Monthly Archives: February 2014

The History Of The Three-Point Line In The NBA

The NBA had long been the leader in American basketball.  However they were slow to introduce a popular part of the game already being used in other professional leagues.  The three-point line was first dreamed about in the 1930’s. By the end of the 1960’s the three-point line was being used in the American Basketball League, The Eastern Professional Basketball League and the American Basketball Association.  It was not until the late 1970’s that the NBA gave in and decided to use this new rule that they had previously viewed as gimmicky.

On October 12, 1979 history was made when the Washington Bullets Kevin Grevey made the first three-pointer in an official NBA game. Grevey would retire after the 1984-85 season with 145 career three-point shots made.  From this point on the game would never be the same. This addition to the game added a new level of excitement and suspense.  Many NBA games over the last three decades have been ultimately decided by this dreaded shot.

From the 1979-80 season to the 1993-94 season the three point line was 23 feet 9 inches from the front of the basket and 22 feet at the corners.  The NBA would try to address lower scoring games by bringing the line closer to the basket from the 1994-95 season through the 1996-97 season. At that time three-point line was 22 feet around the entire basket.  The league brought back the three-point line back to its original dimensions in the 1997-98 season and it has remained there since.

Ray Allen shooting a crucial three-pointer in Game 6 of the 2013 NBA Finals. (Getty Images)

Ray Allen shooting a crucial three-pointer in Game 6 of the 2013 NBA Finals. (Getty Images)

Ray Allen is a player that has had a Hall Of Fame career mostly based on the fact he has been an excellent three-point shooter.  His most recent heroics came from his favorite position on the court when he made a game tying 3-pointer in Game 6 of the NBA finals.  His team the Miami heat won that game and later won Game 7 of the Finals to be three time NBA Champions. Allen is the all time leader in three-pointers with 2,963 at the time of this article. Ray Allen was also at one point in time the single season leader in this statistical category when he broke Dennis Scott’s record in the 2005-06 season with 269 three-pointers that year. 

Stephen Curry is now the current single season record holder.  He broke Allen’s record at the end of the 2012-13 season when he made his final three-point in the last game of the season, putting the new record at 272 three-pointers. Curry would break his own record two seasons later during the 2014-15 canpaign with 286 three-pointers. The story of Curry’s dominance does not end there. As of February 27, 2016 Curry has made 288 shots from the behind the arch setting a new record and with about two months remaining in the season that mark will continue to rise.

The three-point shot has been such a special part of the game since its creation.  It is hard to even imagine the sport without it.  It will forever be one of the most revolutionary parts of the game of Basketball.

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370 Points : The Tale Of The Highest Scoring NBA Game Ever

On December 13, 1983 an NBA game took place in Denver, Colorado at the McNichols Arena in front of a crowd of less than 10,000.  The game pitted the visiting Detroit Pistons against the Denver Nuggets.  It did not appear that it would be unlike most NBA games during the 82 game regular season, most of which are played and then forgotten.  Something spectacular was about to happen that night.

When the game started both teams were furiously running up and down the court scoring on just about every possession.  Defense was taking a back seat to the explosive offense of both squads.  The 1st quarter ended with the Pistons leading by a score of 38-34.  The score going into halftime was all tied up at 74-74. The Nuggets would take the lead in the 3rd quarter by a score of 113-108.  At this point in the game with only one quarter remaining in regulation both teams had scores resembling a complete game.  This game was however far from finished.

The Pistons played hard and stayed in the game throughout the final quarter of regulation time.  The Nuggets had a 145-142 lead with just seconds remaining in the game when the Pistons received an opportunity they would take advantage of.  The Pistons Bill Laimbeer was fouled and was at the free throw line.  Laimbeer made his first free throw and intentionally missed his second shot, when he did Isaiah Thomas tipped the ball in before the clock ran out and the game was tied at the end of regulation. The game was now going into overtime.

The first overtime came and went and everything was still tied but the score was now 159-159.  At this point it seemed very possible that this game could end up being the highest scoring game ever.  The combined score was 318, the record holder at the time was 337 from a game played just a season before on March 6th, 1982, between the San Antonio Spurs and Milwaukee Bucks.

The record was broken in the 2nd overtime when each team scored 12 points apiece.  The combined score was now 342 with each team having scored 171 points each.  In the 3rd overtime the game was decided when the Pistons scored 15 points to the Nuggets 13 points.  The final score was 186-184 with the Pistons being the winner in this historic game.

The box score of the highest scoring NBA game ever.

The box score of the highest scoring NBA game ever.

This is a record that has stood for over three decades and it does not appear it will be broken any time soon.  The most recent high scoring game that came close was in November of 1990.  Ironically that game was played between the Golden State Warriors and the Denver Nuggets, at the exact same Arena as the record holding game. The Nuggets lost that game 162-158 with the combined score of 320 points.  We have never seen a game that close to the record since and we may never will.

Super Bowl XLVIII: The 2nd Annual Prediction

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This year marks the 2nd annual Super Bowl pick for AmericanSportsHistory.com.  Last year the site predicted the Ravens would reign victorious over the 49ers by a score of 37-30.  My prediction was dead on and the score was really close too, the Ravens won last years big game 34-31.

For this years contest the Seahawks are the pick to win by a score of 24-22 over the Broncos.  The game everyone has waited for all year is just one day away.  Hope everyone enjoys the game and hope to see you back here soon.

-Justin