Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry torched the Philadelphia 76ers with 49 points on Monday as he broke NBA records and added to his 3-point shooting legacy. After the scintillating performance by the two-time MVP, there’s arguably no more debate in the minds of most basketball fans and experts about who the best 3-point shooter is.
How we determined the NBA’s best 3-point shooters other than Stephen Curry
When it comes to 3-point shooting, in the NBA today and in league history, there’s Stephen Curry and then there’s everybody else. But who are those players in the “everybody else” category? There are those who shoot a high volume of threes and there are those who shoot a high percentage but don’t take as many.
In Stephen Curry’s case, he’s not in the top 10 in 3-point shooting percentage. He is currently no. 13 with a 3-point percentage of 43.1. After 50 games this season, Curry has 260 threes under his belt, which is almost 40 points more than the next NBA player. Since the Warriors guard is our reference point for the top shooters from beyond the arc, our criteria for this list is all about those who take and make threes at a high rate.
With that said, let’s take a look at the rest of the field and who among them comes closest to Stephen Curry.
5. Joe Harris - 179 3-pointers
Joe Harris has long been one of the best 3-point shooters in the NBA, but he needed star-studded teammates for more people to notice. He won the 2019 3-Point Contest during All-Star Weekend, scoring 25 and 26 points in the two rounds.
Among his many highlights, Harris has made five or more threes in 13 games this season, including once with eight and twice with seven made in a game. As the Brooklyn Nets superstars garner attention from defenders, Harris is often left wide open to drain threes.
Consider also that the 29-year old is the only NBA player in the top 5 in 3-pointers made and 3-point percentage. Stephen Curry may be getting most of the ink, but one has to wonder what it would be like if Harris (6.6 3-point attempts per game) was allowed to take 12.1 attempts from beyond the arc like the Warriors superstar.
4. Zach LaVine - 182 3-pointers
Reinventing himself as a 3-point shooter this season, Zach LaVine shook off his Slam Dunk Champion reputation to become one of the NBA’s deadliest marksmen. Though his 3-point contest result was one of the lowest in the competition this year, LaVine was rightfully invited to the All-Star Weekend exhibition.
The Chicago Bulls guard would have had more than the 182 3-pointers in his ledger right as of this writing if he wasn’t entered into the COVID-19 protocols last week. For the season, he is making 3.4 threes on 8.2 attempts per game.
LaVine is one of only six NBA players this season to record 10 threes in a game this season, doing so in a loss to the LA Clippers on Jan. 10. In all, he has made at least five 3-point shots in a game 11 times this season, including twice with seven and then once each with eight, nine and 10.
3. Duncan Robinson - 202 3-pointers
One of four players thus far with at least 200 threes this season, Duncan Robinson is a feared 3-point shooter in his third NBA campaign. Believe it or not, the Miami Heat guard was not very good at making shots from beyond the arc during his rookie year.
Robinson, an undrafted player out of Michigan, transformed himself last season into the shooter that he is today. He is currently hoisting 8.5 3-pointers a night while knocking down 3.5 on the regular. He’s almost automatic from anywhere, able to come off screens and make 3-point shots in catch-and-shoot opportunities for the Heat.
Though his season-high for 3-point shots made in a game is “only” seven, he has 13 outings of five or more threes including seven times with six or more.
2. Damian Lillard - 212 3-pointers
Rivaling Stephen Curry in deep threes, Damian Lillard can launch bombs from almost anywhere on the court, including half-court. Witness his twin 3-pointers from the half-court line during the 2021 NBA All-Star Game. He drained his last one to seal the win for Team LeBron in dramatic fashion.
The Portland Trail Blazers guard has connected on at least five 3-pointers in a game an astounding 25 times, making six or more 14 times with a high of eight twice. With 16 games to go and an average of 4.1 makes from 3-point range per contest, Lillard is well on his way to eclipsing his career-high of 270 threes in a season. If he plays every game, he could have between 278 to 279 by the end of the year.
1. Buddy Hield - 222 3-pointers
The NBA's top 3-point shooter, not named Stephen Curry, is none other than the Sacramento Kings’ Buddy Hield. The 6-foot-4 guard out of Oklahoma shoots the three without conscience at a career-high rate of 10.4 attempts per game from beyond the arc. On a per-game basis, only Curry and Lillard shoot more from downtown than the 28-year old who makes 4.0 threes per game on average.
Hield was last year’s 3-point contest champ, beating Devin Booker in the final round by a hair, 27 to 26. He continues to show off his 3-point marksmanship this season, making five or more from deep 25 times including two performances with eight threes and three times with seven.
Among active NBA players, Hield is 32nd with 1,095 3-pointers and is quickly climbing up the ladder.