Stephen Curry’s status as the greatest three-point shooter in NBA history is not really in doubt. The Golden State Warriors superstar holds most major records for three-pointers made in the regular season and playoffs, can make shots from pretty much anywhere on the court, and is unguardable at his best. It’s safe to assume that he’ll make at least one three-pointer every time he takes the court.
Friday night’s game at the Los Angeles Lakers therefore ranks as one of the more surprising events of this young NBA season. Curry shot 0-of-10 from beyond the arc to end his NBA record streak of 157 games with a three-pointer. Atlanta Hawks sniper Kyle Korver had held the previous record of 127 games, which Curry broke in February.
It was the first time Curry had gone a game without a triple since Nov. 11, 2014, when he shot 0-of-7 from deep in a loss to the San Antonio Spurs. It was also just the eighth time since an injury plagued 2011-12 season that Curry has missed all his three-point attempts.
Curry’s poor shooting was far from the only thing that went wrong for the Warriors in a dominant 117-97 win for the Lakers. Golden State shot 5-of-26 from beyond the arc as a team, with Klay Thompson nearly matching his Splash Brother’s struggles with a 2-of-10 showing. Many of those missed shots were open ones, which would maybe be less concerning if the Warriors hadn’t looked disengaged for long stretches of the game.
[Follow Dunks Don’t Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball]
Yet the shooting woes were less concerning than Golden State’s consistent defensive breakdowns. The Lakers’ athletic guards and active bigs continually got to the rim to finish as six players scored at least 12 points. Young forwards Julius Randle (20 points and 14 rebounds) and Larry Nance Jr. (12 points on 6-of-6 FG and nine rebounds) were particularly disruptive, and Lou Williams (20 points in 26 minutes) kept the pressure on with a strong showing off the bench.
It was likely an especially meaningful win for first-year head coach Luke Walton, the Warriors’ lead assistant last season. The Lakers have been very entertaining and competitive so far this season, improving to 3-3 with Friday’s win. It’s far too early and dangerously optimistic to rate this very young squad as a potential playoff participant, but the Lakers seem likely to play hard and provide plenty of fun moments every time they take the floor. That’s more than could have been said of the franchise in the last few years of Kobe Bryant’s career.
Luke Walton: “We’re sharing the ball, playing like a team and we’re fighting … our guys from opening tip really got after it.”
— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) November 5, 2016
Despite the Lakers’ strengths, it’s hard to look at this result as anything but a step back for the Warriors. They had looked like the dominant force we all expected in wins over the Portland Trail Blazers and Oklahoma City Thunder earlier this week, but the team that took the court at Staples Center looked hesitant and out of sorts. Last season’s 73-win squad had a baffling blowout loss at the Lakers, too, and the challenge of playing a road game one night after an emotional meeting with the Thunder cannot be discounted. Nevertheless, the Warriors are too talented to offer so few positives over 48 minutes.
The good news is that next week offers two home games against the struggling New Orleans Pelicans and Dallas Mavericks to right the ship. Plus, Curry will have the opportunity to start a whole new streak.
More NBA coverage from Yahoo Sports:
– – – – – – –