Holding per-game stats is an extraordinary achievement, and only the best players in specific categories manage to have records. We have compiled a list of the highest per-game stats in NBA history, although one particular player holds the majority of these records. By gathering stats the most important offensive and defensive stats, here are the 10 players holding the records for the 10 major categories.
One of these categories is not too impressive (turnovers per game) due to its negative impact on the court, but all the others are. Some names are expected based on their track record in the NBA, but others might be a little surprising. A particular center has 4 of these 10 records, and his name will be shining bright by the end of this piece.
Turnovers Per Game: 5.7 - James Harden (2017)
This is one record that James Harden would rather hide. The Beard had a ridiculous amount of pressure to perform for the Houston Rockets, and everything on offense ran through him in the 2017 season. Harden averaged 29.1 PPG, 8.1 RPG, and 11.2 APG while finishing among the leaders in the MVP race. But that also meant The Beard had the ball most of the time, turning it over nearly 6 times per game. This is unbelievable and it will be hard for a player to ever break this rather embarrassing record.
Free-Throws Made Per Game: 10.6 - Jerry West (1966)
Jerry West is one of the greatest shooting guards ever, and also one of the greatest marksmen that ever lived. The Lakers legend shot 81.4% from the stripe over his Hall of Fame career and averaged 7.7 makes. But West was at his best in the 1966 season, nailing 10.6 free-throws per game while shooting 86.0%. Jerry West had a knack for getting his shots off from the perimeter, but that did not mean he could not draw fouls whenever he got near the basket.
3-Pointers Made Per Game: 5.3 - Stephen Curry (2021)
Unsurprisingly, the greatest shooter of all time has the record for most 3-point makes per game. Curry made over 5 3’s per game last season while carrying the Golden State Warriors as the best scorer in the NBA. The “Baby Faced Assassin” will likely retire as the player with the most total three-pointers made in NBA history, but he has this incredible record for now.
Field Goals Made Per Game: 20.0 - Wilt Chamberlain (1962)
Wilt Chamberlain is the man who owns the record books, and this is one of many records he has. Wilt also holds the record for most career field goal makes (12.1), but he was on an entirely different playing field in the 1962 season. Chamberlain had an easier job scoring the ball than any superstar ever, because of his physical gifts and silky touch around the rim. Needless to say, this is not the only time we will see Wilt in this article.
Minutes Per Game: 48.5 - Wilt Chamberlain (1962)
Wilt Chamberlain was not only a dominant offensive player who could make a ton of shots, but he was also a legendary Ironman. Chamberlain managed to average 48.5 MPG during the 1962 season, an amount that exceeds the time of any NBA game.
In just his third season, Wilt averaged 48.5 MPG over the course of the season. This is something that will never happen again, mainly thanks to players protecting their own bodies and hardly putting themselves through the grind of playing close to 45 minutes a game, let alone 48.5.
Wilt went through five overtime games, one double overtime, and even a triple-overtime game during the season. To kick things off with Wilt is very fitting because he will be on here plenty of times.
That means the dominant center played every second of every game on average while putting up 50.4 PPG and 25.7 RPG. There will never be another Wilt because the man was almost inhuman.
Blocks Per Game: 5.6 - Mark Eaton (1985)
Mark Eaton was a dominant shot-blocking center at 7’4”, as the 1-time All-Star averaged 3.5 BPG over his career. The big man played his entire career with the Utah Jazz and had 3 seasons averaging over 4 BPG. Eaton managed to have his best shot-blocking year during the 1985 season, averaging 5.6 BPG. No player has managed to come close to this record because quite frankly, Eaton was a 7’4” beast who is one of the best interior enforcers in NBA history.
Steals Per Game: 3.7 - Alvin Robertson (1986)
Alvin Robertson was a great defender, making 6 All-Defensive Teams and also winning Defensive Player of the Year. The latter award is mainly given to dominant big men because of their raw size, but the fact that a 6’3” guard won this award is an indication of how special Robertson was. The Spurs legend also holds the record for most SPG in a season, averaging nearly 4.
Rebounds Per Game: 27.2 - Wilt Chamberlain (1961)
Once again, Wilt Chamberlain owns an NBA record. The dominant center averaged 22.9 RPG over his career, but he managed to pull over 27 rebounds per game in the 1961 season. That was also the same season he averaged 38.4 PPG in 47.8 MPG. Chamberlain would go on to average 50.4 PPG and 25.7 RPG the following season, making his career something that is completely incomparable.
Assists Per Game: 14.5 - John Stockton (1990)
Of course, the greatest assist-man in NBA history holds the record for most APG in a single season. John Stockton never missed the playoffs with the Jazz, made the Finals twice, and formed one of the best duos in NBA history with Karl Malone. Stockton also leads all players in assists and steals, with his best playmaking season coming in 1990. The Hall of Fame point guard averaged 14.5 APG, with the majority of his passes coming the way of Karl Malone who averaged his career-high 31.0 PPG.
Points Per Game: 50.4 - Wilt Chamberlain (1962)
Would there be anyone else? Wilt’s 1962 season was something out of a fairytale because the big man averaged over 50 PPG in 80 games of play. This was also the same season Wilt averaged 48.5 MPG (a record itself) and scored 100 points in a single game (hint: record). The game came too easy for Chamberlain, a man who was bigger and more athletic than any player in the league at that time. It is only fitting we ended this list with Wilt because he is the greatest record-book holder we have ever seen.
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