With their 144–97 victory Tuesday night, the Milwaukee Bucks did not beat the Miami Heat, batting them with an unprecedented flurry of 3-point shots, setting an NBA record with 29 long baskets in their 51 attempts. He tied the previous mark of 27 within just 8 minutes, setting Sam Merrill to a 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 were 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 help from ESPN Stats and Information, what was the most interesting number to take away from this exhibition of long-range shooting?
• 12: In addition to setting a record for the most 3 players, according to research by the Elias Sports Bureau, the Bucks also set a record with the most different players making 3-pointer with 12. The Bucks were led on 3 shots from 3-point distance by Junior Basketball’s six baskets, followed by Donette DiVinkenzo going 5-6.
• 9: Among all those buckets made by so many Bucks, perhaps the biggest surprise was Giannis Antetokonampo winding in the night with only 9 points, albeit only playing 24 minutes. The reigning two-time MVP was a Milwaukee player who did not score a 3-pointer, although he made two attempts. The last time Antetokonampo scored under double digits on December 22, 2018, was also against the Heat in a 94–87% loss.
• 1: Giannis did not make a 3, but his brother Thanasis made his first 3-pointer with a 0–11 shot from the arch over his 23 career NBA games prior to the first Tuesday.
• 30 or bust? Brian Forbes gave up 29 to go and the last 3-pointer with 3:30 left, so that the clock did not go off on the rain of Milwaukee’s 3s. But Forbes’ bucket was also Milwaukee’s last try of the night.
• 47: Ilayas also noted that Bucks’ 47-point win over the Heat tied for the third-biggest margin of a losing conference:
Biggest win vs. defending conference champion
December 1986, defeated Supersonics. Rocket, plus-56
November 2019, defeated Mavericks. Warriors, plus-48
December 2020, Bucks Diff. Heat, plus-47
December 2003, defeated by the Grizzlies. Net, plus-47
April 1999, Magic Def. Bullock, plus-47
Tuesday’s defeat in Heat history also tied for the second-largest margin in Heat history with a loss of 47 points to the Lakers in November 1988, leaving the Cavaliers with only 68 points on December 17, 1991. There were also 144 Bucks points. The second most allowed by Miami in franchise history, only in 1991, Cleveland scored 148 in that game.
So what did the Heat do with that bad news on the court and the record book? The only thing they can do is:
good night pic.twitter.com/FFAPkBRzwh
– Miami HEAT (@M Miami HEAT) 30 December 2020