OAKLAND — The crowd at Oracle Arena on Monday knew they were watching Stephen Curry knock on the door of the record books as he nailed seven 3-pointers on his way to a 35-point night in the Warriors’ win over the San Antonio Spurs.
His seventh 3 of the game — which gave the home team a 107-89 lead with 5 minutes left in the game — caused the crowd to begin chanting his name. Warriors fans knew the young point guard needed just one more to tie Ray Allen’s single-season record of 269 made 3s, set during the 2005-06 season.
Curry himself was not so aware while on the floor, however.
“The last one I heard the crowd getting into it and I kind of realized I was close,” he said. “I didn’t know if it was to break it or tie it.”
Coach Mark Jackson said he was fully aware of just where Curry was on the list. Curry missed one more 3-point attempt 29 seconds later, and then, with the game securely in hand, Jackson pulled the player he called the best shooter on the planet to rest for the final 3:50 of the game, leaving the record standing for at least two more days.
Jackson said his focus Monday was winning the game and keeping the team playing their best basketball heading into the playoffs this weekend.
“We didn’t do anything out of character,” Jackson said of Monday’s game. “We ran plays, we ran sets, he got it going in transition, guys set screens and got him open, and he got great looks. We’re not going to chase a record. He’s just a shot maker. An incredible shot maker.”
On his way to the best season of his very brief career to date, Curry has made 3.4 3-pointers per game, with his season high coming in New York, when he went 11-for-13 from behind the arc on his way to 54 points in a loss to the Knicks.
Even with all that, the record still seemed distant a week ago, before he hit nine 3s against the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday, followed by those seven on Monday. Don’t think the sudden barrage is intentional, however.
The Warriors, who close out the regular season tonight in Portland against the Trail Blazers, needed every point they got from Curry in both those games, neck-and-neck battles all the way into the fourth quarter each time.
“I’m just trying to play the game,” he said. “Obviously shooting is part of it, but I’m not going to force it. But it would be nice to do it. We have an opportunity now to secure that sixth spot with just what we do. We don’t have to worry about any other factors but this one.”
Once again, the conversation Monday turned back to playoff seeding, as the Warriors can clinch the No. 6 seed in the Western Conference playoffs with a win today.
It’s safe to say, however, with just one to tie and two to set the record, he’ll be a little more aware this time around of exactly how big a shot his next made 3 is.
Most 3-point field goals made in a season:
* One game remaining this season