ biggest accomplishment is being the record holder for most points scored in NBA history. 

As of the end of the 2024 season, James has scored 40,474 points. This total will continue to climb for as along as he continues to play. There’s no telling how many more seasons James has left in the tank before he calls it quits. There’s nothing James hasn’t accomplished in the NBA. Everything he continues to do will add to his legacy. There’s no telling if someone will break James’ record in the future. If someone does, it will be one of the most miraculous feats in sports. 

Steph Curry’s 3,747 career three pointers

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Stephen Curry redefined basketball when he entered the NBA.

Steph Curry changed how the NBA was played. Before him, most NBA players didn’t shoot a ton of three pointers. Instead, they valued taking jump shots and layups. Curry came into the league as a shooter. The Golden State Warriors paired him with Klay Thompson, and the duo began setting records for three pointers. Few fans thought the Warriors could win as a shooting team. However, the success of the squad made players rethink how they play the sport. These days, it’s rare to not see players hoisting up threes. 

As of the end of the 2024 season, Curry has made 3,747 three pointers during his legendary career. Fans aren’t sure how many more years Curry has in the tank, but they know he will be shooting at nearly every chance he gets. With how many players are chucking up shots from deep, there’s a chance someone will break Curry’s record. However, it will take years and years of consistent shooting to get there. 

Emmitt Smith’s 164 career rushing touchdowns

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Emmitt Smith is widely considered the greatest running back in history.

There’s no arguing that football is the most popular sport in the United States. Every year, the Super Bowl ranks at the top of the most-watched events in America. Even with the debate surrounding head injuries, folks can’t get enough of it. One of the best football players in history is Emmitt Smith. During his career, Smith helped the Dallas Cowboys win three Super Bowls. Smith is also the all-time leader in career rushing touchdowns. 

He managed to scamper into the end zone an astounding 164 times during his career. These days, running backs are lucky if they play more than five years in the NFL. The wear and tear on most running backs’ bodies catches up to them a lot quicker than other positions. If someone were to break Smith’s record, they’d need to average around one touchdown per game for ten straight seasons. The likelihood of that happening is slim to none. 

Tom Brady’s 649 career passing touchdowns

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Tom Brady is the most decorated football player in NFL history.

No NFL player has done what Tom Brady has. Throughout his legendary career, Brady won seven Super Bowls, while appearing in the game 10 times. Most teams haven’t even been to seven Super Bowls, let alone win that many. Brady knew how to take care of his body and ensure he came into every season ready to go. When playing football, the quarterbacks job is to get the ball to their playmakers. That enables them to score touchdowns at an easier rate. 

No quarterback has thrown more touchdowns in their career than Brady. He amassed 649 touchdowns during his memorable career. It’s going to be challenging for anyone to break this record. Even a quarterback like Patrick Mahomes would need to keep his current pace up for around a decade. While many people think that’s possible, few NFL players have stuck around the game for that long of a time. Only time will tell if anyone reaches Brady’s record. 

Jerry Rice’s 197 career receiving touchdowns

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No wide receiver has come close to passing Jerry Rice on the all-time receiver list since he retired.

Few football heads argue in favor of any receiver being better than Jerry Rice. He had one of the most amazing careers, which was capped off by his induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. There wasn’t any doubt about whether Rice would get in. One of the reasons people claim Rice is the greatest wide receiver in history is because of how many touchdowns he caught. During his time in the NFL, Rice reached the end zone 197 times. That’s more than any other receiver in history. 

If someone were to break Rice’s record, they’d need to average more than a touchdown per game for ten straight seasons. Most wide receivers only have a prime that lasts for five or six years. After that, most lose their speed and athleticism. Since most receivers aren’t that tall, they fizzle out of the league. Even someone like Calvin Johnson, who had a shot at this record, retired early because of injuries. Rice’s record likely won’t be going anywhere in the near future. 

Barry Bonds’ 762 home runs

Barry Bond Attends San Francisco Giants Camp as a Spring Training Instructor
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Even though he’s the home run leader, there aren’t many players as controversial as Barry Bonds.

Baseball is one of the oldest sports in the world. People were playing it during the Civil War era. For many years, nobody thought that Babe Ruth’s home run record would fall. Then along came Hank Aaron. Once Aaron retired, baseball fans were seemingly convinced that Aaron would remain baseball’s home run king forever. However, Barry Bonds had other ideas. When Bonds finished his career, he had hit 762 balls out of the park. 

There are many baseball purists who still consider Aaron the home run leader because of Bonds’ connection to steroid use. Those who support Bonds still maintain that he had to make contact with the ball, which is the most challenging thing to do in sports. What makes Bonds’ case even more interesting is knowing he played his games in San Francisco, where the ball notoriously doesn’t fly far. Any player who wants to track down Bonds will have to maintain their hitting power for around two decades before they come close. For more sports content, click here to read about the athletes with the most Summer Olympic medals. 

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