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Isaac Brekken, AP Photo, File

Sam Merrill helps Milwaukee Bucks set NBA record in rout of Heat

By Sean Walker, | Posted - Dec. 29, 2020 at 9:07 p.m.

SALT LAKE CITY — It took former Utah State standout Sam Merrill four games into his first NBA regular season to be part of a record-setting performance.

Merrill had 3 points, two rebounds and an assist as the Milwaukee Bucks set an all-time NBA record for most 3-pointers in a game with a 144-97 rout of the Miami Heat on Tuesday night.

But the Bountiful High product was more than a footnote in the performance. He set the record himself.

Merrill's lone 3 with 6:10 remaining was the Bucks' 28th triple of the night, setting the all-time mark. Milwaukee (2-2) shot 29 of 51 from 3-point range, led by Jrue Holiday's 24 points and Khris Middleton's 25.

Holiday shot 6 of 10 from 3-point range, and added seven assists, three rebounds and three steals in the winning effort. Merrill played 8:48 on Tuesday night, just under one-third of Holiday's total minutes of 26:10.

Perhaps more impressive is that Milwaukee superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo only had 9 points in the win. It didn't matter.

"Some nights, the basketball gods are with you a little bit," Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said. "It's probably one of those nights."

Through four regular season games and the preseason, Merrill — who reportedly signed a two-year deal with about $1.4 million guaranteed after being picked with the final selection of the 2020 NBA Draft — is averaging 3.0 points, 2.0 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game, including 6-of-7 shooting from 3-point range. His lone miss came during a career-high 7 points in 15 minutes during a preseason loss to the New Orleans Pelicans.

The Bucks and Heat will meet again Wednesday in Miami.

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