What is the NBA single-game record for most 3-pointers? Full list of leaders for regular season and NBA playoffs

The 3-point shot, led primarily by the duo of Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, has grown in frequency over the past decade in the NBA. 

Just looking at the average 3-pointers attempted paints a very clear picture. Early in the 2021-22 season, the NBA’s 75th year, the average 3-point shots attempted are 35.5, just shy of being double the average of 18.4 from the 2011-12 season. 

The same can be seen in the number of single-game 3-point records broken over the past few years, both in the regular season and the playoffs. 

Single-game Regular season record

For over a decade, Donyell Marshall and Kobe Bryant jointly held the record for most 3-pointers in a single regular-season game. In 2016, during his unanimous MVP season, Stephen Curry tied that tally. 

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In the five years since, three players have knocked down more than 12 3-pointers in a single-game. First, Curry broke his own record that same year before his teammate Klay Thompson set the NBA record with 14 at the start of the 2018-19 season. 

A year later, Zach LaVine put his name alongside these greats when he knocked down 13. 

Instances of NBA players making 12 3s or more
Player (Team) 3-pointers Date Opponent
Klay Thompson (Warriors) 14 Oct. 29, 2018 Bulls
Zach LaVine (Bulls) 13 Nov. 13, 2019 Hornets
Stephen Curry (Warriors) 13 Nov. 7, 2016 Pelicans
Stephen Curry (Warriors) 12 Feb. 27, 2016 Thunder
Donyell Marshall (Raptors) 12 Mar. 13, 2005 76ers
Kobe Bryant (Lakers) 12 Jan. 7, 2003 Seattle SuperSonics
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Of the 29 times an NBA player has knocked down 11 3-pointers, all but four occurred in 2013 or later. Curry, the greatest shooter this game has seen, accounts for 12 of them.

No other player in league history has done it more than twice.

Single-game Playoffs record

The impact of the 3-point shot in the postseason has been the same, albeit slightly delayed. All instances of a player knocking down more than nine 3-pointers have come after 2016. 

Klay Thompson first broke then then long-time record of nine 3-pointers in a single playoff game, jointly held by multiple players (Jason Terry, Ray Allen, Rex Chapman, Vince Carter), when he knocked down 11 3-pointers during his epic Game 6 performance against the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2016. 

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This past postseason in 2021, Damian Lillard broke that record when he knocked down 12 en route to scoring 55 against the Denver Nuggets. 

Prior to Lillard’s eruption, Thompson held the record for most 3-pointers in a single game in both the regular season and playoffs. 

Instances of NBA players making nine 3s or more
Player (Team) 3-pointers Date Opponent
Damian Lillard (Trail Blazers) 12 Jun. 1, 2021 Nuggets
Klay Thompson (Warriors) 11 May. 28, 2016 Thunder
Damian Lillard (Trail Blazers) 10 Apr. 23, 2019 Thunder

Of the 14 times an NBA player knocked down nine 3-pointers in a postseason, all but five have come after 2018.