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Highest Single Game Assists By Tiers: Nobody Has Come Close To Scott Skiles’ Record

In NBA history, certain records stand as towering achievements, seeming almost untouchable. Among these is Scott Skiles’ remarkable single-game record for assists, a feat that has remained unchallenged for decades. Skiles, a point guard known for his court vision and playmaking prowess, etched his name into basketball lore during the 1990-91 season when he dished out an astonishing 30 assists in a single game. 

Along with Skiles, there have been many other incredible instances of high-assist games that have shattered the mold. Amazingly, most of these records were set in the distant past which shows that the offensive paradigm shift has not led to many changes. Here are the highest instances of assists in a single game, separated into tiers. 


30+ Assists

Scott Skiles – 30 Assists (12/30/1990)

On December 30, 1990, Scott Skiles etched his name into NBA history books with a remarkable feat that still stands as a testament to his playmaking prowess. In a game against the Denver Nuggets, Skiles orchestrated the offense like a maestro, dishing out an astonishing 30 assists. This achievement not only set a single-game record for assists but also showcased Skiles’ exceptional court vision and passing ability.

What makes this performance even more impressive is that it came during a time when the game was much more physical and scoring was harder to come by. Skiles’ 30-assist game remains a rare gem in NBA lore, solidifying his place among the league’s greatest point guards. Until today, no player has broken Skiles’ record and it doesn’t seem like it will.


26+ Assists

Kevin Porter – 29 Assists (2/24/1978)

John Stockton – 28 Assists (1/15/1991)

Guy Rodgers – 28 Assists (3/14/1963)

Bob Cousy – 28 Assists (2/27/1959)

John Stockton – 27 Assists (12/19/1989)

Geoff Huston – 27 Assists (1/27/1982)

John Stockton – 26 Assists (4/14/1988)

Kevin Porter put up the second-highest number of assists on February 24, 1978, displaying his unparalleled court vision and ability to set up his teammates with scoring opportunities, cementing his legacy as one of the premier playmakers of his era. John Stockton’s 28 assists on January 15, 1991, underscored his remarkable skill in orchestrating the offense and finding open teammates with pinpoint accuracy, solidifying his reputation as one of the greatest point guards in NBA history.

Guy Rodgers’ 28 assists on March 14, 1963, highlighted his exceptional passing ability and basketball IQ, earning him recognition as a key architect of his team’s success and a standout playmaker in the league. Bob Cousy’s 28 assists on February 27, 1959, showcased his innovative style of play and visionary passing, paving the way for future generations of point guards and solidifying his status as a legend of the game.

Geoff Huston’s record on January 27, 1982, demonstrated his exceptional court vision and ability to create scoring opportunities for his teammates, leaving an enduring mark on NBA history with his impressive playmaking skills and contributions to his team’s success.

No surprise, John Stockton managed two other instances with at least 26 assists in a single game, and it certainly helps that he played with the offensive player Karl Malone. The pick-and-roll was simply devastating, and the two stars fed off each other. The Mailman is the fourth-highest scorer in NBA history and Stockton ranks first all-time in career assists, so this duo has to be one of the best ever.

Related: Predicting How Many Points Legendary NBA Stars Would Average If They Played Today


25+ Assists

Rajon Rondo – 25 Assists (12/27/2017)

Jason Kidd – 25 Assists (2/8/1996)

Kevin Johnson – 25 Assists (4/16/1994)

Nate McMillan – 25 Assists (2/23/1987)

Isiah Thomas – 25 Assists (2/13/1985)

Kevin Porter – 25 Assists (4/1/1979)

Kevin Porter – 25 Assists (3/9/1979)

Ernie DiGregorio – 25 Assists (1/1/1974)

Rajon Rondo’s 25 assists on December 27, 2017, showcased his exceptional playmaking ability and court vision, contributing significantly to the Boston Celtics’ offensive efficiency and success on the court. Jason Kidd’s 25 assists on February 8, 1996, highlighted his remarkable passing skills and basketball IQ, solidifying his reputation as one of the premier point guards of his generation.

Kevin Johnson’s 25 assists on April 16, 1994, demonstrated his ability to control the pace of the game and find open teammates with precision, establishing him as a dynamic floor general in the NBA and one of the most underrated of his time. Nate McMillan’s 25 assists on February 23, 1987, underscored his unselfishness and knack for distributing the ball effectively, earning him recognition as a valuable playmaker for his team.

Isiah Thomas’ 25 assists on February 13, 1985, showcased his leadership and ability to elevate his teammates’ performances, solidifying his status as one of the greatest point guards in NBA history beyond being just a mid-range scorer. Kevin Porter’s two performances with 25 assists on April 1, 1979, and March 9, 1979, highlighted his exceptional passing skills and impact on his team’s offensive rhythm, establishing him as a playmaking force in the league.

Ernie DiGregorio’s 25 assists on January 1, 1974, demonstrated his ability to control the flow of the game and create scoring opportunities for his teammates. DiGregorio averaged 8.2 assists per game in his rookie season and only completed five seasons in the NBA yet appears in this esteemed tier alongside other legends.


24+ Assists

Russell Westbrook – 24 Assists (5/3/2021)

Russell Westbrook – 24 Assists (1/10/2019)

Rajon Rondo – 24 Assists (10/29/2010)

Ramon Sessions – 24 Assists (4/14/2008)

Magic Johnson – 24 Assists (1/9/1990)

Magic Johnson – 24 Assists (11/17/1989)

John Stockton – 24 Assists (1/3/1989)

Isiah Thomas – 24 Assists (2/7/1985)

John Lucas – 24 Assists (4/15/1984)

Russell Westbrook’s 24 assists on May 3, 2021, showcased his exceptional playmaking ability and vision on the court, leading to numerous scoring opportunities for his teammates and highlighting his impact as a facilitator. His performance on January 10, 2019, further solidified his reputation as one of the premier point guards in the league, demonstrating his ability to create scoring opportunities and orchestrate the offense effectively.

Rajon Rondo’s 24 assists on October 29, 2010, exemplified his floor generalship and knack for setting up his teammates with easy scoring chances, playing a pivotal role in his team’s success on the court. Ramon Sessions’ 24 assists on April 14, 2008, highlighted his ability to control the tempo of the game and find open teammates with precision, showcasing his playmaking skills and basketball IQ.

Magic Johnson’s two performances with 24 assists on January 9, 1990, and November 17, 1989, demonstrated his exceptional passing ability and court vision, solidifying his legacy as one of the greatest point guards of all time. John Stockton’s 24 assists on January 3, 1989, showcased his unparalleled playmaking prowess and ability to dictate the flow of the game, contributing significantly to his team’s offensive success.

Isiah Thomas’ accomplishment of 24 assists on February 7, 1985, underscored his leadership and ability to elevate his teammates’ performances, earning him recognition as one of the premier playmakers in NBA history. John Lucas’ 24 assists on April 15, 1984, demonstrated his ability to distribute the ball effectively and create scoring opportunities for his team, showcasing his impact as a facilitator on the court.


23+ Assists

Jerry West – 23 Assists (2/1/1967)

Kevin Porter – 23 Assists (12/27/1978)

Kevin Porter – 23 Assists (3/30/1979)

Nate Archibald – 23 Assists (2/5/1982)

Magic Johnson – 23 Assists (2/21/1984)

Magic Johnson – 23 Assists (4/20/1988)

Fat Lever – 23 Assists (4/21/1989)

John Stockton – 23 Assists (4/12/1990)

John Stockton – 23 Assists (12/8/1990)

John Stockton – 23 Assists (11/29/1991)

John Stockton – 23 Assists (4/17/1992)

Mookie Blaylock – 23 Assists (3/6/1993)

Nick Van Exel – 23 Assists (1/5/1997)

Jamaal Tinsley – 23 Assists (11/22/2001)

Rajon Rondo – 23 Assists (1/5/2011)

Tyrese Haliburton – 23 Assists (12/30/2023)

The Logo, Jerry West’s 23 assists on February 1, 1967, highlighted his exceptional passing ability and court vision, contributing significantly to his team’s offensive success and showcasing his versatility as a playmaker. A familiar face at this point, Kevin Porter’s two performances with 23 assists on December 27, 1978, and March 30, 1979, demonstrated his ability to orchestrate the offense and create scoring opportunities for his teammates, solidifying his reputation as a premier point guard during his era.

Nate “Tiny” Archibald’s 23 assists on February 5, 1982, showcased his floor leadership and playmaking skills, playing a pivotal role in his team’s offensive schemes and success on the court. Magic Johnson’s two performances with 23 assists on February 21, 1984, and April 20, 1988, underscored his exceptional passing ability and court vision, solidifying his status as one of the greatest playmakers in NBA history. Is there any doubt Magic is the greatest point guard ever?

Fat Lever’s 23 assists on April 21, 1989, highlighted his ability to distribute the ball effectively and set up his teammates for scoring opportunities, showcasing his impact as a facilitator on the court. John Stockton’s four performances with 23 assists on April 12, 1990, December 8, 1990, November 29, 1991, and April 17, 1992, demonstrated his unparalleled playmaking prowess and ability to control the tempo of the game, contributing significantly to his team’s offensive success and earning him recognition as one of the greatest point guards of all time.

Mookie Blaylock’s 23 assists on March 6, 1993, highlighted his ability to set up his teammates and create scoring opportunities, showcasing his impact as a floor general on the court. Nick Van Exel’s 23 assists on January 5, 1997, showcased his exceptional passing ability and court vision, playing a key role in his team’s offensive schemes and success on the court. Jamaal Tinsley’s 23 assists on November 22, 2001, demonstrated his ability to orchestrate the offense and create scoring opportunities for his teammates, showcasing his playmaking skills and basketball IQ.

Three-time assist leader Rajon Rondo’s 23 assists on January 5, 2011, showcased his ability to control the tempo of the game and find open teammates with precision, playing a pivotal role in his team’s offensive schemes and success on the court.

The latest player to crack the esteemed tier, Tyrese Haliburton’s 23 assists on December 30, 2023, demonstrated his exceptional passing ability and court vision, highlighting his potential as a playmaker in the NBA and he could be the second coming of Steve Nash.

Related: Highest-Scoring Single Games By Tiers: Wilt’s 100-Point Game Is Still At The Top Of The Pyramid

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