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Detroit Pistons

Fast facts on the highest scoring game in NBA history between the Denver Nuggets and Detroit Pistons

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Nuggets vs. Pistons (NBA Getty Images)

On this date in 1983, the Denver Nuggets and Detroit Pistons played in what would end up being the highest-scoring game in league history.

It took three overtime periods, but when all was said and done, the Pistons escaped Denver with a 186-184 win as the teams combined to score 370 points.

While offences have been scoring at a high rate in 2018, it's highly unlikely that the numbers reached on Dec. 13 1983 will ever be reached again.

Historic nights mean a number of eye-popping stats and facts came in the process, so let's take a look back at some of the biggest details in the triple overtime thriller.

The teams combined to hit two 3-pointers

Yes. For the entire game.

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It may seem unheard of in this day and age, but 3-point shooting was not common in the 80s. In the 1982-83 season, the league leader in 3-pointers made just 1.1 shots from deep per game and the league average was 0.5 made 3-pointers per game.

On this night, Pistons guard Isiah Thomas sank one of his two 3-point attempts while Nuggets reserve big man Richard Anderson sank his lone 3-point attempt for the game.

Both the Nuggets and Pistons finished the night shooting 1-for-2 from deep.

Four players finished with over 40 points

The Nuggets' Kiki VanDeWeghe, who now serves as the Executive VP of Basketball Operations of the NBA, led all scorers with 51 points (on 21-for-29 shooting) and came close to recording a triple-double as he added nine rebounds and eight assists.

Hall-of-Famer Alex English finished with 47 points (on 18-for-30 shooting), 12 rebounds and seven assists in 50 minutes of action for Denver.

The Pistons were led by Hall-of-Famer Isiah Thomas, who scored 47 points (on 18-for-34 shooting), dished out 17 assists, grabbed five rebounds and recorded four steals.

Thomas' backcourt mate John Long finished with 41 points (on 18-for-25 shooting), eight assists and six rebounds in 46 minutes of play.

Kelly Tripucka scored all of Detroit's points in the second OT

The 6-foot-6 forward was quoting saying, "The game lasted so long, we were wondering if we could find a place to eat after the game. We were wondering, 'Is there an all-night diner in Denver?'"

In the second overtime, it became pretty clear Tripucka was ready to get done.

Detroit's starting small forward scored all 12 of the team's points in the five minute period but was matched by Denver, who forced the third and final overtime period.

Tripucka finished the night with 35 points (on 14-for-25 shooting) in 39 minutes, meaning he scored 23 points in the 34 minutes outside of the second overtime period.

12 points in five minutes is a pretty impressive rate.

A total of 117 free throws were attempted

If a triple-overtime game wasn't long enough to begin with, consider the 87 personal fouls that were called during the night.

Detroit failed to make the most of their opportunities at the line, connecting on just 37 of its 60 attempts (61.7 percent). Denver was much better from the line, shooting 47-for-57 (82.5 percent) for the game.

It's fair to say free throw shooting kept the Nuggets in the game.

In total, five players fouled out of the game - four Nuggets and the Pistons' Cliff Levingston. Amazingly enough, Levingston fouled out in just 13 minutes of action.

Just imagine how much shorter the game would have been had less free throws been taken.

It's a night that Hall-of-Famer Alex English will never forget

Alex English played in 1,193 career games and amassed over 25,000 points, but this specific game stands out in his memory.

That should tell you all you need to know.

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