How Does Basketball Scoring Work?

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What do you think is the highlight of every basketball game? The clue is it’s not players or moves. Yes, you got it right. A basketball game is never complete without scores. That said, how does basketball scoring work?

Basketball points per game follow the three-way system. A player can score by making one, two, or three points. These points are earned when you get a ball into the net by making various shots like slamdunks, bunk shots, etc.

Now that you know the fundamentals, check out the sections below to learn more about the scoring system. 

Basketball Scoring BasicsBasketball Scoring Basics

Simply put, the basketball scoring system revolves around the type of shot made to identify the points to be given. According to Rule No. 5 of the National Basketball Association (NBA), there is three points system in basketball, which means you can earn one, two, or three points.

At the end of each game, the team with the most points made automatically earns the win. Hence, basketball officials will record each time a player scores. These scores are tabulated and are shown on the scoreboard to avoid mishaps and promote transparency.

There are many ways to make points: a field goal or a free throw. These basketball scoring terms mean that a player can earn a basketball field goal during a play wherever part on the court. Field goals are equivalent to two or three points.

As the name suggests, a free throw is a shot that any player does not guard against the opposing team. Free throws are earned by players when the opponent makes an illegal contact or breaches the rules. The number of free throws awarded to you depends on the severity of the foul made by the opponent.

In exceptional cases, a foul is made by an opponent after a player successfully delivers the ball into the ring. Hence, the point is still credited with adding one or more free throws. This rare and impressive case is called “and one” or “and one basketball.”

Types of Shots in Basketball and Points Awarded for Each ShotTypes of Shots in Basketball and Points Awarded for Each Shot

The basketball scoring system, or the point equivalent to your shot, works around the concept of basketball scoring zones. The type of shot does not matter, but the position where you made the shot identifies the equivalent point you will earn.

Now that you know the basics of the basketball scoring system, we will learn about the point system.

  • Beyond the Three-Point Arc (Three Points)

Any basketball field goal made outside the three-point arc, also known as the three-point line, has an equivalent score of three points. In other words, the type of shot you make does not matter—as long as it is beyond the arc, you earn three points (whether it be a bank shot, hook shot, jump shot, etc.).

Three points in basketball only took effect during the 1979-1980 NBA season, which aimed to give credit to points made from a long distance. In the status quo, three points have become one of the highlights of basketball games.

  • Within the Three-Point Arc (Two Points)

On the contrary, any score made within or inside the three-point arc has an equivalent of two points. The question is, how about slam dunks? How many points do you earn with slam dunks?

Grounding this case to the NBA rules, slam dunks are made inside the arc. Similar to three points, you can make two points with other shooting types like a jump shot, bank shot, etc. In short, a slam dunk, sometimes called a dunk, has a value of two points.

  • Free Throw (One Point)

The grounding principle of free throws is that you will earn this when your opponent violates in the act of making a scoring attempt. But, if you attempt to make two points and the opponent makes a violation, you will be given two free throws.

On the other hand, you will get three free throws when the opponent makes a violation in your act of making three points. When your attempt is successful, the point is credited, and you are given one free throw—this case is called “and one.”

Another case is when the team already made five fouls. Any foul made beyond the five-limit will result in two free throws.

How Do Players Score in BasketballHow Do Players Score in Basketball?

As the expression goes, there are thousands of ways to kill a cat. Basketball players earn a point or more if they successfully deliver the ball into the ring. You may be wondering how to compute the point system in basketball. 

The officials will sum up all the points by each team, and the leading team wins. Hence, these types of shots allow players to make a point.

  • Dunk

A basketball is made when you make a point by delivering it into the ring instead of releasing it off a distance. Hence, you will be propelling yourself to reach the rim.

  • Layup

It is similar to a slam dunk, except that you will not touch the ring. Hence, you will deliver the ball by jumping toward the ring and releasing it before you touch the rim.

  • Free Throw

As it suggests, a free throw means you make a score without any opponent guards. It happens when an opponent intercepts your scoring attempt illegally. The number of points varies on how severe the violation is.

  • Bank Shot

This type of basketball uses the board to make points. You will intentionally hit the board to direct the ball into the ring instead of attempting to hit the basket rim.

  • Jump Shot

Perhaps it is the most common type of shot in basketball. As the name implies, making a point via jump shot means you will release the ball at the peak of your leap to make a score.

  • Hook Shot

It is a defensive style of shot. Instead of facing the ring directly, you will make a point sideways while your shooting hand is arched and the other is guarding the ball.

3 Greatest Basketball Scorers in NBA3 Greatest Basketball Scorers in NBA

A winner is never awarded without a scoring system. Hence, basketball players like you train night and day to hone their scoring prowess. In the NBA, some outstanding players excel in making scores.

Let us look back at the most outstanding basketball scorers in the history of the NBA.

1. Michael Jordan

It is impossible to start this list without mentioning the greatest player of all time Michael Jordan. Michael Jordan cemented his name for this record with an average of 30.1 points per game in his career, according to ESPN statistics.

2. Kobe Bryant

You can never be called the greatest scorer with a flop record, and Kobe Bryant has all it takes to be one. In his 20-year stay in the NBA, Kobe Bryant averaged 25.0 points per game.

3. LeBron James

This list is never complete without LeBron James, who scored 27.2 points on average in every game. He is also trailing to becoming one of the players who has made most scores in the entire NBA with 38,299 points. Not mentioning this legend is a disrespect to the whole basketball community.

Wrapping Things Up: How Does Basketball Scoring Work?

Making a score in basketball is the focal point of the sport. But how does basketball scoring work? It takes seasoned talent and skills to master all the skills in making points.

Each player can earn up to three points for every shot they make. Points made outside the three-point arc are equivalent to three points, which means that all points made within the line are automatically two points. Meanwhile, a free throw only values one point.

However, these points are not earned quickly. It would be best if you went through many skills training seasons to be a jack of all trades in making points. Therefore, the only secret to scoring beyond your expectation is through practice. Hit the court now and harvest your labor later.

We hope you enjoyed this post! If you did, be sure to check out our other basketball FAQ articles here.

Hoops Addict
Hoops Addict

Hoops Addict was created to help basketball fans of all ages learn more about the sport and find the best basketball gear to improve their ability to hoop. He has been a huge basketball fan for decades, watching thousands of basketball games through the years to learn the ins and outs of the game.

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