In April 2019, the Houston Rockets sank an NBA-record 27 three-pointers against the Phoenix Suns. Houston made 27 out of 57 three-point baskets attempted, or a 47.4% accuracy. Eric Gordon led the charge with eight three balls made while James Harden shot 5 for 6 from deep and P.J. Tucker drilling four three-point baskets in the game.
Houston’s 27 three-pointers against broke the old record of 26 which, the Rockets themselves established four months earlier, that same season. In that game, James Harden shot six triples while Chris Paul made five of his own. However, the record was set after two unlikely Rockets’ players joined the fray. Gary Clark, who was shooting just 26% from deep up to that game, tied the previous record of 26 with his conversion. Then it was Michael Carter Williams, who came in at 25% from 3PT in his career, who set the new record. Overall, Houston made 25 out of 55 three-point baskets, a 47% clip to make history.
On March 3, 2017, LeBron James led the Cleveland Cavaliers to a 135-130 win over the Atlanta Hawks. During that game, the Cavs made 25 three-pointers, the most at that time since the three-point line was established during the 1979-80 season. James shot 6 for 10 from deep to lead the Cavs’ record-making performance. Six Cavs players made at least three-pointers in that game, also another record. They made seven three-point baskets in each of the first three quarters and four in the final period.
Let’s go ahead and take a look a some of the top NBA teams this season and have some fun betting on the NBA.
Dubs Start The Revolution
The three-point shot has become one of the biggest weapons in the modern NBA. The Golden State Warriors used it as their main weapon to dominate the NBA in recent years. The Dubs won the NBA title in 2015, 2017 and 2018 behind their Splash Brother Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson who are the best three-point shooting starting backcourt in the NBA. The Warriors also added 2014 MVP Kevin Durant who is also a Deadshot from deep.
During the 2012-13 season, Curry set the record for most three-pointers made in a single game with 272. He broke his record in 2015 with 286 and then had the record book re-written again in 2016 with an incredible 402. Curry and Thompson combined for a record 484 total of three balls in 2014, 525 in 2015 and 678 in 2016. During the 2017 NBA season, Durant entered the picture and made 117 three-pointers for the Warriors.
The Warriors have represented the NBA’s powerhouse Western Conference in the NBA Finals since 2015 and although they lost to the Toronto Raptors in the most recent NBA Finals, you have to admit that they did so because both Durant and Thompson were not a factor in the series because of injuries. I like what Kawhi did in Toronto but if they played a healthy Golden State team, I think the Warriors would have won a third straight title. But that’s another story.
The Houston Rockets have seen their playoff runs ended by this sweet-shooting Golden State team in four out of the last five seasons. That’s why beginning the 2017 season, the Rockets have decided to fight fire with fire. “Moreyball” was born and the Rockets started taking more three-pointers than the rest of the league. The Rockets preferred taking threes instead of twos.
In 2017, the Rockets set the record for most three-pointers made in a single season with 1,181, breaking the old record of 1,077 which the Warriors set in 2016. Golden State had become the first team to shoot over 1,000 triples in a season but as soon as the Rockets joined the revolution, they bettered the Warriors output right away.
During the 2018 season, Houston became the first NBA team to take more three-pointers than two-pointers in a season. That was ridiculous. But Houston finished with the best record in the NBA with 65 wins during the 2018 season and they were one win away from eliminating the Warriors in the 2018 Western Conference Finals. Believing that they had built the blueprint to beat the Warriors, Moreyball became the standard.
The Rockets’ fascination with the three-point basket continued last season. Houston broke its record by making 1,373 three-pointers during the 2018-19 season. Seven other teams joined the Rockets with at least 1,000 three-pointers made last season and considering that it was only in 2016 when a team ( The Warriors) first made 1,000 three-pointers in a single season, it’s safe to say that we are experiencing a three-point revolution in the NBA right now.
The league’s appetite for three-pointers has been increasing in recent seasons. A new three-point attempts record has been set by the league in each of the last seasons. The last time a new record was not set was in 2012 but only because it was a lockout season and the teams played fewer games. The NBA’s 30 teams made a record of 25,807 three-pointers in 2018. The teams combined for 27,960 last season.
The NBA-three point arc was established in 1980. It wasn’t until 1995 when the teams combined to make 10,000 three-pointers. The 15,000 three-pointer mark was reached only in 2008 while 20,000 was breached in 2016. We could very well see 28,000 this season given how the rate has increased in the last couple of years.
28 Threes in One Game?
NBA teams are taking more three-pointers than ever. Last season, teams attempted a combined 78,750 three-pointers. The NBA average was 35.5%which only ranks 14th all-time when it comes to accuracy. But given that teams are shooting more and more, we should expect more makes as well.
The online sportsbook 888 has come up with a prop bet asking if an NBA team is going to make 28 three-pointers in a game (including overtime) this season. The odds are at +325 for a YES bet and given the revolution that we are seeing around the league right now, that may be an interesting prospect.
It was only last April when the Rockets made 27 three-pointers in one game. When you take a look at the Rockets’ roster, they still have most of the players who played in that game and it’s not a far fetched thought that they are going to come up with another game like that this season. It’s still too early but given the trends in recent years, this is going to be another three-point heavy season. With all the three-point records that have been broken in the last three seasons, I would say the stage is ripe for a team to make 28 three-pointers in a game this season. And I’m not just talking about the Rockets.