Bennedict Mathurin ties NBA record for fewest games to make 40 career 3-pointers

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Pacers rookie Bennedict Mathurin - 'I have no choice but to be great'

Indiana Pacers rookie guard Bennedict Mathurin tied an NBA record for the fewest games (16) needed to make at least 40 career 3-pointers in league history.

For a great comparison, Philadelphia 76ers legend Allen Iverson made 37 threes in his first 16 starts. In the 2009-10 season, James Harden made 22 threes with the Oklahoma City Thunder in his first 16 appearances as well.

Mathurin was selected sixth overall out of Arizona in this year’s draft. Through 16 games off the bench this season, the rookie is averaging 19.3 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 1.9 assists.

Per a few NBA betting sites, the Pacers guard has the fourth-best odds to win Sixth Man of the Year this season. Some sportsbooks show higher odds for Russell Westbrook, Jordan Poole, and Christian Wood.

Equally important, Bennedict Mathurin is shooting 44.3% from the floor and 42.1% from outside the arc. He’s also the first player in NBA history to make at least 40 career 3-pointers and 80 free throws through his first 16 games.

According to the Global Rating, the Pacers guard is currently the favorite to win Rookie of the Year and Sixth Man of the Year in 2023. His true shooting percentage is 60.5%.

Mathurin ranks 42nd in points per game, 76th in field goals made per game (5.9), 15th in free throws (80), 14th in free throw attempts (97), and 86th in player efficiency rating (16.56).

Pacers rookie Bennedict Mathurin tied an NBA record for fewest games needed (16) to hit 40 career 3-pointers

In his first three games of the season, the Pacers guard scored 72 points, the most by a rookie since Jerry Stackhouse put up 76 points to begin the 1995-96 season.

Furthermore, on Oct. 26, in Indiana’s 124-109 loss against the Chicago Bulls, the rookie became the first Pacer to score 100 points through his first five career games.

Three days later, Bennedict Mathurin scored a career-high 32 points in the Pacers’ 125-116 win over the Brooklyn Nets. He shot 8-of-16 (50%) from the floor and 6-of-9 (66.7%) from 3-point range.

Of course, the rookie’s 32 points off the bench was the most by a Canadian-born player in NBA history.

In Monday night’s 123-102 blowout win versus the Orlando Magic, Bennedict Mathurin ended his performance with a team-high 22 points in 27 minutes of action. He finished 6-of-13 (46.2%) shooting from the field and 2-of-6 (33.3%) from downtown.

“It’s gritty, it’s who we’re trying to be,” Pacers coach Rick Carlisle said after the win. “The crowd was into it. It was a fun game to win.”

“We’re going through this as a group for like the first time, but it’s happening over and over where we’re in close games down the stretch,” Tyrese Haliburton added. “You’ve just got to kind of figure it out on the go. We’re growing together as a group.”

With Bennedict Mathurin on the court, the Pacers are an underrated team. They currently rank fourth overall in the Eastern Conference standings with a 10-6 record. Indiana is now on a five-game win streak.