15 The Best 3-Point Shooters in NBA History

The NBA has witnessed a metamorphosis in its style of play over the years, with the 3-point shot evolving into a pivotal tool in team strategy. Much more than a spectacle, the three-pointer is the fine line between glory and defeat, demanding precision, skill, and perfect timing. From deep in the court, athletes transform into magicians, conjuring points from thin air.

This blog post aims to shine a spotlight on those paragons of precision – the best 3-point shooters in NBA history. Let’s dive into their world, one 23.75 feet or further shot at a time.

15 The Best 3-Point Shooters in NBA History

1. Stephen Curry

Stephen Curry

Stephen Curry has indisputably redefined the meaning of range in the NBA. A two-time MVP and three-time NBA Champion, Curry’s impact goes beyond his accolades. He’s fundamentally altered the perception and importance of the three-pointer in modern basketball strategy.

Known for his uncanny ability to hit from any spot on the floor and often from well beyond the arc, his prolific shooting has made him one of the most exciting players to watch. As the fastest player to hit 2,000 and then 3,000 three-pointers, his name is synonymous with long-distance shooting, earning him the nickname “Baby-Faced Assassin”. His influence has transcended the Golden State Warriors, encouraging a league-wide emphasis on three-point shooting.

2. Ray Allen

Ray Allen

An impeccable shooter with an iconic shooting form, Ray Allen’s impact as a three-point shooter is etched in NBA history. Before Curry’s rise, Allen held the record for the most three-pointers in regular-season and playoff history, a testament to his longevity and consistency.

Known for his clutch shooting, his most notable moment came in Game 6 of the 2013 NBA Finals with the Miami Heat. With seconds left on the clock, Allen sunk a corner three to tie the game, eventually leading to a series win. His remarkable career includes ten All-Star appearances and two NBA championships, solidifying his legacy as one of the greatest shooters of all time.

3. Reggie Miller

Reggie Miller

Reggie Miller, a player as known for his trash-talking as his shooting, left an indelible mark on the NBA as one of the greatest clutch performers. Over an 18-year career spent entirely with the Indiana Pacers, Miller made a name for himself with his dramatic three-point shooting, often in the most pressurized situations.

His combination of off-ball movement and lethal accuracy led him to 2,560 made threes over his career, a record at the time of his retirement. Known for his iconic scoring bouts in Madison Square Garden, Miller’s long-distance shooting antics turned him into a feared player in crunch time.

4. Klay Thompson

Klay Thompson

Klay Thompson, one half of the famed “Splash Brothers” alongside Stephen Curry, has been integral to the Golden State Warriors’ championship success. His shooting form and quick release are textbook, and he holds the record for the most three-pointers made in a single game, draining 14 against the Chicago Bulls in 2018.

Thompson is known for his extraordinary scoring explosions, like his 37-point quarter or his 60 points in three quarters. These performances showcase his shooting prowess and ability to catch fire from the three-point line.

5. Kyle Korver

Kyle Korver

Kyle Korver, a one-time All-Star, built a lengthy NBA career primarily on his three-point shooting abilities. He is among the league’s top performers in career three-point percentage, often hovering around the 43-44% mark. Known for his quick release and the ability to make shots from off screens, Korver served as a critical floor-spacer on every team he played for. His best season came in 2014-2015 with the Atlanta Hawks, when he led the league with a staggering 49.2% from the three-point range.

This is a brief account of five of the top 15 three-point shooters in NBA history. Each player has redefined the three-point shot in their unique way, influencing the game and proving the importance of long-range shooting in the league’s evolution. The next part of this series will explore the careers of other extraordinary shooters who have left their mark in the annals of NBA history.

6. Larry Bird

Larry Bird

Larry Bird, often regarded as one of the greatest basketball players of all time, was also a spectacular three-point shooter. Known for his competitiveness and basketball IQ, Bird was a master at finding open spaces and sinking long-range shots.

His three consecutive wins in the NBA’s Three-Point Contest at All-Star Weekend, including the memorable “finger in the air” before his final shot dropped in the 1988 contest, attests to his sharpshooting abilities. Bird’s career was cut short due to injuries, but his impact as a three-point shooter in a less three-point-oriented era is remarkable.

7. Steve Nash

Steve Nash

Steve Nash, a two-time NBA Most Valuable Player and Hall of Famer, was a brilliant shooter from behind the arc. Known primarily for his playmaking abilities, Nash’s career three-point shooting percentage of 42.8% demonstrates his shooting prowess. Nash’s ability to make three-pointers was a critical component of the “seven seconds or less” offense in Phoenix that revolutionized the NBA’s approach to offensive play.

8. Peja Stojakovic

Peja Stojakovic

A crucial player for the Sacramento Kings during their early 2000s peak, Peja Stojakovic’s shooting ability was key to their success. His quick release and ability to shoot off the dribble or from a standstill made him a constant threat. Stojakovic won the NBA All-Star Weekend Three-Point Contest twice and consistently ranked among the league leaders in three-pointers made and three-point shooting percentage during his prime.

9. Dirk Nowitzki

Dirk Nowitzki

The greatest European player in NBA history, Dirk Nowitzki, redefined the power forward position with his three-point shooting. His iconic one-legged fadeaway jump shot was near impossible to defend, and his ability to stretch the floor revolutionized the way big men play in the NBA. Nowitzki’s clutch shooting was crucial in leading the Dallas Mavericks to their only NBA Championship in 2011.

10. James Harden

James Harden

James Harden, known for his scoring ability, is also one of the greatest three-point shooters. His step-back three has become one of the most feared moves in the NBA. Harden’s ability to create space and make tough, contested three-pointers is a testament to his shooting ability. He consistently ranks among the league leaders in three-pointers made, reflecting his volume scoring approach.

Each of these players significantly impacted the game, not only with their individual achievements but also by influencing team success and the evolution of basketball strategy. Their three-point shooting prowess contributed to their teams and left a lasting legacy on the NBA. Stay tuned for the final part of this series, where we discuss the remaining top three-point shooters in NBA history.

11. Dale Ellis

Dale Ellis

Dale Ellis was one of the early pioneers of the three-point shot during the 1980s and 90s. With a career three-point percentage of 40.3%, Ellis was a consistent and prolific long-range shooter. His 1,719 career three-pointers reflect his impressive volume as a shooter. In the 1986-87 season, Ellis led the NBA in three-pointers made and had an impressive shooting percentage of 47.8%, underlining his efficacy from beyond the arc.

12. J.J. Redick

J.J. Redick

With a quick release and exceptional shooting form, J.J. Redick has been one of the most consistent three-point shooters of his era. Known for his movement without the ball, Redick could find open spaces and make shots with limited space, both crucial skills for a top-tier shooter. His career has seen him play crucial roles for teams like the Orlando Magic, Los Angeles Clippers, and Philadelphia 76ers, with his three-point shooting a significant asset.

13. Chauncey Billups

Chauncey Billups

Chauncey Billups, aka ‘Mr. Big Shot’, earned his nickname through his propensity to take and make critical shots in high-pressure situations. Though not the most prolific, his clutch shooting and the ability to hit three-pointers when they mattered most was a defining aspect of his career. Billups was instrumental in the Detroit Pistons’ championship win in 2004, with his three-point shooting playing a significant role in their success.

14. Paul Pierce

Paul Pierce

Paul Pierce, known as ‘The Truth’, was a clutch performer and a dependable three-point shooter throughout his career. Pierce’s ability to score in a variety of ways, including behind the arc, made him a tough cover for opponents. His 2,143 career three-pointers and several memorable clutch shots, including those in the Celtics’ 2008 championship run, solidify his place among the best long-distance shooters.

15. Jason Terry

Jason Terry

Jason Terry, nicknamed ‘the Jet’, had a long, successful career marked by consistent three-point shooting. Known for his high-arcing jump shot, Terry amassed 2,282 three-pointers over his career, reflecting his role as a scorer off the bench. His three-point shooting was a crucial element of the Dallas Mavericks’ championship-winning season in 2011.

These players have each left an indelible mark on the NBA landscape with their prowess from beyond the arc. Their ability to sink three-pointers consistently, and often under pressure, helped shape games, influenced the outcome of seasons, and fundamentally altered how basketball is played. Their impact extends beyond their personal achievements, highlighting the increasing importance of three-point shooting in the modern NBA.


The value of three-point shooting in the NBA cannot be overstated. The players highlighted in this blog post have not only excelled individually as three-point shooters but have also used this skill to influence the outcome of games, shape the strategies of their teams, and contribute to the evolution of basketball as a whole.

Their impact serves as a testament to the increasing importance of the three-point shot in modern basketball and sets the stage for the future generations of players who will continue to push the boundaries of this critical aspect of the game.

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About Antoine Hansen

Hi! I am Antoine, a writer for HoopsCapital!

I have been playing basketball all my life, and am excited to share my knowledge with the world!