A long 3-point streak came dangerously close to ending Sunday before Maurice Harkless drained a 3-pointer early in the fourth quarter during the Magic's 21-4 run to top the Sixers. Harkless' three extended a franchise record 554-game streak with at least one 3-pointer.
This streak is the 10th longest in league history. The Mavericks had a streak of 1,108 consecutive games with at least one 3-pointer that lasted from Feb. 1999 until Dec. 12, 2012. The Magic's current streak is the fifth longest active streak with the Suns, Warriors, Rockets and Spurs holding longer streaks at the moment. Phoenix has hit at least one 3-pointer in 790 games, dating back to March 2004.
Evan Dunlap of Orlando Pinstriped Post collected some interesting information on the streak including the Magic's closest call, which came last year in a game against the 76ers where Josh McRoberts kept the streak alive with just two minutes to play in the game. He also notes Jameer Nelson has made the most 3-pointers during this streak.
The 3-pointer, as has been noted elsewhere, is undeniably a staple of NBA offenses now. It is not a surprise to see so many teams getting 3-pointers and relying heavily on them. In fact, it is probably rarer when a team does not make a 3-pointer in a game than it does — NBA2K14 calls winning while achieving this feat "Pulling a Hamilton."
The more successful teams in the league have to have 3-point shooters to space the floor and give their star players room to operate. It keeps the defense honest. And more and more teams base their philosophies around the 3-pointer and the added efficiency that comes with it.
The Magic did so in their championship window from 2008-2012 under Stan Van Gundy. The streak lasted the entirety of Van Gundy's five years as head coach. Tonight's opponent in Houston, similarly, does the same thing around Dwight Howard.
And remember, during that span, the Magic set a record for most 3-point makes in a single game with a 23 3-point barrage at Sacramento in January 2009.
Considering that six of the eight times the Magic have had just one 3-point make during this streak have come in the last two years, it is clear the Magic are looking for more shooters. Sunday's game came dangerously close because Orlando's two best volume shooters — Jameer Nelson and Arron Afflalo — were out for the game with various injuries.
The trend seems to be pointing toward the end of this streak.
Although, the Magic will likely have something to say about that before it goes away.