In tonight’s game against the rival Los Angeles Lakers, the Boston Celtics’ Ray Allen surpassed Reggie Miller (who ironically, was TNT’s commentator for the game) and became the NBA’s all-time leader in three-pointers made. The 35-year-old Allen hit a three in the first quarter to tie Miller at 2,560 career threes. A couple of minutes later, the nine-time All-Star (2000, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009) took sole possession of first place when he converted a wide-open transition three to give the Celtics a 22-14 lead with 1:47 left in the quarter.
Allen made three of his eight three-point attempts and led the Celtics with 20 points. Unfortunately, his historic night was soured as Boston gave up an eight-point halftime lead and fell to the Lakers 92-86.
Allen, a 14-year veteran, was selected by the Minnesota Timberwolves with the fifth overall pick of the 1996 NBA Draft. Immediately after he was drafted, Allen was traded to the Milwaukee Bucks for Stephon Marbury (who Milwaukee had just selected with the fourth pick of the draft). In his first NBA game, Allen showed his three-point shooting acumen by converting two of his three three-point attempts in a 111-103 Bucks victory over Allen Iverson (the first player selected in the 1996 NBA Draft) and the Philadelphia 76ers. Allen finished his rookie season with 117 three pointers and made two or more threes in 34 games that season. Except for the lockout-shortened 1998-1999 season, that would be the fewest three-pointers Allen would make in a season.
As a member of the Bucks, Allen made 1,051 three-pointers and led them to the 2001 Eastern Conference Finals. In 2001, Allen made more than 200 threes (202) for the first time of his career. The following season he led the NBA in three-pointers made with 229. At the 2003 trade deadline, with 123 threes already made, Allen was traded to the Seattle Supersonics (now the Oklahoma City Thunder).
Allen played the final 29 games of the 2002-2003 season with the Supersonics and made an additional 78 three-pointers. He finished the season with a league-leading 201 threes and became the only player in NBA history to record three consecutive seasons of 200 or more made three-pointers.
Allen missed nearly a third of the 2003-2004 season due to an ankle injury. Despite playing in only 56 games that season, Allen still made 148 three-pointers. During the 2004-2005 season, Allen played 78 games and recorded his fourth season of 200 or more three pointers (209). Allen went into the final game of the 2005-2006 season with 262 three-pointers made (five behind Dennis Scott’s single-season record of 267 set in 1996). In that game, against the Denver Nuggets, Allen nailed seven threes to finish the season with a record-setting 269 three-pointers. In his final season with the Supersonics, 2006-2007, Ray Allen made 165 threes in just 55 games. During his four and a half seasons with the Supersonics Allen played in 269 games and averaged 2.94 threes per game for a total of 869 threes during his stay in Seattle. Had it not been for Allen losing nearly a third of the 2003-2004 and 2006-2007 seasons, he would have probably strung together a remarkable seven consecutive seasons of 200 or more made three-pointers.
During the summer of 2007, the Supersonics traded Allen to the Boston Celtics. In his first season with the Celtics, Allen recorded his 2,000th career three-pointer and helped Boston to 66 wins and the 2008 NBA Championship. Earlier this season, on Christmas Day against the Orlando Magic, Allen hit his 2,500th career three. In his three-plus years with the Celtics, Allen has hit 642–and for his Hall of Fame career an NBA record 2,562–threes and counting.
Information from Basketball-Reference.com’s NBA Career Leaders for 3-Pt Field Goals, Ray Allen NBA Statistics, 1996 NBA Draft, and ESPN.com’s Los Angeles Lakers vs. Boston Celtics – Play By Play – February 10, 2011 was used for this article.