Every once in a while, a freak game happens like this. When a player puts up a stat line that looks like a boxscore error because it’s so inconsistent with his game and normal numbers. I don’t mean when a player like Willie Burton, Tony Delk or Tracy Murray scores 50 points. Those guys were “scorers” and under the right circumstances any scorer can catch fire and do what they know they are capable of doing. When I say freak, I’m talking about Drew Gooden racking up a triple-double with 13 assists or George McCloud starting at point and dishing out 22 assists, which is more than what he dished out in his previous six games combined. Ty Lawson hitting 10-of-11 from downtown was pretty crazy too, considering he only made 10 total threes in his previous eight games.
But the most unlikely big game involving 3-pointers that I can think of came from a big man…or should I say tall (very tall) man.
On March 3rd, 1993, the Philadelphia 76ers were in Phoenix to play against Barkley’s new team and to no surprise, Barkley lit up his old team for 36 points, 17 rebounds and 9 assists. As for the 3-point shooters in the game, everybody was cold: Hersey Hawkins was 1-3; Tim Perry 1-4; Dan Majerle made only 2-of-7 and Danny Ainge was an awful 0-of-7.
Enter shot blocking madman Manute Bol, who made only 1-of-23 shots from downtown in his previous two seasons and didn’t even make a 3-pointer until his 3rd year in the league.
After allowing the Suns to score 72 first-half points, Doug Moe switched up his lineup and started the defensive stopper in the second half. To the amazement of the crowd, his teammates and his old friend Barkley, Manute decided to take 12 3-point attempts in the 2nd half and managed to connect on half of them to account for all 18 of his points. To this day, it remains in my opinion, the most freak performance ever. Bol attempted three more 3-pointers the next game and missed all three of them. It would be another 8 games until he attempted another shot from beyond the arc and 16 games until he connected on another.
Bol died from kidney failure back in 2010 at the age of 47 and is survived by his son Bol Bol, who just happens to be a decent three-point shooter.