Suns Forward Cameron Johnson on Pace to Challenge 3-Point Record

Phoenix Suns, Cameron Johnson (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Phoenix Suns, Cameron Johnson (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

In what might end up as his last start of the season, Cameron Johnson sure gave Phoenix Suns fans one hell of a show.

Going up against a gritty Los Angeles Clippers team, the Valley Boys jumped out with a sizeable lead last night, leading their former Western Conference Finals adversaries often by double-digits. But with that advantage, Phoenix still stumbled around, unable to take full control until the game’s final few minutes.

Devin Booker looked quite frustrated, missing all the shots he typically hits to finish with only 11 points, going 5-22 from the field. Mikal Bridges came through with some clutch buckets in the final period, but also remained relatively quiet with just eight points.

Chris Paul actually notched a career-high 13 rebounds to help complete his first triple-double of the season. He added 14 points which certainly helped the Suns stay afloat, but never torched Los Angeles to answer any of the several runs they made down the stretch.

With his team needing a burst, it was Johnson who stepped up to the plate, dropping a career-high 23 points en route to a Suns victory. In getting there, he relied on his favorite tool, one which has him as a top-20 player in true shooting percentage this year, and with a chance to break a franchise record: his 3-point shot.

Last night, Johnson shot 4-7 from beyond the arc, making it the 21st game in a row for him with at least two made triples—the longest active streak in the NBA. That also pushed his 3-point total up to 96 for the season at large.

With Johnson knocking down 2.5 triples per game this year, and with 44 contests left to go, that puts him on pace to finish out his campaign with 207 total threes. Doing so would grant him the second most made 3-pointers in a season by a Sun, edging out Raja Bell from the 2006-07 season, and trailing only Quentin Richardson‘s tally from the 2004-05 season.

Now, Richardson finished that year with 226 made triples, meaning that if Johnson wants to move up from number two and take the franchise record, he needs to turn things up a notch.

But with the season not even halfway complete yet, time is on Johnson’s side. To surpass Richardson, he does not need to start hoisting up extra shots each game down the stretch like a mad man, but instead can slowly gain ground with a few extra attempts each night.

Doing so will position Johnson to attain a massive achievement especially for a third-year player. It also presents the Suns with just another reason to keep him on the team past this season, with his rookie deal eligible for an extension this summer.

However, even if Johnson were to come up short, his efficiency can still help him reign supreme above all other 3-point bombers in Phoenix history.  Currently shooting 44.4 percent from range, if he keeps that up, he can still become the only Sun ever to knock down over 180 triples at that high of a rate.

Next. Robert Covington to the Suns?. dark

So regardless, Johnson remains well positioned to etch himself into Phoenix’s record books after this season. He likely has a different, more team oriented goal in mind to accomplish at the end of this year, but posting the best 3-point shooting campaign ever by a Sun certainly does have a nice ring to it.