Teammates, coaches, opponents — it’s hard for everybody to wrap their minds around exactly what they’re seeing as the Golden State Warriors star continues to set new records on a nightly basis.
For his latest feat, Curry poured in 49 points — 20 of them in the fourth quarter — in a 107-96 win over the Philadelphia 76ers on Monday night, becoming the first player in NBA history age 33 or older to score 30 or more points in 11 straight games — passing Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant, who scored at least 30 in 10 straight games in December 2002.
“I’ve seen Kobe Bryant early in his career, had a stretch where he went nuts,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “Obviously, Michael Jordan had some stretches where he just scored like crazy, but obviously nobody’s ever shot the ball like this in the history of the game. Even by Steph’s own lofty standards, this is above and beyond.”
A week after overtaking Wilt Chamberlain as the Warriors’ all-time leading scorer, Curry continues piling up record-setting stats at a level even he hasn’t seen during his 12-year career. Curry is now averaging 39.9 points, 6.6 rebounds and 4.3 assists over 10 games in April. He knows he’s on a history-making tear, but he hasn’t let the pressure exceed the joy he has for the game.
“From Wilt’s [record] last week and then this streak, I’m obviously aware,” Curry said. “But you don’t put too much pressure on yourself, you just play basketball. … Being aggressive, obviously, but kind of letting the game come to you. For me, that looks a certain type of way, but I’m having a blast out there just playing basketball and it’s obviously working.”
What’s really working for Curry during this recent stretch is his shooting touch from beyond the arc. The 33-year-old went 10-for-17 from long range on Monday night and has hit 54 3-pointers over his past six games.
“Twenty-one career games with 10 or more 3s,” Kerr said, almost not believing the words coming out of his mouth. “And Klay [Thompson] is second with five. And Steph’s had four in the last five [games]. Mind-boggling. Mind-boggling stuff.”
Curry’s recent play has helped the Warriors post their best stretch of the season, having won five of their past six games. Currently ninth in the Western Conference, Golden State appears poised to make a run down the stretch, with nine of its last 14 games coming against teams under .500.
As Curry continues to hit shots from all over the floor, some of his teammates admit that they can’t help but watch sometimes.
“The things he can do on the court — it’s special. He’s one of a kind,” Warriors swingman Andrew Wiggins said. “When I was on a different team, you could see it from afar, you could see what he’s doing. You could see all the creative things he’s doing, but being on his team is totally different, totally different watching it in person, every day, every game. The dominance of his presence on and off the ball is crazy.”
Veteran Warriors center Kevon Looney said he thinks Curry is playing the best basketball of his career — even better than the 2015-16 season, when Curry was voted a unanimous league MVP.
“My rookie year, I didn’t think nobody could play better than that,” Looney said. “I thought that was like the peak of basketball shooting and showmanship and everything, but I think this year he might be eclipsing that and taking it to a whole ‘nother level. I always remember that year and remember how special it was and how special he was, and for him to keep getting better and keep breaking records and keep doing new things that nobody’s ever seen before has been amazing.”
As much as Curry tries to downplay some of his accolades, he knows he’s in the midst of a special streak. He also recognizes a lot of praise is being heaped his way, but he won’t let it weigh him down.
“It’s flattering, but it’s nothing I wake up and yearn for,” Curry said. “But I appreciate the respect and appreciation for what I’m able to do out there on the court, however people want to talk about it. But it doesn’t change how I approach the game and my belief in myself, my team and what I’m capable of doing.
“It’s easy to block out; Y’all know I do read and hear all the stuff, so it’s entertaining at a certain point how things can flip and flop, but at the end of the day just go out and hoop, play well. As long as you’re in some type of conversation, then you’re doing what you’re supposed to do.”
Curry isn’t just in the conversation these days — his performances have put him at the center of most discussions in the sport right now.
“I don’t know what else to say,” Kerr said. “You guys ask me after every game what I think of Steph and his performance, whatever I said last game, just use that tonight. Because it’s the same thing after every game, it’s just utter amazement at this guy’s skill level, heart, mind, focus, it’s just amazing to watch.”
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