Stephen Curry has climbed to the top of the NBA’s all-time 3-pointers list.
Curry made his 2,974th 3-pointer in the first quarter of the Golden State Warriors’ game against the New York Knicks on Tuesday night, beating Ray Allen’s record.
With 7:33 remaining, Curry made the shot from the right wing, waving his arms in the air as he sprinted backward down the court. After committing a foul, the Warriors swiftly called a timeout, allowing the celebration to commence.
Curry greeted his father, Dell Curry, who was sitting along a baseline, while Bob McKillop, Curry’s Davidson coach, was in the seats, beaming with Larry Riley, the Warriors’ first pick. Curry ran back across the field for a long embrace and a few happy words from Allen, followed by a hug from Warriors teammate Draymond Green and others.
Curry is widely regarded as the best shooter in the NBA, and the stats back him up. He already had two of the top three 3-point shooting seasons — including the only season with 400 3-pointers — and now holds the lifetime record that Allen had held since overtaking Reggie Miller in 2011.
Curry set the mark at Madison Square Garden on Feb. 27, 2013, when he made 11 3-pointers and scored 54 points in one of his early-career highlights. He went on to win two MVP honors and three championships, as well as becoming one of the game’s largest and most beloved figures.
“I believe people are drawn to him just because of his humility, his narrative, and how hard he’s had to work,” Golden State coach Steve Kerr said before the game.
To begin this road trip, Curry had been far from his best outside the arc, hitting 3 for 14 in Philadelphia and then 5 for 15 in Indiana. Kerr projected a breakout in the near future, based on his ability to swing from drooping to surging in a flash.
It arrived fast. Tuesday. Curry made his first attempt from the line, and fans all across the arena stood when he dribbled the ball over center court on the following play. He made a clumsy attempt that he failed to land.
Curry’s next shot broke the mark, and it was classic Curry. He ultimately gave up the ball and sprinted back to the outside, regaining possession and seemingly blasting the ball in the same move before a defender could reach him.
That rapid shot, whether it’s after grabbing it or on the dribble, plus his ability to release from so deep behind the arc have made him a shooter unlike any other.
Former Dallas great Dirk Nowitzki stated, “He’s the finest shooter I’ve ever seen, and I think it’s evident he’s the best catch-and-shoot guy.” “But it’s off the dribble where he’s so excellent, and I believe that’s something he added, the fast 3 off the dribble.” His shot is gone in a single move.”
Curry’s greatness was not inevitable when he joined the league as the No. 7 selection out of Davidson, which is not one of the basketball powerhouses that often produces the best players.
But, with an unrivaled mix of dribbling and shooting accuracy, he spearheaded a long-distance revolution that transformed the 3-pointer from an afterthought in NBA offenses to a weapon. He’s led the league in 3-pointers six times and is on his way to a seventh with a Warriors club that has resurrected and now has the best record in the league.
And at his current rate, Curry may put the record out of reach: he was averaging 5.4 3-pointers per game this season, the most in his career.
Curry, 33, is playing in his 789th game and may have a few more seasons at the top ahead of him. Allen has 1,918 threes at the same time in his career.