Tuesday January 25 2011 – 2:14pm Eastern – Toronto, ON 

As you all know by now … the Raptors “3-point streak” came to an end last night against the Memphis Grizzlies.  For the first time since February 1999, Toronto failed to hit a single three-point shot, ending a run of 986 straight games. 

Although the streak did set an NBA record – for most games in a row with a 3-ball – it’s a feat that is pretty insignificant in the grand scheme of things and I can all-but guarantee you that every player in the locker room last night cared less about their 12-year run coming to an end and more about the fact that T.O. had just lost its eighth-straight game!

That said, let’s look at some of the key points, statistics, and storylines that all tied-in to Toronto’s 986-game stretch. 

The streak started on February 26 1999 against the Minnesota Timberwolves.  The Raptors were 4 of 10 from distance in that game and won the game, 102-92.

Here are the other benchmarks that Toronto hit along the way:

100 straight games with a 3-ball – MAR 8 2000 at LAC
200 straight games with a 3-ball – APR 11 2001 at DET
300 straight games with a 3-ball – NOV 27 2002 vs NYK
400 straight games with a 3-ball – JAN 4 2004 vs PHX
500 straight games with a 3-ball – FEB 9 2005 vs MIL
594 straight games with a 3-ball – MAR 10 2006 vs DEN
595 straight games with a 3-ball – MAR 12 2006 vs IND
600 straight games with a 3-ball – MAR 22 2006 at BOS
700 straight games with a 3-ball – NOV 6 2007 at MIL
800 straight games with a 3-ball – DEC 12 2008 at NJ
900 straight games with a 3-ball – JAN 15 2010 at NYK
986 straight games with a 3-ball – JAN 22 2011 at MIA

The reason games number 594 and 595 are significant is because that’s when Toronto initially tied and then broke the then-existing record, held by the Miami Heat.  Thus, their run of 986 games obliterated the previous high by nearly 400 games!

The last time Toronto failed to hit a 3-pointer – before last night – was February 24 1999 at Indiana (the Raptors were 0/6 that night).

There were 25 games during the streak in which the Raptors nailed only one triple, but the most dramatic shot came in Dallas on November 29 2006, when Darrick Martin hit a three-pointer with 0.5 seconds remaining in the game.  

Ironically, while the Raptors kept on rolling for nearly 12 years, they have held their opponents without a 3-pointer 8 times since the streak began:

vs Washington – February 25 2004
vs Washington – March 4 2003
vs Chicago – December 6 2002
vs Utah – November 17 2002
vs Philadelphia – March 3 2002
vs Chicago – December 20 2001
at Golden State – November 14 2001
vs New York – April 8 2000

The Raptors made 5876 three-pointers during “the streak” but these are the top contributors for T.O. over the 986 games:

Morris Peterson (801/2158 – 37.1%)
Vince Carter (551/1432 – 38.4%)
Andrea Bargnani (478/1278 – 37.4%)
Anthony Parker (342/806 – 42.4%)
Jose Calderon (300/763 – 39.3%)

Perhaps this run was destined to end this year – and maybe even LAST NIGHT specifically – given that the 2010-11 season has been Toronto’s worst, statistically, since the streak began in the 1998-99 season.  And against the Grizzlies on Monday night, the Raptors were without 2 of their top 3 long-distance shooters … Jose Calderon (44.3% this season) and Leandro Barbosa (34.1%).  In fact, if you include the absence of Linas Kleiza last night as well, Toronto was actually without 3 of its top 5 long-bombers.  The only real threats on the floor for T.O. against Memphis were Andrea Bargnani (who went 0 for 4 ) and Jerryd Bayless (0/3).  Sundiata Gaines was also 0 for 4 and DeMar DeRozan was 0 for 2 … all contributing to Toronto’s 0 for 13 night … and the streak ending at 986 straight games.

Here’s how the Raptors have shot – as a TEAM (including their league ranking) – since the record started back in ’98-99:

2010-11 – 216 of 660 – 32.7% – 29TH
2009-10 – 518 of 1397 – 37.1% – 6TH
2008-09 – 479 of 1289 – 37.2% – 12TH
2007-08 – 572 of 1459 – 39.2% – 2ND
2006-07 – 531 of 1464 – 36.3% – 9TH
2005-06 – 608 of 1620 – 37.5% – 7TH
2004-05 – 648 of 1681 – 38.5% – 2ND
2003-04 – 461 of 1294 – 35.6% – 8TH
2002-03 – 409 of 1193 – 34.3% – 19TH
2001-02 – 387 of 1109 – 34.9% – 17TH
2000-01 – 429 of 1164 – 36.9% – 6TH
1999-00 – 425 of 1171 – 36.3% – 11TH
1998-99 – 226 of 662 – 34.1% – 14TH

Finally, a fun fact about “the streak” …

The Raptors run of 986 straight games with at least one three-pointer out-lasted no less than 10 arenas; 10 buildings that are no longer in the NBA:

Market Square Arena (Indianapolis)
Miami Arena (Miami)
GM Place (Vancouver)
Alamodome (San Antonio)
The Spectrum (Philadelphia)
Pyramid Arena (Memphis)
Reunion Arena (Dallas)
Compaq Center (Houston)
Charlotte Coliseum (Charlotte)
Key Arena (Seattle)
Amway Arena(Orlando)
IZOD Center (New Jersey)

But, again, this is a statistic that is essentially meaningless … and it’s one that most (all?) fans and every player would exchange for, simply put, MORE WINS. 

The Raptors are 13-32 as they get set to host the Philadelphia 76ers tomorrow night at the ACC.

Have a good one folks

E. Smith

2 Responses to “We’re Going Streaking”
  1. 1.

    I’m watching the Clippers/Mavs game on the Score over the Leafs on TSN which I flip to at commercials.

    NEVER would I have believed I would do that in my life ….

    Blake Griffin can just flat out play and if he ever learns to shoot free throws, he’ll be one of the most complete and exciting palyers in the NBA. Exactly what the Raptors need.

    And every time I see Dirk play, I can’t help but notice how much more athletic and controlled he is than Bargnani. He seldom looks out of control off the dribble or in traffic.

    - Gary
  2. 2.

    Those are some interesting names on that list. I was not surprised to see MoPete at the top, but by 250!!! Goes to show what a talent he really was.

    I didn’t think Parker would have been there simply due to time served, but like MoPete, just a talented individual.

    I wonder though, how many coaches have been hired and subsequently fired since the streak began?

    I kind of like that the streak is over, one less thing to worry about.

    I’m calling it now though, the Raps go for 25 threes vs. PHA.

    LET’S GO RAPTORS!!!

    - T.J.
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