Three-point shooting has always been a very important aspect of the NBA- of course, we’d rather have three-pointers than two- but the importance of perimeter shooting has attained even more significance in the game over the last decade. We have seen some great shooters in the past, with Ray Allen and Reggie Miller excelling in that department in previous generations, but the current crop of NBA players has taken that skill to another level.
The chief protagonist has been Steph Curry and his ridiculous shooting, which has propelled his Golden State Warriors to a sustained period of dominance. Other NBA teams and players have been forced to prioritize their perimeter shooting just to stay in touch with Curry and Co. In this era of online sports betting, many punters have taken to betting on perimeter shooting, with US sportsbooks responding by including promos on three-point shooting offers amongst their many NBA betting offers.
But which players have sank the most three-pointers in NBA history? Our top-ten list doesn’t just take into account the overall number of threes made by the players but also incorporates other factors like shooting percentage, points-per-game, and the overall impact of the player on his team.
10. Dirk Nowitzki
In terms of the total number of three-pointers made in the NBA, Dirk Nowitzki does not fall into the top ten, but he gets our nod by virtue of being one of the first big men to truly master the art of shooting from behind the arc. Indeed, the big German is one of only three players on this list who made less than 2,000 three-pointers throughout his NBA career. But he is also the only power forward on the list, and PFs aren’t supposed to hit that many threes.
The Dallas Mavericks icon sank 1,982 three-pointers from 5,210 attempts, finishing his NBA career with a three-point field goal percentage of 0.38. Those are remarkable numbers for the type of player that he is. Nowitzki played for Dallas in his entire NBA career, with the crowning moment of an excellent career coming in 2011 when he inspired the Mavs to the Championship.
9. Peja Stojakovic
Next up is Peja Stojakovic, who like Nowitzki, hit less than 2,000 three-pointers in his career, but that in no way represents how great a three-point shooter the Serbian superstar was. Peja is outside the top 20 on the list of most three-pointers made, but he is well acclaimed as one of the most efficient shooters of all time.
Stojakovic was a proper gun shooter, hitting 2 19 three per game, and converting at an impressive 40% through his career. Stojakovic hit a total of 1,760 threes from 4,392 attempts. Peja’s best days came while he was with the Sacramento Kings and the Charlotte Hornets, and while he couldn’t get a championship while at his prime with either franchise, he did fittingly get that coveted ring with Dallas in 2011 a few months before he retired.
8. JJ Reddick
Anyone who strikes at over 40% deserves to be considered amongst the elite shooters in the game, and so JJ Reddick proudly takes his place on this list. With 1,950 career three-pointers, Reddick continues the theme of sub-2000 three-point shooters, but he converted at 41.5%, averaging over 2 three-pointers per game. On the list of most three pointers made, Reddick is currently the only member of the top-20 to have played less than 5,000 games. He ended his career with 4,704 games.
7. James Harden
When it comes to three-point shooting, James Harden isn’t exactly the first name that springs to mind, but he does belong to the upper echelon of this discipline. As at the time of writing, Harden has scored more three-pointers in the NBA than all but two players.
Only Steph Curry and Ray Allen have sunk more buckets from behind the arc than The Beard. He does attempt a lot of threes, well over 7,500 of them so far, but he converts at a decent enough clip, hitting his mark 36.3% of the time. Harden currently averages more than 2.7 threes per game. The NBA Championship continues to evade the great man, but he has been a force in the league for over a decade, reaching multiple digits in All-Star selections and leading the NBA in scoring for three successive seasons between 2018 and 2000.
6. Klay Thompson
The other half of Golden State’s “Splash Brothers”. Klay Thompson’s recognition is somewhat overshadowed by the remarkable brilliance of Steph Curry, but Thompson remains one of the greatest shooters of all-time.
He had been integral to the recent successes of the Warriors, majorly down to his incredible consistency from behind the three-point line. Thompson is one of the very few players who averages over 3 three-pointers per game and has a strike rate of over 40% (41.6% to be precise). So far, he has connected with more than 2,200 three-pointers from just over 5,300 attempts.
5. Damian Lillard
Damian Lillard has become one of the most audacious three-point shooters of all time, wowing the league and breaking opponents with his ability to hit threes from right about anywhere on the court. The Portland man is another player who averages more than 3 three-pointers per game, owning a decent shooting percentage of over 37%. And with the point guard still very much at the peak of his powers, those numbers will likely get even better in the coming years.
4. Kyle Korver
Kyle Korver’s career three-point shooting percentage of 42.9% is currently better than that of Steph Curry, Klay Thompson or any other person on this list, and he rightfully takes his seat in the top four on our list. Korver was never the most athletic player and was more of a role player for the majority of his lengthy career, but he made the most of his primary skill, establishing himself as one of the greatest perimeter shooters of all-time.
He hit exactly 2,450 three-pointers from 5,715 games, averaging just under 2 threes per game. Throughout his 17-year NBA career, he led the league in three-point shooting percentage on four occasions- the only player to do so.
3. Reggie Miller
Reggie Miller never won the NBA title, but he is undoubtedly one of the greatest players to ever feature in the league.
He is also one of the finest exponents of long-range shooting the league has ever seen, earning the nickname Knick Miller for his ability to execute under the most intense of pressure. He held the record for the most NBA three-pointers for a long time, before he was eventually dethroned by Ray Allen, and then the freak that is Steph Curry. The quintessential one-franchise man, Miller played the Indiana Pacers for almost two decades, amassing 2,560 three-pointers from 6,486 matches.
2. Ray Allen
Ray Allen broke Reggie Miller’s long-standing NBA three-point record on February 10, 2011, notching up his 2,561st bucket from range to eclipse Miller’s mark. Allen would go on to add 412 more threes to finish his career on 2,973 three-pointers from 7,429 attempts. He ended his career with a three-point shooting percentage of exactly 40%, averaging 2.29 successful three-pointers per game.
A distinguished career saw him claim a couple of NBA titles, one with the Boston Celtics in 2008 and the other with the Miami Heat in 2014, along with 10 NBA All-Star selections. He will also be remembered for hitting some of the most iconic shots in the history of the game.
1. Steph Curry
Steph Curry has revolutionized the NBA. He is the greatest shooter to ever play in the league. Plain and Simple. The man has taken three-point shooting to the next level. He regularly nails them in his sleep, sometimes going beyond the perceived realms of possibilities to sink the most incredible of buckets.
With a few good years still left in his career, Curry is already miles ahead of the rest of the park on three-points shot made, sinking more than 400 shots more than the man closest to him, the now-retired Ray Allen. We thought Miller’s three-point record would never be broken, and then we thought Allen’s would endure the test of time, but we were all proved to be wrong. But really, Curry’s mark of 3,300-plus threes will take some surpassing. The man is averaging almost 4 three-pointers per game, converting at well over 40%.