J.R. Smith set an NBA record during Sunday’s loss to the Heat, and it’s one that most casual observers may have been surprised to hear that he didn’t already hold.
Smith has been known as a shoot first, ask questions later type of player throughout his career, and shot himself into the record books by attempting 22 three-pointers, the most ever attempted in a single game in NBA history.
The previous record was held by Damon Stoudamire, who attempted 21 threes while with the Blazers back in 2005.
Smith wasn’t just chucking for the sake of it, however, at least before his last couple of record-breaking attempts. He set a team record by making 10 of those attempts from three-point distance, and it was his scoring that kept the Knicks within striking distance in this one, with his 32 points leading the team in scoring for the second straight game.
The problem for the Knicks, just as it was in Friday’s loss to the Wizards, was the subpar play of Carmelo Anthony, who is obviously feeling the effects of a shoulder injury. Anthony had 10 points against nine turnovers in Friday’s loss, and against the Heat, he managed to shoot just 4-of-17 from the field to finish with 13 points in over 44 minutes of action.
Anthony didn’t attempt a field goal in the entire fourth quarter, despite playing all but 20 seconds of it.
The Heat were without Dwyane Wade for the sixth straight game as he continues to rest a sore hamstring, but LeBron James picked up more than his share of the slack, finishing with 38 points on 13-of-22 shooting, to go along with five rebounds and six assists.
The loss puts the Knicks already-slim playoff hopes into even more serious doubt. New York trails Atlanta by three games in the loss column, and in order to make the postseason, must now finish 4-0 against teams who are all a part of the Eastern Conference playoff picture, while hoping that the Hawks stumble to a 3-4 regular season finish.