82 Stats on Dunks in the NBA

Posted on 11 March, 2020 by Dimitrije Curcic

"I always used slam-dunking as a tool for intimidation." - Dominique Wilkins

 

The purpose of this page is to provide detailed stats about dunks in the NBA league. Feel free to use this information as long as you link to the original source. 

The page stats are taken from RunRepeat's database of 169,734 dunks made in the NBA since the 2000-01 season.

Navigation

League trends

Player Breakdowns

 

Dunks in the NBA over time

 

Season Dunks
2001-02 8,442
2002-03 8,254
2003-04 8,131
2004-05 9,152
2005-06 8,633
2006-07 8,321
2007-08 9,261
2008-09 9,362
2009-10 8,596
2010-11 8,906
2011-12 9,100
2012-13 9,525
2013-14 9,035
2014-15 8,793
2015-16 9,126
2016-17 9,645
2017-18 9,926
2018-19 11,393
  • The number of dunks in a regular NBA season jumped by 35% since the 2001-02 season.
  • The increase in the last decade (since 2010-11) is 28%.
  • In the 2018-19 season only, there was a 15% increase in dunks compared to the season before.
  • Denver Nuggets lead the NBA with 420 dunks per season since 2001-02 season, followed by the Thunder, Lakers, and Clippers.
  • San Antonio Spurs have a league-low 197 dunks per season. Pacers and Celtics close the bottom 3.

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Player impact on team dunks

 

These are the largest increases in the team's dunk count compared to the season before, along with the players who arrived at the team in question.

Player Arrived Team Season Dunks Prior Season Improvement
Shaquille O'Neal MIA 2004-05 499 211 136%
Jason Kidd BRK 2001-02 463 219 111%
Jason Williams MEM 2001-02 445 231 93%
Dwight Howard ORL 2004-05 422 219 93%
James Harden HOU 2012-13 415 215 93%
Blake Griffin LAC 2010-11 502 281 79%
Andre Drummond DET 2012-13 320 180 78%
Trae Young ATL 2018-19 528 309 71%
Damian Lillard POR 2012-13 359 217 65%
LeBron James LAL 2018-19 572 385 49%

 

  • 2018-19 season had the biggest growth since 2001, with 15% more dunks than the season before.
  • Centers and playmakers have the largest impact on the number of team dunks.
  • Shaquille O'Neal and Jason Kidd are the only players whose arrival led to over 100% increase in team dunks.
  • Trae Young is the only rookie on the top10 list of players with the highest impact on the team dunks.

 

These are the largest decreases in the team's dunk count compared to the season before, along with the major factors that led to the decrease.

Team Season Dunks Prior Season Decrease What Happened
ATL 2013-14 154 323 -52% Mike Buddenholzer became a head coach
PHO 2005-06 275 505 -46% Amare Stoudemire got injured, out for a season
BRK 2004-05 217 394 -45% Vince Carter came to the Nets
CHI 2003-04 158 272 -42% Eddy Curry (center) left the team
DAL 2015-16 214 364 -41% Tyson Chandler (center) left the team
WAS 2012-13 296 477 -38% JaVale McGee (center) left the team
BOS 2015-16 169 267 -37% Rajon Rondo (point guard) left the team
SAS 2017-18 192 292 -34% Dwane Dedmon (center) left the team

 

  • 2009-10 season had the biggest decrease in dunks, dropping by 8% from a season before.
  • It's shocking to see that the number of dunks by the New Jersey Nets decreased by 45% when they brought in one of the best dunkers the game has ever seen.
  • Atlanta's 52% decrease shows how big of an impact a coach has on a team.

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Share of dunks in team points

 

 

Season Dunks in Total Points Dunks in 2P FG Made
2002 7.4% 11.5%
2003 7.3% 11.3%
2004 7.3% 11.5%
2005 7.7% 12.3%
2006 7.2% 11.7%
2007 6.9% 11.1%
2008 7.5% 12.3%
2009 7.6% 12.5%
2010 7.1% 11.4%
2011 7.3% 11.8%
2012 7.7% 12.3%
2013 7.9% 12.9%
2014 7.3% 12.3%
2015 7.1% 12.0%
2016 7.2% 12.5%
2017 7.4% 13.3%
2018 7.6% 13.9%
2019 8.3% 15.6%

 

  • Since James Harden became a Rocket in 2012-13, no other team has a bigger share of dunks in 2P field goals (20%).
  • The Rockets led the league 4 times, were 3rd twice, and 4th one time during this period.
  • Since 2014-15 season, the Rockets (20.2%) and the Jazz (19.2%) lead the league in the dunk/2P field goal ratio.
  • The Spurs (8.2%) and the Pacers (8.7%) have the league's lowest since 2015.
  • The Jazz 2018-19 season, where almost a quarter of their 2-pointers were dunks (24.7%), stands as the league's record since 2001.
  • In 2008-09, the Spurs had only 3% of dunks in their 2-point shots, which is the league's lowest since 2001.

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Distribution of dunks by quarter

 

 

Season 1Q 2Q 3Q 4Q
2002 2428 2101 2030 1840
2003 2381 2102 1961 1774
2004 2295 2016 2004 1773
2005 2547 2285 2250 2029
2006 2470 2204 1992 1908
2007 2272 2107 1995 1886
2008 2632 2308 2250 2041
2009 2563 2409 2252 2090
2010 2503 2266 2060 1922
2011 2534 2328 2073 1919
2012 2461 2311 2167 2103
2013 2569 2399 2327 2182
2014 2483 2338 2175 1983
2015 2322 2351 2102 1977
2016 2381 2296 2269 2124
2017 2514 2486 2378 2221
2018 2613 2564 2379 2332
2019 2949 2928 2697 2760

 

  • Teams are logging 50% more dunks in 2019 than in the 2002 season, while the average growth was 35%.
  • Dunks in the 4th quarter of the game grew 2.3x more than dunks in the 1st quarter.
  • Last season had the most equal distribution of dunks among quarters, with only 1.7% range.
  • In 2001-02, the range was 6.8%.
  • 2018-19 was the first season where 4th quarter didn't have the lowest number of dunks in the game.
  • It was also the first season with a minimum of 2500 dunks in each quarter.

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Dunks by game time

 

 

Minutes in the game

Dunks

(2002-2019)

0-3 10023
3-6 11831
6-9 12813
9-12 9686
12-15 11523
15-18 11023
18-21 10045
21-24 8692
24-47 9124
27-30 9935
30-33 10963
33-36 8841
36-39 10670
39-42 8927
42-45 8831
45-48 7972

 

  • 1st and 3rd quarters follow the same pattern: increase of dunks over the first 9 minutes, then a decrease in the last 3 minutes.
  • 2nd and 4th quarters also have identical patterns: most dunks occur during the first 3 minutes, then constant drop as the quarter progresses.
  • There have been more dunks during the first 36 minutes of games in 2018/19 than in the whole 2001-02 season.

 

This chart shows the number of dunks scored by NBA players when their team's point in the game fall within each of the following ranges.

 

Season 0-20 20-40 40-60 60-80 80-100 >100
2002 2162 1772 1744 1606 971 187
2003 2111 1790 1740 1514 933 166
2004 2087 1719 1750 1592 836 147
2005 2271 1834 1933 1711 1157 246
2006 2195 1790 1766 1593 1060 229
2007 2005 1708 1630 1569 1126 283
2008 2228 1832 1843 1752 1208 398
2009 2199 1912 1857 1713 1295 386
2010 2095 1737 1808 1574 1195 375
2011 2190 1840 1794 1605 1168 309
2012 2212 1869 2089 1762 1305 232
2013 2259 1855 2007 1811 1309 284
2014 2161 1698 1885 1671 1248 372
2015 2032 1767 1837 1632 1209 316
2016 2020 1749 1784 1756 1363 454
2017 2052 1817 1888 1747 1462 679
2018 2150 1764 1964 1815 1464 769
2019 2383 1955 2022 2029 1848 1156

 

  • The number of dunks made while teams scored over 100 points jumped by 518% since the 2001-02 season.
  • Dunks during 80-100 team points scored jumped by 90% since 2002.
  • Lower scoring intervals didn't have any significant increase during the same period (10%).
  • 2018-19 was the first season with more than 1000 dunks during the 100+ scoring interval.
  • The range among scoring intervals decreased from 23% to 11% since 2002.

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Dunks by position

 

Season PG SG SF PF C
2002 133 1267 1854 2301 2887
2003 291 1215 1602 2288 2858
2004 287 1067 1469 2638 2670
2005 187 1427 1906 2516 3116
2006 276 1144 1926 2518 2769
2007 175 946 1628 2384 2898
2008 217 1260 1872 2434 3478
2009 259 1061 1985 2304 3753
2010 270 1108 1898 2429 3079
2011 272 1123 1863 2532 3116
2012 344 839 1444 2404 2293
2013 305 1038 1755 2990 3437
2014 385 967 1870 2818 2995
2015 504 1062 1511 2430 3286
2016 501 948 1673 2377 3627
2017 346 876 1928 2222 4273
2018 614 1091 1261 2421 4539
2019 659 1240 1739 2342 5413

 

 

 

  • Power forwards faced the biggest dunking decline, dropping from 30% to 21% share in total dunks.
  • Centers have increased their share in total dunks from 35% in 2001-02 to 48% in 2018-19.
  • Point guards doubled their share in total dunks in 2018-19 with 6%, jumping from 3% in 2001-02.
  • Small forwards also faced a decline, from 22% to 15%.
  • Shooting guards are the only position that maintained their share: 10% in 2002, 11% in 2019.
  • Since 2014-15 season, dunks by centers increased by 65%, while power forwards dropped by 4%.

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Player breakdown - best dunkers

 

Table: Most dunks since the 2000-01 season

Rnk Player Seasons Dunks
1 Dwight Howard 15 2709
2 DeAndre Jordan 11 1987
3 Shaquille O'Neal 11 1874
4 LeBron James 16 1822
5 Tyson Chandler 18 1724
6 Amar'e Stoudemire 14 1593
7 Andre Iguodala 15 1461
8 Shawn Marion 15 1408
9 Pau Gasol 18 1374
10 Kevin Durant 13 1285
11 Kenyon Martin 15 1278
12 Nenê Hilário 17 1224
13 Dwyane Wade 16 1098
14 JaVale McGee 11 1097
15 Anthony Davis 7 1070

 

  • Surprisingly, 4 out of 10 highest-volume dunkers are not power forwards or centers.
  • From 1435 players with at least 1 dunk since 2001-02, top10 dunkers (0.7%) account for more than 10% of all recorded dunks.
  • Top50 (3% of players) account for more than 30% of all dunks.
  • Only 3 players have over 1000 dunks in less than 10 seasons (Anthony Davis, Blake Griffin, Andre Drummond).
  • Dwayne Wade (13th), Kobe Bryant (34th), Vince Carter (38th), and Jason Richardson (45th) are the only guards among the top50.
  • Russell Westbrook leads point guards with 514 dunks by 2018-19 (75th overall).
  • The next point guard on the list is James Harden with 310 (155th overall).
  • Chuck Hayes is the center with the lowest dunk rate among centers with at least 10 seasons in the NBA; 15 dunks in 11 seasons.
  • There are 10 point guards with more than 100 dunks since the 2001-02 season.

 

Table: Highest Dunks per season averages since the 2000-01 season

Rnk Player Seasons Dunks Dunks Per Season
1 DeAndre Jordan 11 1987 181
2 Dwight Howard 15 2709 181
3 Shaquille O'Neal 11 1874 170
4 Rudy Gobert 6 937 156
5 Giannis Antetokounmpo 6 931 155
6 Anthony Davis 7 1070 153
7 Clint Capela 5 724 145
8 Andre Drummond 7 1007 144
9 Jarrett Allen 2 287 144
10 Ben Simmons 2 281 141
11 John Collins 2 280 140
12 Deandre Ayton 1 135 135
13 Mitchell Robinson 1 128 128
14 Willie Cauley-Stein 4 477 119
15 Blake Griffin 9 1055 117

 

 

  • 22 NBA players average over 100 dunks per season played.
  • 10 out of those 22 have played 5 or fewer seasons in the league.
  • Ben Simmons is the only guard who averages over 100 dunks per season.

 

Table: Highest Dunk per Game averages since the 2000-01 season

Rnk Player Games Dunks Dunks Per Game
1 Shaquille O'Neal 673 1874 2.78
2 Dwight Howard 1044 2709 2.59
3 Clint Capela 295 724 2.45
4 DeAndre Jordan 819 1987 2.43
5 Rudy Gobert 406 937 2.31
6 Anthony Davis 466 1070 2.30
7 John Collins 135 280 2.07
8 Giannis Antetokounmpo 465 931 2.00
9 Mitchell Robinson 66 128 1.94
10 Deandre Ayton 71 135 1.90
11 Jarrett Allen 152 287 1.89
12 Amar'e Stoudemire 846 1593 1.88
13 Hassan Whiteside 343 642 1.87
14 Andre Drummond 542 1007 1.86
15 Ben Simmons 160 281 1.76

 

 

  • 8 NBA players since 2001-02 season averaged over 2 dunks per game.
  • Only 69 from over 1,400 players average more than 1 dunk per game.
  • 7 out of those 69 are not big men, including LeBron James, Kevin Durant, and Giannis Antetokounmpo.
  • 21 out of the 69 have been in the league 5 seasons or less.
  • Dwight Howard is the only player in the top20 who played more than 1,000 NBA game.

 

Table: Most dunks in a season by a player since the 2000-01 season

Season Player Pos Dunks
2019 Rudy Gobert C 306
2019 Giannis Antetokounmpo PF 279
2008 Dwight Howard C 269
2005 Shaquille O'Neal C 255
2007 Dwight Howard C 254
2017 DeAndre Jordan C 253
2015 DeAndre Jordan C 252
2002 Shaquille O'Neal C 252
2003 Shaquille O'Neal C 251
2014 DeAndre Jordan C 245
2019 Clint Capela C 240
2005 Amar'e Stoudemire C 237
2017 Rudy Gobert C 235
2016 DeAndre Jordan C 227
2011 Dwight Howard C 227

 

 

  • Rudy Gobert is the only NBA player with more than 300 dunks in one season (2018-19).
  • 11 players had 200+ dunk seasons. Shaquille O'Neal had 6 seasons with more than 200 dunks, and Dwight Howard had 5. No other player had more than 2 since the 2000-01 season.
  • 92 players had 100+ dunk season since 2000-01. Dwight Howard leads the way with 14 of those seasons, followed by LeBron James with 12 seasons. Kevin Durant and DeAndre Jordan follow with 9.
  • 20 NBA players account for over 50% of 100+ dunk seasons.
  • Dwayne Wade (5) and Ben Simmons (2) are the only guards with multiple 100+ dunks seasons.
  • Only 2 guards made the top100 dunks seasons - Dwayne Wade in 2005-06 (152 dunks), and Ben Simmons in 2017-18 with 148 dunks.

 

Table: Highest share of dunks in total points by a player since the 2000-01 season

Rnk Season Player Dunks PTS Dunks/Points
1 2014 DeAndre Jordan 245 856 57.2%
2 2015 DeAndre Jordan 252 946 53.3%
3 2017 DeAndre Jordan 253 1029 49.2%
4 2019 Rudy Gobert 306 1284 47.7%
5 2015 Tyson Chandler 179 771 46.4%
6 2016 DeAndre Jordan 227 980 46.3%
7 2018 DeAndre Jordan 212 927 45.7%
8 2019 JaVale McGee 201 897 44.8%
9 2019 DeAndre Jordan 167 758 44.1%
10 2012 JaVale McGee 150 691 43.4%
11 2019 Clint Capela 240 1114 43.1%
12 2008 Tyson Chandler 193 929 41.6%
13 2018 Clint Capela 213 1026 41.5%
14 2017 Rudy Gobert 235 1137 41.3%
15 2013 Tyson Chandler 140 689 40.6%

 

  • DeAndre Jordan is the only NBA player who got more than 50% of his season points through dunks (minimum 41 games player, 10 PPG).
  • Jordan holds 6 out of top10 spots in this aspect.
  • Shaquille O'Neal and Dwight Howard are the only players who got more than 30% of their points through dunks while averaging more than 20 points per game.
  • Andre Iguodala is the only non-big with over 25% of points made through dunking.
  • Dwayne Wade and Kevin Durant are the only players averaging more than 30 points per game in a season while getting at least 10% of those points through dunks.
  • Shaq, Giannis, Amar'e Stoudemire, and Anthony Davis are the only players averaging more than 25 points per game in a season while getting at least 20% of those points through dunks.

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Player breakdown - dunks assistants

 

Table: Most dunk assists since the 2000-01 season

Rnk Player Seasons Assists
1 Andre Miller 16 1666
2 Chris Paul 14 1616
3 Russell Westbrook 11 1469
4 Steve Nash 14 1396
5 Jason Kidd 13 1276
6 LeBron James 16 1182
7 James Harden 10 1104
8 Dwyane Wade 16 1004
9 Kobe Bryant 16 916
10 Rajon Rondo 13 908
11 Baron Davis 12 876
12 Stephen Curry 10 839
13 Andre Iguodala 15 807
14 Deron Williams 12 793
15 John Wall 9 792

 

  • LeBron James is the only forward with over 1,000 dunks assists since the 2000-01 season.
  • LeBron is also the only player ranked top10 in both dunks made and dunks assisted.
  • 10 out of 1821 players are responsible for 10% of all dunk assists made since 2000-01.
  • Pau Gasol is the highest-ranking center on the list, with 467 dunk assists.

 

Table: Highest dunk assists per season averages since the 2000-01 season

Rnk Player Seasons Dunk Assists Assists per Season
1 Trae Young 1 191 191
2 Russell Westbrook 11 1469 134
3 Chris Paul 14 1616 115
4 James Harden 10 1104 110
5 Andre Miller 16 1666 104
6 Luka Dončić 1 103 103
7 Steve Nash 14 1396 100
8 Jason Kidd 13 1276 98
9 John Wall 9 792 88
10 Stephen Curry 10 839 84
11 Ricky Rubio 8 662 83
12 De'Aaron Fox 2 154 77
13 Steve Francis 8 614 77
14 Ben Simmons 2 150 75
15 LeBron James 16 1182 74

 

  • Only 7 NBA players average more than 100 dunk assists per season
  • Nikola Jokic is the only center averaging more than 50 dunk assists per season, and the only center in top100 (31st)
  • Joe Ingles is the only player among top50 (17th) who is not a main ball-handler on the team
  • LeBron James, Ben Simmons, Dwayne Wade, and Andre Iguodala are the only players inside top50 with more dunks than dunk assists

 

Table: Most dunk assists in a season since the 2000-01 season

Rnk Season Player Pos Dunk Assists
1 2017 James Harden PG 221
2 2016 Russell Westbrook PG 206
3 2005 Steve Nash PG 202
4 2006 Andre Miller PG 198
5 2017 Russell Westbrook PG 194
6 2002 Jason Kidd PG 192
7 2019 Trae Young PG 191
8 2008 Steve Nash PG 185
9 2019 James Harden PG 182
10 2018 James Harden SG 178
11 2003 Jason Kidd PG 177
12 2013 Chris Paul PG 174
13 2018 Russell Westbrook PG 172
14 2007 Steve Nash PG 170
15 2009 Chris Paul PG 163

 

  • Only 3 players had a 200+ dunk assists seasons.
  • Trae Young is the highest-placed rookie on the list, ranking 7th with 191 dunk assists in the 2018-19 season.
  • Only 8 different players hold top30 highest dunk assist seasons: Chris Paul (7 times), Russel Westbrook (5 times), Andre Miller (5 times), James Harden (4 times), Steve Nash (4 times), Jason Kidd (3 times), Lou Williams and Trae Young (1 time each).
  • LeBron James (2 times), and Hedo Türkoğlu are the only non-guards recording over 100 dunk assists in a season.

 

Table: Highes share of dunk assists in total assists since the 200-01 season

Rnk Player Seasons Assists Dunks Assists Share of Dunk Assists
1 Josh Jackson 2 302 92 30.5%
2 Trae Young 1 653 191 29.2%
3 Joe Ingles 5 1364 350 25.7%
4 Luka Dončić 1 429 103 24.0%
5 James Harden 10 4743 1104 23.3%
6 Kyle Kuzma 2 319 71 22.3%
7 Šarūnas Jasikevičius 1 227 50 22.0%
8 Dante Exum 4 462 100 21.6%
9 Russell Westbrook 11 6897 1469 21.3%
10 Klay Thompson 8 1416 300 21.2%
11 Lou Williams 14 3094 654 21.1%
12 Tyler Ulis 3 537 113 21.0%
13 Miloš Teodosić 2 241 50 20.7%
14 Steve Francis 8 2966 614 20.7%
15 Andre Miller 16 8048 1666 20.7%

*Minimum 100 assist per season

 

  • Only 24 NBA players have more than 20% dunk assist share. 14 out of those 24 have been in the league less than 5 seasons. 6 out of the 24 have been in the league for more than 10 seasons.
  • James Harden, Russel Westbrook, and Andre Miller are the only members of 20% club with more than 1,000 career dunk assists.
  • The league average is 12.5% since the 2000-01 season.

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Use of graphics

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Author
Dimitrije Curcic
Dimitrije Curcic

Dimitrije Curcic has been playing basketball for over 22 years. Like Manu Ginobili, he’s a left-hander whose moves led him to a better career-shooting percentage than the Argentine himself. After playing professionally for 10 years, Dimitrije moved to coaching for two seasons before he became a basketball statistician for StatScore, and FanSided contributor for the San Antonio Spurs. Dimitrije loves to tell hoop stories through numbers and graphics and has been featured on Fansided, FiveThirtyEight, Eurohoops, and TalkBasket among the others.

dimitrije@runrepeat.com