Fewest points allowed in a single game – Miami Heat at Toronto Raptors – March 19, 2008
While it may not be a league record, it’s pretty damn close.
Against a severely undermanned Miami Heat team that was missing Dwyane Wade, Alonzo Mourning, Shawn Marion and Udonis Haslem, the Raptors clamped up, beating the Heat 96-54.
While Miami’s starting lineup on the day was Mark Blount, Earl Barron, Chris Quinn, Ricky Davis and Daequan Cook (props to you if you remember any of those names), holding an NBA team to 54 points is still unfathomable.
The Raptors led 58-26 at the half, and could have easily coasted to victory from there. Instead, their defence intensified (or the Heat’s offence further stagnated), as Miami only managed nine points in the fourth quarter.
To put this number in perspective, only two teams have held opponents to less in the shot clock era. The league record belongs to the ’98-99 Heat, who held the Chicago Bulls to 49 points. A 74-53 Pistons win over the Nuggets is the only other single team score below the measly 54 points managed by the ’07-08 Heat against the Raptors.
The Raptors still play good defence, but in today’s era of analytics-inspired three-point shooting, teams are bound to stumble into 54 or more points simply by jacking up enough shots.