COMMENTARY | In the Curry household, 2013 will always be remembered as the year Stephen Curry became an NBA superstar. But that does not mean Curry came out of nowhere: the talented guard has been building his resume ever since his days as a college hoops star. Read on to learn more about the five best moments of Stephen Curry's career .
5. A Referendum on the 2009-2010 NBA Rookie of the Year voteStat Line: 42 points (13-25 FG), 8 assists, 9 rebounds, 2 steals, 2 TO
Stephen Curry's rookie season started slow, but ended with a flourish. Curry won three of the last four Rookie of the Month awards that season for the Golden State Warriors, who would go on to finish 26-56. But Curry made sure to give fans reason to be optimistic that offseason.
In the final game of the season at the Portland Trail Blazers (50-32), Curry would post one of the best games of his career. Though the Trail Blazers were shorthanded, resting stars LaMarcus Aldridge and Brandon Roy before the playoffs, the Warriors were actually in worse shape.
Only eight Warriors players suited up, and only six were healthy enough to play. That meant Curry and three other players were forced to play all 48 minutes. Despite the workload, Curry posted the best game of his career to date as the Warriors knocked off the Trail Blazers in a close contest, 122-116. For Warriors fans, it was a promise of what was yet to come.
4. Curry Breaks the Curse of the SpursStat Line: 44 points (18-35 FG), 11 assists, 4 rebounds, 2 steals, 6 TO
The Golden State Warriors rode Stephen Curry to an upset victory over the 57-win Denver Nuggets in the 2013 NBA playoffs. But the next round featured the San Antonio Spurs, a team the Warriors had not beaten in San Antonio in nearly 16 years.
The Warriors walked in and showed the world they would not be intimidated. In Game 1, Curry poured in 22 points in the third quarter alone as the Warriors raced ahead of the heavily favored Spurs. Though San Antonio would eventually win in double overtime, Curry's performance showed fans that the Warriors could play with the big boys. In Game 2, Curry added 22 points as his Warriors prevailed to even the series at 1-1.
For Warriors fans, the losing streak in San Antonio was always a painful reminder of how badly the team had performed. For as long as the Warriors had been an NBA laughingstock, the Spurs had been championship contenders. Going into San Antonio and playing two great games in the playoffs was symbolic of the changing fortunes of the Warriors, and Curry was certainly the reason why.
3. A New Three Point King is CrownedStat Line: 15 points (5-16 FG), 5 assists
With three games to go in the 2012-2013 NBA season, Stephen Curry was gunning for Ray Allen's 2005-2006 NBA record of 269 three pointers made in one season. But the outlook was not good until Curry made a whopping 16 three pointers in just two games, leaving him one make short of the record with one game to go.
Despite a rough shooting night, Curry would not disappoint. The point guard made four from behind the arc in the final game of the season, establishing a new NBA record with 272 three pointers on the year. What was more impressive was his efficiency: Curry shot an incredible 45.3% from long range, well ahead of Allen's (still impressive) 41.2%.
With the way Curry shot the ball to end the season, you can bet Stephen Curry will be gunning to break this record, again.
2. Davidson and GoliathStat Line: 30 points (8-21 FG), 5 assists, 3 rebounds, 3 steals, 0 TO
Before Stephen Curry became a household name with the Golden State Warriors, he was busy lifting little-known Davidson College into March Madness history.
In the second round of the 2008 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament, the 10th seed Davidson Wildcats took on Roy Hibbert and the second seed Georgetown Hoyas, who reached the Final Four the year before. The Wildcats had just knocked off the seventh seed Gonzaga Bulldogs in the round of 64 (behind 40 points from Curry), and many would have excused them for just being happy to be there. And for the first half, that's exactly what Davidson played like: Curry had just 5 points and Davidson trailed by 17 in the second half.
But then Stephen Curry reeled off one of the great scoring bursts in tournament history, adding 25 points in 15 minutes to upend heavily favored Georgetown 74-70. Curry's Wildcats would go on to beat the third seed Wisconsin Badgers before losing a thriller to the eventual national champion Kansas Jayhawks in the Elite Eight. But for Curry, the best was yet to come.
1. A Performance for the AgesStat Line: 54 points (18-28 FG), 7 assists, 6 rebounds, 4 TO
Stephen Curry was well known in the NBA by the time the Golden State Warriors visited the New York Knicks February 27. But after the game, he would be a household name.
That morning the Warriors were informed that they would be without all star David Lee, who was suspended due to his role in a fight with the Indiana Pacers the night before. The Warriors would need someone to replace Lee's 18 points per game, and Curry did that and then some as he poured in 54 points while shooting a scintillating 11-13 from beyond the arc. For a solid 48 minutes Curry terrified Knicks fans with every single shot attempt.
Not only was it the best scoring output of the NBA 2013 season for any player, but it was the third best scoring output all time by a visiting player at the Garden. Only Kobe Bryant (61) and Michael Jordan (55) have ever scored more as a member of the road team. The next morning, Curry was the talk of the sports world, and with good reason: he walked onto the best stage in the land and put on a performance for the ages.
And just think: at just 25 years old the best of Stephen Curry is yet to come.
Jared Stearne lives in San Francisco and is a lifelong Warriors fan. He enjoys using advanced statistics as well as game footage to create basketball analysis. Did we miss one of your favorite Stephen Curry moments? Let us hear about it in the comments section.
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