OAKLAND – He is now as synonymous with the 3-point shot as Michael Jordan is with the soaring dunk and sneakers, as Scotch is with tape and Apple with cutting-edge products – as Tiger Woods ever was with spectacular golf.
So years from now, and who knows when, Stephen Curry will walk away from the NBA and hang up a jersey that will never be lonely.
His No. 30 will be surrounded by various trophies and plaques, for MVP awards, for All-Star Game accomplishments, for scoring titles and, most assuredly, for his specialty – 3-point shooting.
On Monday night, roughly seven months after shattering his own record for most 3-pointers in a single season, Curry set a record for most treys in one game, dropping 13 bombs during the Warriors’ 116-106 win over the New Orleans Pelicans.
“These are records that are nice to have,” Curry said. “And I’m sure will be broken, hopefully long down the line.”
Oh, it will be broken. And Curry is the most likely candidate to break it. Again.
“It happened so quickly,” teammate Kevin Durant said. “I looked up and it was an NBA record and I’m like, ‘Wow.’ I didn’t realize what was going on it happened so quick.”
Curry splashed past the record of 12 first set by Kobe Bryant in 2003, tied by Donyell Marshall in 2005 and tied most recently by Curry last season.
“When you know what the record is and you get to 12 and you tie it, it’s kind of a cool feeling,” Curry said. “But if you get that close, there is a little something that says why don’t you try to get one more and get the record for yourself.
“So now the envelope has been pushed a little bit more.”
Curry’s 13 triples came on only 17 shots beyond the arc, a stark contrast to his previous game, a loss to the Lakers last Friday during which he missed all 10 of his 3-pointers, snapping a streak of 157 consecutive games with at least one.
He wasted no time starting a new streak, draining his trey with 7:29 left in the first half, a 30-footer. He made five more in the first half, and then drained seven after intermission.
“That was quite a show,” said Warriors coach Steve Kerr, himself such a 3-point shooter as a player that he holds the all-time record for shooting percentage (45.4) beyond the arc.
“It’s not at all surprising with the way Steph bounces back from bad nights,” Kerr continued. “Maybe not with 13 of them, but he’d done it throughout his career, where he comes right back off a bad game and lights it up.”
Running around screens and through defenders, Curry totaled 46 points on 16-of-26 overall. So, yes, he was better beyond the arc than he was inside it.
He more than made up for his forgettable night in LA.
“I was hard on myself the last few days in practice,” Curry said, “and I had some pretty good shooting sessions. I don’t overreact to games like that, where I go 0-for-10 or 2-of-12 or whatever it is. My process is the same. I had another level of focus the last few days, just trying to get a rhythm back and to see the ball go in.”
The ball went in and kept going in. It went in more often for Curry than it ever has for anyone else.
It’s one more achievement for the leader of the basketball’s 3-point revolution.