MIAMI — On Sunday, the Milwaukee Bucks endured their worst 3-point effort in just over a year.
On Tuesday, they set the NBA record for 3’s in a game.
The Bucks made a record 29 3-pointers in their 144-97 romp past the reigning Eastern Conference champion Miami Heat on Tuesday night. They shot 29 for 51 from deep, two nights after going 7 for 38 in a loss to New York.
“Some nights, the basketball gods are with you a little bit,” Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said. “It’s probably one of those nights.”
Milwaukee knocked down a franchise record 16 threes in the first half 🎯 pic.twitter.com/DtvqzaHyr2
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) December 30, 2020
Milwaukee used 13 players and 12 made at least one 3-pointer – the only exception being two-time reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo. Khris Middleton had four 3’s and scored 25 points, Jrue Holiday made six 3’s in his 24-point night and Donte DiVincenzo was 5-for-6 from deep to finish with 17 points.
Antetokounmpo had only nine points. But his brother, Thanasis Antetokounmpo – who was 0 for 11 from 3-point range in his career entering the night – got into the act and made one from deep.
“I knew we were shooting well,” said Bucks center Brook Lopez, who made three 3’s. “I didn’t know we were anything close to that.”
The record-breaker was made by Sam Merrill, who got the 28th 3-pointer with 6:07 remaining, giving the Bucks a 131-86 lead.
The previous record for 3’s in a game was 27, set by the Houston Rockets against the Phoenix Suns on April 7, 2019. Milwaukee’s previous most was 22, against Sacramento on Nov. 4, 2018. The most previously allowed in a game by Miami was 24, on Feb. 5 against the Los Angeles Clippers.
Milwaukee was up 10-0 after 78 seconds, 21-3 after about four minutes, and the tone was set in the first meeting between the teams since last season’s playoffs, when the Heat eliminated the Bucks in five games.
“It looked like they have been thinking about this game for 80 days,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said.
Milwaukee led 46-26 after one quarter, 83-51 at the half.
“Tomorrow, we’re going to have to come out with a lot more energy or we’re going to get embarrassed again,” Herro said.
It was the biggest road win in Bucks history, topping the 39-point margin at New York on April 10, 1987. The 47-point margin matched the second-worst loss in Heat history; they lost 138-91 to Pat Riley and the Los Angeles Lakers in the eighth game of Miami’s first season.
Milwaukee had 16 3’s by halftime, the most of any half in team history.
Giannis Antetokounmpo’s streak of 108 consecutive regular-season games – and 132 overall – with at least 10 points ended. It was the first time since Feb. 13, 2017 that he played, scored less than 10 points and the Bucks won anyway.