Stephen Curry continues to post astounding numbers while playing at a level that few NBA players have reached. The Golden State Warriors point guard is establishing himself as the league's greatest shooter amid of one of the most remarkable individual seasons in basketball history, and breaking down his statistics confirm his No. 1 status.
Curry set an NBA record on Thursday night by making a three-pointer in his 128th consecutive game, surpassing the mark that was set by Kyle Korver in 2014. It might have been Curry’s best performance of the season as he scored 51 points on 74.1 percent shooting, making 10 of his 15 three-point attempts. Curry’s offensive outburst was par for the course, considering he’s had multiple shooting performances that have rivaled what he did on his record-setting night in Orlando.
On Feb. 3 in Washington, Curry made 11-of-15 three-pointers for a 51-point night. On Dec. 12, he needed just 18 field-goal attempts to score 40 points. Against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Nov. 12, he scored 46 points while hitting eight of 13 three-point attempts. That doesn’t even include Curry’s highest scoring game of the year, which saw him put up 53 points on 27 shot attempts.
During Korver’s streak, he made 337 of 718 attempts. Curry has hit 205 more three-pointers in the last 128 games, while converting 45.6 percent of his attempts.
The greatest shooters in NBA history have never come close to scoring at the rate of Curry. Ray Allen and Reggie Miller are the most prolific three-point shooters of all time, but even at their best, their numbers pale in comparison to Curry’s production.
Allen has made more three-pointers than anyone, ending his career by making 40 percent of his shots from behind the arc. He averaged at least 21 points per game in nine straight seasons, posting his best numbers with the Milwaukee Bucks and Seattle SuperSonics. Miller is second on the all-time list, and he made 39.5 percent of his threes. He had six seasons in which he averaged more than 19 points and made at least 41 percent of his threes, earning a reputation as a lethal crunch-time scorer.
But Curry is in a stratosphere all by himself.
Curry is scoring 30.4 points per game, while Allen and Miller peaked at 26.4 and 24.6, respectively. Curry is shooting 51.3 percent from the field, and the other two shooters never reached the 50 percent mark. The defending MVP is making 46.1 percent of his nearly 11 three-point attempts per game. Allen never shot more than 8.4 threes per game, and his season-high 44.4 percent mark came when he attempted less than five threes per contest. Miller’s 6.6 attempts per game in 1996-1997 were his most as he shot 42.7 percent on three-pointers.
In short, Curry leaves Allen and Miller in the dust.
A few retired NBA greats have tried to downplay the hype surrounding Curry. Charles Barkley called him “just a great shooter,” and Oscar Robertson blamed bad defenses for Curry’s success. But the 27-year-old is not simply having the best shooting season of all-time—he’s consistently making shots that seem nearly impossible.
Curry’s buzzer-beater from half court on Thursday was not an anomaly. He went 4-11 from beyond 39 feet, via ESPN’s Ethan Sherwood Strauss, and he’s gone 35-of-52 when shooting between 28 and 50 feet away from the basket.
With 286 three-pointers last season, Curry broke the record he previously set in 2012-2013. He’s just 11 three-pointers made away from setting a new mark, and the Warriors still have 25 games left on their regular-season schedule.
It’s hard to imagine Curry ever replicating his success in future seasons, but his statistics this year aren’t a fluke. Shooting 44.4 percent from three-point range for his career, Curry has never shot worse than 42.4 percent from behind the arc in a single season. He’s made 47.7 percent of his field goals in seven seasons, and he ranks third all time with a 90.2 free throw percentage.
Curry’s PER of 32.6 is the highest for any player in a season. In addition to leading the league in scoring at just 33.8 minutes per game, he’s averaging 6.7 assists and 5.3 rebounds per contest.