Take your pick of any of the eight second-half 3-pointers Korver made in the Hawks’ 123-111 double-overtime win over the Celtics at Philips Arena on Jan. 25. The Hawks trailed by as many as 27 points in the first half before the dramatic comeback. Korver made six fourth-quarter 3’s, including two 26 seconds apart, to fuel the comeback.
“It was just a good shooting night,” said Korver, who set the franchise record for 3-pointers in a half. “It’s one of those things that when you make some shots, you get better screens and you get better passes. They guys did a good job of helping me get open. I don’t create shots on my own. I work off of everybody and just try to play good team basketball.”
The streak saver
The closest the streak came to ending was Feb. 13, when Korver made his only 3-pointer with 6:01 remaining in a 108-76 victory at the Magic.
Korver had come out of the game as it turned into a blowout. However, he was inserted back in the lineup for a chance to keep the streak alive. He finally made one from long-range put the streak at 45 games, already a franchise record.
LETTING IT FLY
The four longest streaks in NBA history of consecutive games with a 3-pointer made:
Games; Player; Pct.; Shots made-attempted
89; Dana Barros; .442; 217-491
79; Michael Adams; .364; 193-530
78; Dennis Scott; .427; 253-593
77; Kyle Korver; .468, 202-432
Kyle Korver is reluctant to talk about it.
His Hawks teammates don’t bring it up. They are not unlike the baseball player who dares not talk to the pitcher with a no-hitter going. Team personnel knock on wood, literally, every time the subject is mentioned.
No one wants to be responsible for the end of “The Streak.”
Korver has made a 3-pointer in 77 consecutive games, the fourth-longest streak in NBA history. He needs one more to tie Dennis Scott for the third-longest streak, a feat he would accomplish Thursday night in Denver against the Nuggets. A 3-pointer the following game, Saturday at home against the Magic, would tie him with Michael Adams for the second-longest streak. The record of 89 consecutive games, set by Dana Barros, remains a distant thought.
Is the streak something that weighs on Korver?
“I don’t want it to,” he said Tuesday after a lone 3-pointer against the Kings kept the streak intact. “It’s a cool thing, but I don’t want to give it life. I don’t want the other team talking about it. If it happens, cool.”
In his first game as a Hawk last season, Korver went 0-for-3 from 3-point range against the Rockets. He hasn’t played a game since without connecting from long range. Only 21 times, including twice in four games this season, has he made only one in a game. Just once has he needed the fourth quarter to make a 3-pointer. Korver shattered the Hawks’ franchise record of 42 consecutive games held by Mookie Blaylock.
Of the top four all-time streaks, Korver easily has the best 3-point shooting percentage. He has made 202 of 432 of his 3-pointers, a .468 success rate, over the past two seasons. Barros shot .442, Scott .427 and Adams .364. Korver also has taken far fewer attempts during his streak — behind Scott’s 593, Adams’ 530 and Barros’ 491.
According to Jeff Teague, few of the Hawks are even aware of the streak, maybe holdovers Al Horford and Lou Williams. The point guard sure knows about it.
“I know I keep mindful of it and make sure I get him a 3 in the game — early,” Teague said. “I try to get it in the first quarter.”
Korver currently ranks fifth in the NBA in 3-point field-goal percentage this season, as he has made 13 of his 20 attempts, a .650 success rate. He ranks 12th in league history with a .420 percentage and 28th all-time in 3-pointers made, with 1,336. He ranks behind the Mavericks’ Dirk Nowitzki, who has made 1,348 3-pointers.
If the streak continues — and who dare says it won’t — Korver would tie Barros’ mark Nov. 27 at the Rockets and set the mark two days later at home against the Mavericks.
“It’s really a credit to him and what a high-level shooter he is and how consistent he is,” said Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer, a newcomer to streak. “He is a professional. All the time, effort and work he puts in during the summer and during the season, not just shooting, on his body, his diet, everything. I think it is proof that all those things do matter.”
Korver made 6 of 6 3-pointers against the Lakers on Sunday. It tied him for the most 3-pointers ever by a Hawks player without a miss, along with Mike Bibby and Al Harringon. It also marked the 41st time that Korver, in his 11th season, has made five or more in a game and the 10th time as a Hawk.
It has gotten more difficult as the streak has grown — both in number and awareness. Korver made only one 3-pointer each against the Mavericks and Kings. He was a combined 2-for-6 in those games. Perhaps each opponent looks to be the next Gene Garber, the Braves pitcher who stopped Pete Rose’s hit streak at 44 games.
“It’s going to be harder,” said Korver, who was 1-of-2 against the Kings. “(On Tuesday), there weren’t a lot of shots there for me. I try to make the ones I get.”
Forgive Budenholzer that as the Hawks look to implement new systems and build chemistry on another rebuilt roster, the streak is not at the center of the game plans.
“Luckily, for him it happens pretty naturally and in the flow of the game,” Budenholzer said. “We have a lot more things that we are focusing on and make our priority, so it’s not on his mind.”