NBA Playoffs

The 15 NBA Players That Made Most Three-Pointers in a NBA Playoff Game 

The NBA playoffs showcase the best teams of that season, with players pushing their skills to the limit in pursuit of an NBA championship. Among these skills, the three-point shot has become a particularly powerful offensive weapon over the last decade, completely changing the face of the game literally from inside out.

There are certain individuals we all recognize that are the three-point masters in the regular season such as Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Damian Lillard that bring their long distance excellence to the playoffs. We’re going to see which of these perimeter players also show up in the postseason.

Players with Most Threes in Single Playoff Game

The three point shot has moved the game from inside of the paint (Shaq, Ewing, Hakeem, Barkley, Malone, Webber) to beyond the arc and with that has shifted basketball odds in a significant way. No longer do big men play bully ball inside; they’re more effective out on the perimeter; either shooting the three or there for a DHO.

While defenses tighten up in the postseason. Here are the 15 players that got loose and made the most three-pointers in a single playoff game, with notable performances by Lillard, Thompson, Ray Allen, Reggie Miller, Jamal Murray, Donovan Mitchell, Curry, and others. 

1. Damian Lillard (12 Three-Pointers)

On June 1, 2021, Damian Lillard set the record for the most three-pointers in a playoff game, hitting 12 against the Denver Nuggets. In this double-overtime thriller, Lillard’s performance was nothing short of legendary, scoring 55 points and nearly carrying the Portland Trail Blazers to victory. His deep threes and clutch shooting made this game one of the most memorable in recent playoff history.

2. Klay Thompson (11 Three-Pointers)

On May 28, 2016, Klay Thompson delivered an incredible performance by draining 11 three-pointers in Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals against the Oklahoma City Thunder. Thompson’s shooting barrage was absolutely needed and helped the Golden State Warriors overcome a 3-1 series deficit, ultimately leading them to a Game 7 victory and a trip to the NBA Finals. His performance highlighted the “Splash Brothers” dynamic with Stephen Curry, showcasing the Warriors’ movement and three-point threat and one of the games that gave Klay the nickname “Game 6 Klay.”

3. Damian Lillard (10 Three-Pointers)

Lillard makes another appearance on this list with his 10 three-pointers on May 18, 2019, against the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game 5 of the first-round series. This game is remembered for his iconic, sidestep buzzer-beater from nearly half-court over Paul George to clinch the series. It wasn’t just Dame Time, but it was also bye-bye to the PG13, Pat Beverley and the Los Angeles Clippers.

Most Threes in a Playoff Game (Player)
Rank NAME 3PT 3PA DATE TM OPP PTS
1 Damian Lillard 12 17 06/01/2021 POR DEN 55
2 Klay Thompson 11 18 05/28/2016 GSW OKC 41
3 Damian Lillard 10 18 04/23/2019 POR OKC 50
4 Donte DiVincenzo 9 15 05/19/2024 NYK IND 39
4 Donovan Mitchell 9 15 06/18/2021 UTA LAC 39
4 Bojan Bogdanovic 9 17 06/16/2021 UTA LAC 32
4 Damian Lillard 9 16 05/24/2021 POR DEN 42
4 Jamal Murray 9 12 08/30/2020 DEN UTA 50
4 Donovan Mitchell 9 13 08/30/2020 UTA DEN 44
4 Jamal Murray 9 15 08/23/2020 DEN UTA 50
4 Steph Curry 9 15 05/14/2019 GSW POR 36
4 Steph Curry 9 17 06/03/2018 GSW CLE 33
4 Klay Thompson 9 14 05/26/2018 GSW HOU 35
4 Jason Terry 9 10 05/08/2011 DAL LAL 32
4 Ray Allen 9 18 04/30/2009 BOS CHI 51
4 Ray Allen 9 13 06/01/2001 MIL PHI 41
4 Vince Carter 9 13 05/11/2001 TOR PHI 50
4 Rex Chapman 9 17 04/25/1997 PHX SEA 42

The Changing Dynamics of the NBA

The three-point shot has transformed the way basketball is played, with teams emphasizing spacing, ball movement, and shooting. It’s unusual not to see Stephen Curry at the top of this list, given his reputation as the NBA’s premier shooter. However, the depth of talent in the league means other players can have standout performances as well.

Overall, the three-pointer has become a strategic weapon, providing teams with an effective way to overcome deficits and dominate games. The performances listed above exemplify the impact of this shot, showing how it can change the course of a game and define a player’s legacy in playoff history.

The Players with 9 Three-Pointers

Several players are tied with nine three-pointers in a playoff game, illustrating the growing influence of the three-point shot in today’s NBA. Other notable postseason three point performances include:

Jamal Murray |August 30, 2020: Murray’s nine threes against the Utah Jazz in Game 6 of the first round was one of his first showcases of how he raises his game during the playoffs; propelling the Denver Nuggets to a series victory after being down 3-1.

Stephen Curry: Curry tied his playoff high of nine threes against the Houston Rockets in Game 6 of the 2019 Western Conference Semifinals, leading the Warriors to a series-clinching win. This night Curry hit 9/15 threes. Despite his well-regarded deep shooting range, teams focus their entire defensive focus on Curry; likely the reason he isn’t higher up on this list.

Ray Allen: Allen’s nine threes in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals helped the Milwaukee Bucks on June 1, 2001. His great shooting performance extended the series against the Philadelphia 76ers. 

Rex Chapman: Way back in 1997 when hitting more than a a few threes was rare, Chapman’s nine threes in Game 1 of the Western Conference First Round helped the Phoenix Suns to an overtime victory against the Seattle SuperSonics. Specifically, his ninth three point shot came off a running three pointer off one leg off an inbounds play 

 

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