With their 144-97 win on Tuesday night, the Milwaukee Bucks didn’t just beat the Miami Heat, they showered them with an unprecedented flurry of 3-point shots, setting an NBA record with 29 long baskets made in their 51 attempts. They tied the previous mark of 27 with just under 8 minutes to go, setting up Sam Merrill to make the record-breaking shot with 6:07 left in the fourth quarter.
The Bucks broke the record set by the Houston Rockets at home against the Phoenix Suns on April 7, 2019.
There had been 108 previous instances in NBA history of a team attempting 50 or more 3s in a regular-season game. The Bucks were the first team to attempt 50 3s and shoot 50% or better on those attempts (they made 56.9% on Tuesday). With an assist from ESPN Stats & Information, what were the most interesting numbers to take away from this exposition of long-distance shooting?
• 12: In addition to setting a record for the most 3s made, the Bucks also set a record with the most different players making a 3-pointer with 12, breaking the mark of 11, according to research by the Elias Sports Bureau. The Bucks were led by Jrue Holiday’s six baskets on 10 shots from 3-point distance, followed by Donte DiVincenzo going 5-of-6.
• 9: Amid all of those buckets made by so many Bucks, perhaps the biggest surprise was Giannis Antetokounmpo winding up with only 9 points on the night, albeit playing only 24 minutes. The reigning two-time MVP was the lone Milwaukee player to not score a 3-pointer, though he attempted two. The previous time Antetokounmpo scored under double digits was Dec. 22, 2018, also against the Heat in a 94-87 road loss.
• 1: Giannis didn’t make a 3, but his brother Thanasis scored his first 3-pointer, having previously shot 0-of-11 from beyond the arc over his 23 career NBA games before Tuesday.
• 30 or bust? Bryn Forbes hit the 29th and last 3-pointer with 3:30 left to go, so it wasn’t as if the clock ran out on Milwaukee’s rain of 3s. But Forbes’ bucket was also Milwaukee’s last attempt of the night.
• 47: Elias also notes that the Bucks’ 47-point win over the Heat tied for the third-largest margin of victory over a defending conference champion:
Largest win vs. defending conference champion
December 1986, SuperSonics def. Rockets, plus-56
November 2019, Mavericks def. Warriors, plus-48
December 2020, Bucks def. Heat, plus-47
December 2003, Grizzlies def. Nets, plus-47
April 1999, Magic def. Bulls, plus-47
Tuesday’s defeat also tied for the second-largest margin in Heat history, with their 47-point loss to the Lakers in November 1988, trailing only a 68-point loss to the Cavaliers on Dec. 17, 1991. Those 144 Bucks points was also the second most allowed by Miami in franchise history, trailing only the 148 that Cleveland scored in that 1991 game.
So what did the Heat do with all of that bad news on the court and the record book? The only thing they could:
— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) December 30, 2020
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