When it came to three-point shooting, Orlando Magic forward Dennis Scott may have been before his time. On this day 25 years ago, he broke the NBA’s single-game record for made three-pointers.
It had been nearly a month since Scott had broken the single-season record for made three-pointers. Scott proceeded to break the league’s single-game record when he knocked down 11 treys in a 119-104 win over the Atlanta Hawks.
The Magic were at the Orlando Arena for the final time during the regular season as the Hawks came to town on April 18, 1996. It was the three-pointer that Orlando used to seize control from the start.
During the first quarter, the Magic made five straight triples to take a commanding 34-14 lead. From there, the contest was never in doubt.
Orlando led by as many as 29 points in the first half and by a 91-68 score through three quarters. The fourth quarter would be less than three minutes old with Scott tied history.
To that point, George McCloud, Joe Dumars and Scott’s Orlando teammate, Brian Shaw, had all had games with an NBA record 10 made three-pointers. With just under nine and a half minutes remaining, Scott joined them.
With more than five minutes to play, Scott stood alone. His 11th triple capped a 35-point night for Scott as the Magic set a new franchise record with their 58th win of the season.
Scott led all scorers while Shaquille O’Neal added 22 points and 14 rebounds in the victory. Nick Anderson added 15 points while Brooks Thompson and Horace Grant each scored 10. As a team, Orlando finished 16-for-30 from deep.
Craig Ehlo led Atlanta with 20 points off the Hawks’ bench. Steve Smith and Alan Henderson tallied 18 and 16 points, respectively, in the loss. Grant Long added 12 points and a game-high 16 rebounds for the Hawks in the defeat.
Scott’s record would last nearly seven years before Kobe Bryant knocked down 12 three-pointers for the Los Angeles Lakers in a win over the Seattle SuperSonics. Since then, 11 other players have had games with at least 11 made three-pointers. It was first done on this day a quarter-century ago.