We are currently in the three-point era of basketball, where teams and players want to hoist up as many good-quality threes as possible. If teams can get close to 40% from three, it is more effective for wins than if a team sticks to shots within the three-point line and averages 50% shooting. Thanks to the likes of Stephen Curry completely changing the game with his shooting, this style of basketball is probably here to stay.
Other than Stephen Curry, we have seen players live and die by the three-point shot including the likes of Klay Thompson, James Harden, Trae Young, and Damian Lillard. Those guys, along with others, have a tendency to hoist up as many threes as possible. We have collected the 10 players with the most 3-pointers attempted in a single season in NBA history, and there will be a ton of recognizable names that will appear more than once.
10. Kemba Walker - 731 Attempts - 260 Makes (35.6%), 2018-19 NBA Season
Kemba Walker is not known as an all-time great shooter, but he is very capable of making shots from outside when he has his rhythm going. The guard was a beast with the Hornets, carrying the offense as the best player on the team in 2019.
Walker hoisted 731 attempts from beyond, making an average 35.6% of the shots. That resulted in 260 makes from beyond, a large reason why the guard averaged an impressive 25.6 PPG during the year. There is no doubt Kemba had his best season in 2019, so his three-point heavy offense should not be criticized at all.
9. Stephen Curry - 750 Attempts - 285 Makes (38.0%), 2021-22 NBA Season
So far this season, Stephen Curry has cracked the top-10 list of all-time three-point attempts with 750. With the point guard shut down for the regular season, he might firmly sit at 9th going forward. Based on his reputation as a sniper at the highest level, Steph will have the ultimate green light next season as well so 750 three-point attempts could be expected.
The greatest shooter ever, Steph attempted 750 shots from beyond and averaged 38.0% resulting in total makes. The point guard, even at age 34, is still the most dominant outside shooter in the league and that won’t change soon.
8. James Harden - 756 Attempts - 262 Makes (34.7%), 2016-17 NBA Season
Easily a top-10 player in the game and the undisputed best player in Houston, James Harden shot an impressive 756 three-point shots in the 2017 season. We started seeing The Beard fall in love with the three, and he would soon take off in a 3-year span of elite offensive production.
Unfortunately for Harden, he only shot 34.7% from three in 2017 which is not great considering he was taking so many outside shots. Compared to other stars on this list, Harden’s accuracy was not his best attribute during his All-Star season.
7. Paul George - 757 Attempts - 292 Makes (38.6%), 2018-19 NBA Season
In arguably his best season, Paul George averaged 28.0 PPG for the Oklahoma City Thunder and was very close to capturing the MVP Award. An elite two-way player, George showcased his best offensive talents during the 2019 season.
A large part of his offense came from the three-point line, where he made an impressive 292 shots out of 757 attempts. The All-Star formed a solid pairing with Russell Westbrook on the court, and he sits firmly at 7th with the most attempts in a season.
6. Stephen Curry - 789 Attempts - 324 Makes (41.1%), 2016-17 NBA Season
In the championship 2017 season, Stephen Curry did not shy away from taking a ton of three-pointers despite the presence of offensive superstar Kevin Durant. The point guard hoisted 789 threes, a very high number.
As usual, Steph was extremely accurate by nailing over 40% of his threes. Anytime a player can shoot that high of a percentage, he should be allowed to come close to 800 attempts from beyond. Here is a hint: Curry will have multiple seasons attempting over 800 threes.
5. Stephen Curry - 801 Attempts - 337 Makes (42.1%), 2020-21 NBA Season
Last year, Stephen Curry managed to eclipse 800 three-point attempts for the third time in his career. The point guard once again made no apologies for hosting outside shots, draining 42.1% of them. It is amazing how a guard like Steph can manage to remain consistent with his shooting because he does it year after year.
The Golden State Warriors did not have much to celebrate in a season filled with injuries to key players, but the offensive explosions by Steph kept the fans happy because the point guard would capture his second scoring title. The three-point shot was a big reason why Curry was able to lead all scorers because none could shoot the ball like him.
4. Stephen Curry - 810 Attempts - 354 Makes (43.7%), 2018-19 NBA Season
During the 2019 season, a third player appeared on the list in the top-10 as Stephen Curry took 810 attempts from beyond. Alongside stars Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson, Curry took advantage of the talent around him to let loose. After all, teams had to worry about Durant and Thompson’s outside shooting as well.
The point guard shot an extremely impressive 43.7% from deep, resulting in 354 makes. Curry should always be allowed to shoot as many threes as he wants because his accuracy is unparalleled. Curry was considered the greatest shooter ever by the 2016 season, but he was still going strong 3 years later (and counting). While 99% of players should not attempt 800 three-pointers, Steph is one of the few that absolutely should.
3. James Harden - 843 Attempts - 299 Makes (35.5%), 2019-20 NBA Season
During the 2020 season shortened by the Covid virus, James Harden did not allow any inconsistencies to stop him from going to his patented stepback three-pointer. The Beard began attracting fans and also haters with the move, because it wasn’t the most efficient shot but was certainly nice to watch.
Harden did not care either way, taking 843 total three-pointers. The Beard made a living from beyond whenever he did not have a clear path to the basket, and the Houston Rockets happily built their offense around this style of play. Even if Harden did not capitalize with an NBA championship that still eludes him until this day, he did win his third straight scoring title.
2. Stephen Curry - 886 Attempts - 402 Makes (45.4%), 2015-16 NBA Season
In Stephen Curry’s unanimous MVP season, he shot an incredible 886 shots from the three-point line and there was absolutely no problem with that. The reason? He nailed 45.4% of his shots. That is simply incredible because 400 makes in a single season is the current record by a single player.
The Golden State Warriors superstar made shooting look effortless, and he guided a stacked team to the best record in NBA history at 73-9. There was no answer for the Steph because we have not seen a shooter that could literally shoot from 35 feet without an issue. Armed with elite ball-handling and shot creation abilities, Curry had an amazing season but only one player has managed to surpass the greatest shooter ever with the most attempts in NBA history.
1. James Harden - 1,028 Attempts - 378 Makes (36.8%), 2018-19 NBA Season
Amazingly, James Harden attempted over 1,000 threes during the 2019 season. Showcasing his patented step-back jumper from beyond, The Beard made no apologies for hoisting as many three-pointers as possible. After all, it did result in a scoring title after he posted an incredible 36.1 PPG.
Even though Harden shot a ton of threes in other seasons, perhaps the reason the Houston Rockets were unable to replicate their success from the prior year was that their best player fell too deep in love with the three. Shooting 36.8% wasn’t bad, but jacking up over 1,000 threes is unbelievable for a single player. It would not be shocking if Harden’s record gets broken by a modern player because the three-point shot is here to stay.