As the Knicks beat the Pistons on Monday, guard Donte DiVincenzo sets the team record for three-pointers made in a game.  Newsday's Barbara Barker reports. Credit: Newsday/Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

Nineteen three-pointers.

Heading into Monday night’s game against the Detroit Pistons, that was all Donte DiVincenzo needed to make in the next 12 games to break the team’s record for the most three-pointers in a season. And make no mistake, it’s a record the Knicks’ sharpshooter would be proud to own.

“Absolutely, I wouldn’t mind having it,” DiVincenzo told Newsday before tip-off. “When you are in reach to be in the record books, it’s a great achievement.”

As it so happens, the person who currently owns the record was also at Madison Square Garden on Monday night, playing for the Detroit Pistons. Evan Fournier, who was traded from the Knicks to Detroit in February, set the Knicks’ single-season mark of 241 in 2021-22. Fournier broke John Starks’ record of 217 set in 1995.

Heading into Monday’s game, DiVincenzo needed to hit only 1.5 threes a game to set the record. Though it’s an attainable goal given that he is averaging 3.2 makes from downtown, DiVincenzo said he isn’t keeping a running total in his head.

“I honestly don’t know how many. I know I’m close,” DiVincenzo said. “At the end of the day, I never want me chasing something to sacrifice winning a game.”

That didn’t seem to be much of a problem early Monday night against the struggling Pistons as the Knicks took a 59-42 halftime lead while shooting 10-for-25 from downtown. DiVincenzo was 5-for-8 on threes.

What does Fournier think about all this? The Frenchman declined to talk with reporters before the game, but one month ago, when the Pistons played their first game at the Garden, Fournier had nothing but good things to say about DiVincenzo.

“Donte is a heck of a shooter,” Fournier said. “I’m pretty confident he will break it, for sure.”

Only 17 players in NBA history have made more than 241 three-pointers in a season with Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, James Harden, Damian Lillard and Buddy Hield having done it in multiple seasons.

“To look around the league and see there’s other franchises where their record is in the 180s and 190s, you have to really give credit to what Evan did,” DiVincenzo said. “It’s really hard to do 240 threes in a season. There are other franchises that aren’t near that. So I think that adds to it. One, you have to tip your cap to [Fournier], and it also adds some extra motivation ’cause it’s hard.”

Few thought DiVincenzo would be in a position to make history this season. Signed in the summer as a backup to Quentin Grimes, DiVincenzo averaged just 9.1 points mostly off the bench in his first 20 games.

Grimes, however, struggled in his starting opposition and DiVincenzo claimed the starting position for good. His three-pointers then trended up significantly after the team traded RJ Barrett and Immanuel Quickley to Toronto. Entering Monday night’s play, he ranked No. 1 in the East and fourth in the league, behind only Curry, Luca Doncic and Thompson.

DiVincenzo credits Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau for his development this season.

“It’s amazing because you can see the trust throughout the year from Thibs that he has in me and in the other guys,” DiVincenzo said. “Throughout the year, even when everyone was fully healthy, there was just a trust. And as guys went out, that trust gains and gains and that confidence gets higher. That’s the beautiful thing about playing for ThibsIt’s the freedom and confidence he instills in you.”

The confidence to chase a record, as long as you don’t make it your priority.

.“If I get it [the club record], I’ll be over the moon. If I don’t .  .  . there’s always next year.”

Notes & quotes:It sounds as if Mitchell Robinson is getting closer and closer to returning. “Mitchell is moving quite well,” Thibodeau said during his pregame media session. “He’s cleared for contact and all that. He’s going through practices and so just needs a little more time. But he’s doing really well overall.” Robinson, who had ankle surgery, hasn’t played since a loss to the Celtics on Dec. 8.


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