In the game of basketball, points are scored anytime a player puts the ball through the basket. This can be done with the a variety of shots – layups, slam dunks, jump shots, free throws, 3-pointers and more. The number of points awarded is based on the shot type and the distance from the basket that the shot is taken from.
The most common type of scoring in basketball is the 2-point basket. This is any shot that is made from inside of the 3-point line (22 feet) and can be done with a jump shot, layup or dunk.
The NBA introduced the 3-point line during the 1979-80 season, which rewarded players for making shots from long distance with an extra point. Before then, all shots that came during live action counted for two points.
The 3-point shot has grown in popularity since its debut and is now a focal point of many NBA offenses. In each of the last three years, the average number of 3-point shots taken has risen to an all-time high in the NBA.
Free throws are granted when a player is fouled in the act of shooting the ball. If the shot is missed, the shooter is awarded two free throws for 2-point shots and three free throws for 3-point shots.
If the shot is made, then the basket counts and the shooter is awarded one free throw. This is commonly referred to as an “and one” since you get the points for basket and one free throw.
Free throws are also granted when the team committing a foul is in the penalty, which is when a team commits at least five fouls in a single quarter. Beginning with the fifth foul, any defensive or loose ball foul results in two free throw for the opposing team, whether they are shooting the ball or not.