The 10 greatest scoring performances in NBL history

The 10 greatest scoring performances in NBL history

57 Points – James Crawford (Perth) vs Melbourne 06/09/87

The “Alabama Slamma” had his finest season in 1987, his sixth in the league and his first as a Perth Wildcat. After a one-year stint in Canberra, Crawford helped Cal Bruton, Kendal “Tiny” Pinder and crew reach the NBL finals with a top 4 finish. He averaged 33 points, 12 rebounds, 3 assists. 2 steals and 2 blocks per game that year.


His best game that year came against Andrew Gaze and the Melbourne Tigers. The Tigers came out guns blazing behind some sharp shooting from Andrew Gaze (48 points, 9 rebounds and 5 assists) and Nigel Purchase (23 points and 5 assists) and were up 42-38 at the end of the first quarter.


James Crawford, who played every second of that games 48 minutes, refused to travel all the way down to Albert Park and leave without taking home a win and dominated all facets of the game scoring 57 points, 11 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 blocks. He was unstoppable from inside, making 24/36 shots, and when the Tigers resulted to fouling him in attempts to get back in front he was near perfect from the charity stripe (9/10 free throws).


Cal Bruton also provided 25 points and 7 assists (most coming from Crawford dunks). The Wildcats led every quarter after that and came away with a 153-119 victory.


57 Points – Wayne McDaniel (Hobart) vs Adelaide 18/08/89

1989 wasn’t a great year for Tasmanian basketball fans. The team finished 10th on the ladder with a record of 8-16. The team could not win on the road, mustering only 2 away wins in 12 games.


One of those games was against Adelaide at the legendary Apollo stadium, site of many of Australian basketball’s finest moments, and the night Wayne McDaniel exploded for 57 points was another one of them.


Both teams were able to put up 93 shots in a fast paced match-up that night, but it was Adelaide’s ability to be effective from behind the three-point line which made the difference.


Darryl Pearce (21 points) nailed 5/10 long range bombs and Mark Davis (34 points) went 3 for 3 from downtown himself. But Wayne McDaniel fought valiantly to keep the game within reach.


McDaniel had little support from his teammates that night and attempted to single-handedly snare the win for Hobart.


He scored 54% of his team’s score while grabbing 12 rebounds in 47 minutes. The 36ers were the better team this night and were able to take a 120-105 victory away from the Devils, who were never really in the game.


58 Points – Andrew Gaze (Melbourne) vs Newcastle 20/09/86

The first of three Andrew Gaze performances which rank in the top 10 all-time scoring performances in NBL history. 1986 was an incredible year for the league. 14 teams competed for the ultimate prize and the Adelaide 36ers finished on top of the ladder with a 24-2 season before winning the title and becoming arguably the greatest team in NBL history.


At the bottom of that ladder was a hapless Melbourne Tigers team who finished 6-20 record. In the second last game of the season, Andrew Gaze made sure the team wouldn’t finish the year on a poor note.


The Tigers faced a Newcastle Falcons line-up which featured Michael Johnson (26 points) and Wayne McDaniel (24 points) who were neck and neck with the Tigers until Gaze went off in the final quarter, scoring three-pointers, mid-range jumpers and getting to the line for freebies.


Gaze shot 23/34 for the game and that included 6/8 three’s and 6/6 free throws. In between nailing jumpers, he found time to dish out 9 assists and grab 7 rebounds too. Behind some final quarter brilliance from Gaze, Paul Stanley (31 points) and Nigel Purchase (23 points), Melbourne came away winners 132-121.


59 Points – Andrew Gaze (Melbourne) vs Illawarra 27/07/91

By 1991 Gaze averaged 39 points per game for the Tigers and they were a competitive team. They were good enough to make the playoffs after finishing sixth on the ladder with a 16-10 record.


In Lindsay Gaze’s 200th game as coach, the team travelled to Illawarra. It was there fans witnessed the highest combined team score in NBL history. The Tigers outscored the Hawks 186-158, 59 of their points coming in the first quarter.


The Melbourne Tigers shot at a ridiculous 76% clip as a team, hitting 70/92 shots. Gaze was good for 59 points (23/29 from the field), while Tigers import duo Dave Colbert (42 points) and Dave Simmons (36 points) played their part in the win also.


Greg Hubbard (36 points) and Patric Fairs (41 points) were best for Illawarra


59 Points  – Al Green (West Adelaide) vs Coburg 19/05/84

What a game this one was. A run and gun affair at the “Ken Watson Stadium” (Coburg Stadium) between the Coburg Giants smooth lefty Bennie Lewis and the fastest man in the league, West Adelaide Bearcats Al Green. The import stars went back and forth, bucket for bucket at times as they combine for 110 points.

Lewis couldn’t make a bucket from outside (0-8 from three) but his slashing moves to the basketball couldn’t be stopped and racked up 51 points on 25-40 shots all made inside the perimeter.


Al Green was equally impressive scoring on some crafty penetration moves (24/45 from the field) and when they chose to foul him because they couldn’t keep up, he nailed 10/11 free throws to finish with 59 points (and 11 assists, 8 rebounds and 3 steals mind you).


Green’s West Adelaide Bearcats weren’t able to get the win despite his, individual brilliance.


Peter Blight (40 points and 11 rebounds) and Wayne Carroll (25 points and 6 assists) were the perfect complimentary cast to Lewis that night. Their play resulted in the Giants being able to run away victors, 148-127. Bearcats Donny Gipson had 33 points and 9 rebounds also.


The Giants finished fourth on the NBL ladder that season before being eliminated in the first round of the NBL playoffs.


60 Points – Al Green (West Adelaide) vs Bankstown 05/05/84

Two weeks before he dropped 59 on the Giants “Mean” Al Green had 60 against the Bankstown Bruins.


This was a bloodbath at the Apollo Stadium, the Bearcats shot 65% as a team, shot 14/15 free throws and get this, the Supersonics had only 13 rebounds as a team due to the fact the Bearcats simply didn’t miss, so there were no rebounds to grab.


Brian Devincenzi did his best for Bankstown 36 points and 2 steals, but he fouled out early and Bruins were simply outclassed, losing 154-90.


Green’s teammate Donny Gipson went for 38 points on 18/22 shooting and hauled in 12 rebounds also. But the “Mean Machine” was the star this night. 60 points on 26/34 shooting (76 percent), 3 rebounds and 5 assists. Despite the crazy points difference, the Bruins finished 11th and the Bearcats finished 10th, only one spot above on the NBL ladder.


60 Points – Andrew Gaze (Melbourne) vs Newcastle 11/07/87

It’s likely no player will ever have a year in the NBL like Andrew Gaze did in 1987. While his Melbourne Tigers may have finished bottom of the ladder, Andrew did everything he could to try and stop that from happening.


Over the season he averaged 44 points per game… imagine, game in, game out finishing with 44 points on the box score. He also averaged 8 rebounds (the most in his career), 6 assists and 3 steals per game.


On this night the Newcastle Falcons came ready to play. Jerry Everett (37 points), Wayne McDaniel (35 points and 10 rebounds) and Michael Johnson (34 points, 9 rebounds and 6 assists) forced the Tigers into making turnover after turnover and came away with a nice 137-127 win.


Gaze had some help from Paul Kapturkiewicz (24 points and 19 rebounds) and Nigel Purchase had 22 points, 9 rebounds and found Gaze time after time in the right spot, finishing with 19 assists, most coming from catch and shoot buckets from Gaze.


Drewy finished with 60 points (24/39 shooting), 7 rebounds, 9 assists and played every second of the 48 minutes game, but ultimately it ended in just another loss in one of the Melbourne Tigers worst seasons.


61 Points – Shane Heal (Brisbane) vs Townsville 23/09/94

The most recent entry into the top 10 scoring performances in NBL history. This was Heal’s highest scoring season in the NBL, finishing the year with 25 points per game.


Brisbane jumped out of the gates immediately, a number of long-range bombs from Heal saw the Bullets finish with a 38-23 first quarter against the Townsville Suns.  Shane was deadly


This was Townsville’s second season in the league and although star imports Ricky Jones (32 points) and Darryl Johnson (29 points) did all they could, they team was still finding its feet in the league.


The Bullets never let up, winning every quarter. Heal, who shot 12/19 from downtown, was unguardable. In fact the only was the Suns had a chance to stop him was to foul but when Shane went to the charity stripe he made them pay as well (11/12 free throws).


Heal’s 61 points guaranteed the win, but he was well supported by Leroy Loggins all round brilliance (19 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists, 4 steals and 2 blocks) and the 6’9″ juggernaut that was Andrew Moore (18 points, 11 rebounds) making it a night(mare) to remember for the young Suns players.


63 Points – Reg Biddings (Forrestville) vs Bankstown 12/04/81

Reg ‘Sir Reginald’ Biddings became the Adelaide 36ers first import in 1982, but the season before he played with SA rival Forrestville and produced the greatest offensive performance ever at that time.


What makes this feat even more remarkable is it was done during a 40 minute season prior to the introduction of the three-point line.



Bruins players Robbie Cadee (18 points) and Donnie Cruse (28 points) played well enough to keep the game close, but Biddings was unstoppable. The 45 points he had in the first half is still the NBL record, but he was only able to add 18 points in the second half due to fouling out.


Forrestville came away winners 98-90 and Biddings contributes the fact that Bankstown had made the Eagles wait outside for two hours prior to the game for unknown reasons as the reason he decided to “Get Nasty” that night.


He shot 13/14 from the charity stripe and 25/37 from the field, Bankstown tried everything they could defensively, playing zone defence to being the game, which turned into a box-and-one, and then a box-and-two, even defending him with three players at times.


71 Points

Al Green (West Adelaide) vs Frankston 25/05/84

This was Green’s best season in the NBL averaging 40 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 steals per game. Brisbane’s Leroy Loggins versatile greatness would capture league MVP that year (Loggins averaged 30 points, 11 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals and 2 blocks per game that season) but Green’s offensive greatness was full display this night.


The Bearcats struggled this season and this game was no different with Frankston stars Mark Gaze (43 points), Wayne Burden (42 points), Chuck Rose (29 points) and Tom Flavin (27 points) showing that great teamwork will outperform a great individual as the Frankston Bears claimed the victory 153-125



Green averaged 51 points in May, 1984 but this game was something else. Green scored every way imaginable that night. He slashed and dunked (25/41 from the field), he drained triples (4/12 from the perimeter) and when they fouled him to try and stop the bloodbath he made them pay from the free throw line too (Green made an amazing 17/22 from line). He also added 5 rebounds and 5 assists in a game.


Green’s 39.5 points per game in 1984 is the second-highest average ever in an NBL season, beaten only by Andrew Gaze of the Melbourne Tigers (who would go on to become the NBL’s all-time leading scorer) who in 1987 averaged 44.1 points per game.



1984Green, AlWest Adelaide Bearcats71Frankston25/05/1984
1981Biddings, RegForrestville Eagles63Bankstown12/04/1981
1994Heal, ShaneBrisbane Bullets61Townsville23/09/1994
1987Gaze, AndrewMelbourne Tigers60Newcastle11/07/1987
1984Green, AlWest Adelaide Bearcats60Bankstown5/05/1984
1991Gaze, AndrewMelbourne Tigers59Illawarra27/07/1991
1984Green, AlWest Adelaide Bearcats59Coburg19/05/1984
1986Gaze, AndrewMelbourne Tigers58Newcastle20/09/1986
1989Mcdaniel, WayneHobart Devils57Adelaide18/08/1989
1987Crawford, JamesPerth Wildcats57Melbourne6/09/1987
1991Fisher, ScottNorth Melbourne Giants56Hobart11/05/1991
1987Loggins, LeroyBrisbane Bullets55Melbourne3/05/1987
1987Gaze, AndrewMelbourne Tigers54Canberra24/04/1987
1987Gaze, AndrewMelbourne Tigers54Brisbane3/05/1987
1987Gaze, AndrewMelbourne Tigers54Canberra12/09/1987
1998Gaze, AndrewMelbourne Tigers54Wollongong17/02/1998
1992Reese, JasonCanberra Cannons54Geelong13/06/1992
1990Taylor, NormanWollongong Hawks54Westside Melbourne18/05/1990
1986Loggins, LeroyBrisbane Bullets54Coburg13/06/1986
1986Lewis, BennySt. Kilda Saints54Newcastle16/08/1986
1993Jones, RickyTownsville Crocodiles53South East Melbourne23/09/1993
1987Everett, JerryNewcastle Falcons53Westside Melbourne19/09/1987
1987Gaze, AndrewMelbourne Tigers52North Melbourne19/09/1987
1990Colbert, DavidMelbourne Tigers52Perth26/09/1990
1988Mcdaniel, WayneNewcastle Falcons52North Melbourne6/05/1988
1988Everett, JerryNewcastle Falcons52North Melbourne26/02/1988
1987Hinchen, VinceEastside Melbourne52West Sydney17/05/1987
1986Carfino, SteveHobart Devils52Melbourne23/05/1986
1991Gaze, AndrewMelbourne Tigers51Geelong22/09/1991
2008Ere, EbiBrisbane Bullets51Adelaide18/01/2008
2007Cattalini, MartinCairns Taipans51Brisbane22/11/2006
2001Heal, ShaneSydney Kings51Wollongong10/02/2001
1998Rucker, DerekTownsville Crocodiles51Brisbane20/03/1998
1993Reese, JasonNorth Melbourne Giants51Gold Coast9/07/1993
1992Gaze, AndrewMelbourne Tigers51Hobart6/09/1992
1990Bolden, BruceEastside Melbourne51Hobart31/08/1990
1988Hurst, JoeHobart Devils51Brisbane15/04/1988
1986Crawford, JamesCanberra Cannons51St Kilda23/08/1986
1985Kelley, VinceBankstown Bruins51Hobart4/08/1985
1985Brooks, RolandPerth Wildcats51Adelaide16/08/1985
1984Lewis, BennyCoburg Giants51West Adelaide19/05/1984
2007Powell, CarlosNew Zealand Breakers50Melbourne17/12/2006
1994Talford, CalvinHobart Devils50Brisbane8/04/1994
1994Gaze, AndrewMelbourne Tigers50Canberra30/04/1994
1990Locke, BobbyGeelong Supercats50Illawarra27/04/1990
1989Johnson, MichaelNewcastle Falcons50Westside Melbourne14/09/1989
1988Johnson, MichaelNewcastle Falcons50Canberra5/03/1990
1986Foster, JimCoburg Giants50Brisbane13/06/1986
1986Stanley, PaulMelbourne Tigers50Sydney24/08/1986
1985Gaze, AndrewMelbourne Tigers50Hobart26/07/1985
2014Goulding, ChrisMelbourne Tigers50Sydney9/03/2014



Dan BoyceAuthor: Dan Boyce (366 Posts)

Dan Boyce is a die-hard Sydney Kings fan who grew up in Melbourne during the roaring 90's of Australian Basketball and spent far too much time collecting Futera NBL Basketball cards