HANGTIME SOUTHWEST – Robert Pack, Travis Best, Antoine Walker, Antoine Wright, Dan Dickau, Erick Dampier, Danny Manning.
Just a few of the names that contributed along the way to the Dallas Mavericks’ remarkable (but once not unrivaled) 3-point shooting streak. For 1,108 consecutive games entering Friday night’s chilly visit to Toronto, at least one Mavericks player has made at least one 3-point shot.
Back when gas cost a buck-seventeen, before George W. Bush became president, as Y2K threatened every last computer, even pre-dating Mark Cuban‘s first NBA fine, Michael Finley and Erick Strickland combined to make three 3-pointers in a 97-90 win over the Sacramento Kings at the now-demolished Reunion Arena.
The date was Feb. 27, 1999.
Keith Van Horn, Cedric Ceballos, Shawn Bradley, Trenton Hassell, Adam Harrington, Danny Manning, Rawle Marshall.
On Feb. 26, 1999, the season was just 13 games old because of the lockout. Dirk Nowitzki was a rookie. Don Nelson was in his second year as head coach. The Mavs were 4-9, but had won two in a row when they got to Salt Lake City. In the middle game of a back-to-back-to-back, the Mavs missed all eight 3-point attempts and lost to the Jazz 80-65.
Incredibly, it would still stand as the last game that the Mavs didn’t make at least one 3-pointer as they arrived Friday at Air Canada Centre.
Drew Gooden, Juwan Howard, Antoine Rigaudeau, Steve Novak, Matt Carroll, Jerry Stackhouse, Vernon Maxwell.
On this night, the Mavs would not have available the franchise’s top three active 3-point shooters. Nowitzki, the all-time leader, remains shelved after October knee surgery. Jason Terry, second, plays for the Boston Celtics. Jason Kidd, fourth, plays for the New York Knicks. Third on the list is Finley. He works in the Mavs’ front office.
As play entered the fourth quarter, the Raptors held a 69-55 lead. One reason was Dallas had yet to make a 3-pointer, missing all 12 attempts. Toronto had made seven of its 24, hardly a flattering percentage, yet a 21-point differential nonetheless.
Early in the fourth quarter, Derek Fisher looked to have extended the streak to 1,109. But after a replay review, Fisher’s foot was determined to be stepping on the arc. Two points.
Dallas would attempt one more and miss it: 0-for-13.
Brandon Bass, Steve Nash, J.J. Barea, James Singleton, Kelenna Azubuike, Alexis Ajinca, Lamar Odom.
Fifteen times during the streak, the Mavs skated by with a lone 3-pointer. Arguably the most famous streak-saver came on April 19, 2006, the final game of the season. With a playoff seed wrapped up, coach Avery Johnson sat out some starters, including Nowitzki getting his first rest of the season, and he greatly limited others.
With Dallas trailing 84-68 to the Seattle SuperSonics, Johnson drew up a play to get DeSagana Diop his first career 3-pointer with less than a minute to go in the 7-foot center’s fifth season.
By gosh, he hit it.
“You think I would’ve shot it if he [Johnson] didn’t draw it up?” Diop would say, smiling.
The streak lived on, 610 games strong, into another offseason.
Wang Zhizhi, Eduardo Najera, Josh Howard, Marquis Daniels, Antawn Jamison, Christian Laettner, Hubert Davis.
The second-longest consecutive 3-point streak in NBA history belongs, coincidentally, to the Raptors at 986 games.
And now for the truly bizarre part. Remember the date Feb. 26, 1999? The night the Mavs went 0-for-8 from behind the arc in Utah — the last game they would not make at least one 3-pointer for the next 13 years — the Raptors’ Vince Carter, Doug Christie and Dee Brown combined to make four 3-pointers in a 102-92 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Who knows how minuscule the odds, but one night before the Mavs embarked on their record streak, the Raptors had started their own, one that would span 986 games until Jan. 24, 2011.
On Dec. 14, 2012, the Raptors finally stopped Dallas’ at a potentially untouchable 1,108.