Curry is already widely considered the greatest 3-point shooter in NBA history, but he can make it official in more ways than one Wednesday night.
The Warriors host the Portland Trailblazers at 7 p.m. local time December 8 in what could prove to be one of the most special games of Curry’s already illustrious career. Curry (2,958) resides just 15 made 3-point shots behind Ray Allen (2,973), the NBA’s career leader in the category.
Curry’s best mark in one game is 13 made 3-pointers, while the NBA record in a single night is 14 makes from deep. To set the all-time career mark Wednesday, Curry would need to break the individual game record by making 16 shots from behind the 3-point line. When asked about the prospect of accomplishing both feats in the same night, the Dubs’ point guard did not rule out the possibility.
“I’m not coming out with that as a true goal of how I’ll play, but crazier things have happened,” Curry said.
Opinions Differ on Curry’s Chances to Catch Allen Vs. Blazers
Curry, the best shooter in the world, clearly believes in his talent enough to know that 16 3-pointers in one game is possible. His head coach, Steve Kerr, seconded that opinion earlier this week.
“So, yeah, Warriors coach Steve Kerr believes Stephen Curry can break the career 3-pt record on Wednesday vs POR,” Monte Poole, of NBC Sports Bay Area, tweeted following a Monday media session with Kerr. “Curry needs 16 to break. His career high for 1 game is 13. Record is 14. Blazers rank last in team defense.”
If ever there was a game Curry could splash 16 times from long range, it would be against a team like the Blazers. As Poole noted, Portland ranks dead last in defensive rating. The teams allows 112.9 points per 100 possessions, according to NBA.com.
ESPN NBA insider and talk show personality Stephen A. Smith, however, thinks the idea that Curry will break both records in one night is patently absurd, even against a team as defensively weak as Portland.
In fact, Smith doesn’t believe the Dubs’ point guard will break even one record.
“I think that’s going a little bit too far. What does he need, 16 threes in a game?” Smith said on ESPN’s First Take morning show Tuesday, December 7. “I love Steph Curry. I think he’s the greatest shooter God ever created. I don’t see him hitting 16 threes in one game.”
“Maybe the game after. I can see him hitting 9 in one, 7 in the other — 8 and 8 in back-to-back games, something like that,” Smith continued. “Hell, I can see him hitting 11 or 12 threes and then 3 in another. But 16 threes in one game, I don’t think so.”
Smith went on to say he believes Curry will break the career 3-point record within the next two games, but refused to suspend disbelief that anyone, even Curry, will drop 16 makes from behind the arc in a single contest.
The fact that Blazers’ All-Star guard Damian Lillard is out for Wednesday’s matchup won’t help Curry’s cause. Lillard has never been a stellar defensive player, but his offense is so important to the Blazers that it is easy to conjure Portland falling so far behind Golden State in the Chase Center that Curry spends most of the 4th quarter on the bench resting during the last stanza of a runaway Warriors’ win.
Curry Shooting for Best All-Time, Isn’t Even Best 3-Point Shooter on Dubs This Season
Beyond history, there is an almost comical aspect to the Curry 3-point storyline Wednesday night. While Curry will try to shoot his way into the record books as the best 3-point shot maker of all-time, he is currently not even the best 3-point shooter on his own team. That honor belongs to wingman Andrew Wiggins.
Wiggins knocked down 8 of 10 shots from deep Monday against the Orlando Magic to move slightly ahead of Curry as the team’s leader in 3-point shot percentage. The StatMuse Twitter account posted the figure online Tuesday.
“Fun fact: Andrew Wiggins has a higher 3P% than Steph Curry this season,” StatMuse tweeted. “41.60% — Wiggins, 41.58% — Curry. Wiggins leads the Warriors in 3P%.”
Of course, Curry shoots more 3-point shots than Wiggins. In fact, Curry shoots more 3-point shots than anyone ever. He set a record last season with 12.7 attempts per game, and he’s on pace to break his own record this year with 13.2 attempts per game through 24 contests, per Basketball Reference.
If he wants to break both the single-game and career records for 3-pointers made on Wednesday night, Curry will have to sink three more shots from deep than he currently attempts on average.
Here’s hoping he tries.
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