Stats story: Three-point fireworks

Dec 05, 2020 by Print
Stats story: Three-point fireworks

Last week's games featured some amazing three-point fireworks with two teams setting single-game club records for three-pointers made. LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne and ALBA Berlin each hit 17 threes in their respective victories, surpassing their previous marks. And both teams did so in a spectacular fashion.

ALBA's record came in a 92-100 victory over Valencia Basket that featured more triples made than just about any game played this century. The two teams combined to knock down 31 three-pointers, tying the EuroLeague record for combined threes made in a single non-overtime game. It was a mark previously set by Anadolu Efes Istanbul and FC Barcelona in March 2018, when Barcelona made 19 three-pointers en route to a blowout win.


The all-time record, however, has remained intact for almost 17 years. It belongs to Pau Orthez and Lottomatica Roma, which combined to make 35 three-point shots in Roma's 106-110 overtime win in December 2003. Lottomatica made 18 threes in that game and Orthez sank just 1 fewer.

What makes ALBA's performance even more intriguing is that its head coach Garcia Aito Reneses did not expect much from his team in Valencia. ALBA was missing three starters and coming off a 20-point loss in Milan, where just 48 hours earlier the team managed to score just 55 points, the club's second-lowest total this century.

But the depleted ALBA squad not only set a club three-point record – it is the first time team hit more than 15 three-pointers in any game in 31 seasons in European competitions – but delivered one of the best offensive performances in the EuroLeague this season and one of ALBA's best this century.

Shooting - Alba 17 threes

ALBA dished 28 assists - 1 one shy of its club record - and accumulated its third-best PIR, 124. ALBA became the only team to score 100 or more points twice this season and of course shattered a club record with 17 threes made. So impressive was its shooting performance that ALBA reached its previous record of 14 threes before the end of the third quarter and did not make a single three-pointer over the final 6 minutes of the game. ALBA had nine different players attempt a three-pointer and all nine made at least one triple led by Jayson Granger who shot 5 for 7 from deep.

Finishing the game 17 for 32, this was the first time this season ALBA shot better than 50% from long range. When it comes to that department, however, ASVEL's effort was nearly unprecedented in the EuroLeague this century.

ASVEL buried 17 triples in its rescheduled Round 3 game, a 97-73 triumph over Panathinaikos OPAP Athens on Tuesday. ASVEL did it on just 24 attempts, setting another club-record with 70.8% three-point accuracy. That percentage is tied for the 15th best all-time, exactly the same 17-for-24 shooting that fellow French side Orthez knocked down in the record-setting game against Lottomatica 17 years ago.

Among the teams that shot three-pointers with better accuracy than ASVEL (and Orthez) this century, only one team managed to do it by making more than 13 three-pointers; that was CSKA Moscow making 18 of 25 in a 90-68 win against Efes in November 2018.

It felt good for ASVEL, just like for ALBA, to rewrite competition history books. However, more important for both teams is that they hope to build on these performances and boost their confidence for the challenges ahead.