You say "goal" in soccer when the ball gets into the net. How about basketball, When the ball gets through the hoop?

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    Basket is the general term. Sometimes it could be called a '2-pointer' or '3-pointer'.
    – jamesqf
    Commented May 30, 2015 at 5:08

4 Answers 4


I agree with Maulik, in that basket qualifies as a generic term roughly equivalent to goal in some contexts:

Ronaldo scored a goal on the play. Lebron made a basket on the play.

However, it's not a perfect synonym. We're all familiar with the ecstastic call from the broadcasters at World Cup matches:


I don't think a sportscaster in a basketball arena is nearly as likely to exclaim:

Baaaaaas - keeeeeeet!

Also, if I'm summarizing a game, I might say:

Ronaldo scored two goals.

but I don't think I'm likely to say:

Lebron made seven baskets.

Instead, it would be:

Lebron scored 14 points.

Similarly, I might ask my son (the striker), "Did you score any goals today?" but I would be more likely to ask my daughter (the point guard), "How many points did you score today?" (not, "Did you make any baskets today?")

I imagine this difference holds for two reasons: (1) there are far more points scored in a basketball game than in a soccer match, and (2) not all baskets are worth the same number of points.

So, the terminology goes more like this:

Steve Kerr scored 21 points. He was 7 of 9 from the field, he made 4 of 6 free throws, and he made one three-pointer.

A three-point shot in basketball is sometimes called a three-pointer, although, with enough context, that can even be shortened to a single word: three.

He made a three!

As Maulik's answer also hints, the term field goal can be used. That term isn't used so much conversationally, but you do see it on stat sheets, like this one:

enter image description here

3P refers to three-point shots, and FT refers to free throws. FG is field goals, which refers to, well, baskets.

  • 3
    But at least to a non-sports fan like me, it seems that the level of excitement for an individual basket would be much less than for a goal, since a hundred or so baskets might be made in any game, versus maybe half a dozen goals.
    – jamesqf
    Commented May 30, 2015 at 18:58
  • @jamesqf - I agree; that probably plays a factor, too. To the O.P. - I thought of one more: if the ball goes through the basket without touching the rim, that is sometimes called a swish.
    – J.R.
    Commented May 30, 2015 at 21:34

You make or shoot a basket.

OALD on it:

basket (n): a point that is scored by throwing the ball through this net

This proves it further:

In basketball, the term field goal refers to a basket scored on any shot or tap other than a...


Generally, in basketball when someone scores it is called a two pointer or a three pointer depending on the distance from where the throw has been made.

But when a player is fouled, depending on the game's context they can be awarded three free throw attempts, two free throw attempts or one free throw attempt each attempt valuing one point.

More on this here.


There is no equivalent to soccer's Gooooooooooaaaaaaaaal!.

But in basketball scoooorre or she/he scooooorres! is possible.

In hockey, goooooaaal is more likely than scoooorrre, although both are possible.

In baseball, it's back to s/he scooorrrrres! There are no goals in baseball, whereas in cricket everybody snores.

  • I agree that both are possible, but, in ice hockey, the exclamation scoooore! is more prevalent than goooal! – at least among sportscasters (both in the playoffs, and in the regular season).
    – J.R.
    Commented Jun 3, 2015 at 10:06

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