Saturday night, as usual for the NBA, was filled with three-pointers. The Sacramento Kings-Houston Rockets game featured 32 triples, while the Toronto Raptors hit 18 by themselves with seven different players hitting multiple threes.
Between the nine games of the day, teams hit 194 shots from beyond the arc, which gives them 25,864 on the season — 22.6 per game. That mark sets a new record for most three-pointers in a season that was set just last year.
The league has rapidly expanded its appetite for three-pointers in recent years with new records being set each of the past seven seasons. The last time the league didn’t set a new record for threes was in the lockout-shortened 2011-2012 campaign.
Most impressively, there are still over two weeks left in the regular season, so the league will crush the 2017-18 record of 25,807 three-pointers. At their current pace, teams are projected to hit 27,808.
Three-point heavy offenses are still relatively new to the league since teams didn’t hit 10,000 threes in a season until 1994-95. The league reached 15,000 threes in 2007-08 and hit 20,000 three-pointers for the first time in 2015-16.
Who is responsible for all the three-pointers?
The Rockets started the three-point revolution with Moreyball, which calls on teams to shoot only the most efficient shots: three-pointers, free throws and shots at the basket. Sure enough, they’re leading the way again this year.
Houston’s last three seasons mark the most three-pointers for a team in a single season, and they’re closing in on the all-time record once again. At 1,212 through 77 games, they are only 44 shy of their all-time record set last year.
Meanwhile, the Milwaukee Bucks are at 1,025 on the season and joined the Rockets as one of seven teams to ever cross the 1,000-shot threshold. Eight other teams have at least 900 threes made and thus a shot at joining them as well.
The league’s 35.5 percent three-point percentage only ranks 14th all-time — the record is 36.7 percent in 2008-09 — but teams’ sheer volume of shots likely keeps that number down. Teams shoot more than twice as many threes as they did in 2004-05 with the league on pace to shoot 78,385 threes this season.
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