Who Has the Most 3-Pointers in an NBA Game?

On March 7, 2016, Klay Thompson of the Golden State Warriors set the NBA record for most three-pointers made in a game with 14.

NBA Three-Point History

The three-point line was introduced in the NBA in the 1979-80 season. Since then, several players have made a name for themselves by knocking down shots from beyond the arc. Who has made the most threes in an NBA game? Let’s take a look at the top five players on the list.

Early three-point shooters

Several players, including Rick Barry and Mike Dunleavy Sr., were early adopters of the three-point shot. But it was Syracuse’s Billy Owens who took the most three-pointers in an NBA game, attemptiing 22 shots from beyond the arc in a game against the Charlotte Hornets in 1996. Owens made just six of his attempts, but his total number of attempts remains an NBA record.

The three-point line is introduced

In the 1979-80 NBA season, the three-point line was introduced. In its first season, only 41 players attempted a three-pointer. The next season, that number jumped to 354. But it wasn’t until the 1986-87 season when NBA players really began to embrace the long ball. That year, 1,282 players attempted at least one three-pointer.

Here is a look at the single-game record for most three-pointers made in an NBA game:

Player (Team): Threes Made
George McCloud (Indiana Pacers): 9
Dennis Scott (Orlando Magic): 9
Reggie Miller (Indiana Pacers): 8
Jason Terry (Atlanta Hawks): 8
J.R. Smith (New Orleans Hornets): 8

Most Three-Pointers in a Game

Kobe Bryant holds the record for the most three-pointers in a game. He made 12 three-pointers against the Seattle SuperSonics on January 7, 2003.

Klay Thompson

Klay Thompson of the Golden State Warriors set the all-time record for most three-pointers in a game with 14. The previous record was held by Stephen Curry with 13.

Steph Curry

On November 7, 2016, in a game against the New Orleans Pelicans, Steph Curry set the record for most three-pointers in a game with 13. This broke the previous record of 12, held by Kobe Bryant and Donyell Marshall. Curry finished the game with 46 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists.

Other Notable Three-Point Shooters

Kobe Bryant, Stephen Curry, and Donyell Marshall are all NBA players who have made at least 12 three-pointers in a single game. Bryant did it twice, while Curry did it three times. Marshall’s mark came in a four-overtime game against the Milwaukee Bucks in 2005. all of these players have made a significant number of three-pointers in an NBA game.

Ray Allen

Ray Allen is best remembered for his time with the Boston Celtics, where he formed a formidable partnership with fellow All-Star Paul Pierce and helped lead the team to an NBA Championship in 2008. He is also one of the greatest three-point shooters in NBA history, holding the record for most 3-pointers made in a career with 2,973.

Allen was drafted 5th overall by the Minnesota Timberwolves in the 1996 NBA Draft, but he was immediately traded to the Milwaukee Bucks. It was there that he began to hone his skills as a three-point shooter, and by his fourth season he was making over 200 threes in a season. He continued to be one of the league’s best shooters throughout his time with the Bucks, and in 2001 he set a then-record by hitting 269 threes in a single season.

In 2003, Allen was traded to the Seattle SuperSonics, where he would spend four seasons before being traded to the Boston Celtics. It was in Boston that Allen truly cemented his legacy as one of the greatest shooters of all time. In 2007-08, he hit an incredible 269 threes, leading the league for the second time in his career. The following season, he hit an even more impressive 272 threes, setting a new single-season record.

Allen’s shooting prowess helped him earn 10 All-Star nods throughout his illustrious career, and he won an Olympic gold medal as part of Team USA’s “Redeem Team” at the 2008 Summer Olympics. He retired in 2016 after playing for five different teams over his 20-year NBA career, and his 2,973 made three-pointers will likely stand as the league’s all-time record for many years to come.

Reggie Miller

Reggie Miller, who played his entire 18-year NBA career with the Indiana Pacers, is one of the league’s most prolific three-point shooters. He is currently sixth on the NBA’s all-time list for three-pointers made, with 2,560.

In a single game, Miller holds the record for most three-pointers made in a quarter (9), half (11), and game (12). He accomplished this feat against the New York Knicks on January 5, 1993. Miller would go on to score 47 points in that game, leading the Pacers to a 119-114 victory.

While Miller is best known for his shooting prowess, he was also an excellent defender and rebounder. He was a five-time NBA All-Star and was named to the All-NBA Third Team in 1998. He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2012.

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