The Golden State Warriors star guard became the all-time leader in 3-pointers Tuesday night against the Knicks, passing Hall of Famer Ray Allen by knocking down the 2,974th of his career.
The record-breaking shot came with 7 minutes, 33 seconds left in the first quarter as Curry knocked down a 28-footer from the right wing off a pass from Andrew Wiggins. The Warriors quickly fouled and called a time out so that Curry could enjoy the moment.
Curry received a big hug from teammate Draymond Green as players streamed onto the floor to congratulate him. He took the ball that he was clutching in his arm and handed it to his father, Dell, on the floor as the Madison Square Garden crowd gave him a rousing standing ovation. Curry went back toward center court a few moments later to get a hug and congratulations from Allen.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver congratulated Curry in a statement released during the game.
“It was thrilling to see Steph break the NBA’s all-time record for three-pointers,” Silver said. “He has revolutionized the way the game is played and continues to leave fans in awe with his amazing artistry and extraordinary shooting ability. We congratulate him on this historic achievement.”
Curry finished 5-of-14 from 3-point range, bringing his career total to 2,978. He had 22 points, 3 rebounds and 3 assists in the Warriors’ 105-96 win.
Curry had tried to deflect talk of the impending record over the past couple of weeks, acknowledging how much the mark means to him. Those close to him say they understand and take pride in the greatness he has achieved.
“I can’t explain it,” Dell Curry recently told ESPN. “And I played with and against Ray, played against Reggie [Miller], I know how great shooters those guys were, but to know my son’s going to leave the game being the best — he already is the best shooter ever to play, and have that record, it’s unbelievable.”
Both Allen and Miller, who were broadcasting the game for Turner Sports, attended Curry’s record-breaking performance Tuesday night. The trio shared a few words and a group hug before the game, enjoying the excitement surrounding the inevitable historical moment.
“I think people have compared him to myself and to Reggie and to other past shooters, great shooters in the NBA, but he really operates somewhat in a lane of his own,” Allen recently said during a conference call with Warriors beat reporters.
Warriors coach Steve Kerr said earlier this season that Curry is the most “joyful” player he has ever been around. While Curry’s talent has helped carry the Warriors to three NBA championships, it’s his presence and leadership behind the scenes that teammates and coaches respect as much as anything else he does.
“What he’s done has just completely redefined what’s a good shot,” Kerr said. “Redefined the point guard position, in terms of what’s expected. You can see a whole generation of young players who are playing the game the way Steph does, with shooting range and handle, all kinds of skill and joy. It’s amazing how much he’s impacted the game both strategically and artistically.”
Curry, 33, is an early favorite to win his third career MVP award this season. He has made a 3-pointer in 152 consecutive games, a streak that started on Dec. 1, 2018. That streak is second only to his stretch of 157 games with at least one 3-pointer from Nov., 13, 2014 to Nov. 3, 2016.
Both Curry and Kerr said after Monday’s 102-100 win over the Indiana Pacers that there would be a sense of “relief” when Curry eventually broke Allen’s record, but as much as Curry has tried to enjoy the moment, he knew the weight of the record would eventually cause him to get emotional about his latest career achievement.
“I’ll talk about it when it happens,” Curry said last week, when asked what it would mean. “You’re going to make me cry up here, bro.”