Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry made history on Wednesday, breaking the NBA record for the most 3-pointers made in a single season during the second quarter of his team's season-closing game against the Portland Trail Blazers.
Curry's second 3-pointer of the game, which came at the 6:49 mark of the second, was his 270th triple of the 2012-13 campaign. That broke the previous mark of 269, set by Ray Allen during the 2005-06 season, when he was with the Seattle SuperSonics.
Curry entered the final night of the regular season averaging a league-leading 7.6 3-point attempts per game, and with the record squarely in his sights, he wasted no time taking aim from long distance, trying (and missing) two triples in the game's first 94 seconds. Another miss on a long 2-pointer followed before Curry got on the board with his record-tying long ball.
After setting a screen for backcourt partner Klay Thompson along the left sideline, Curry took a shovel pass from David Lee, dribbled right around a Lee screen and found himself free and clear after Portland point guard Damian Lillard and power forward LaMarcus Aldridge ran into each other on a failed trap attempt. With plenty of space in front of him, he pulled up from straight away and drained a 26-footer at the 6:55 mark of the first quarter to tie Allen's record. He needed 61 fewer attempts than Allen to get to 269, doing so in 592 tries; Allen took 653 in his record-setting '05-'06 season.
Curry would miss his next two tries, giving him an uncharacteristically cold 1 for 7 shooting start on the season's final night. But then, after Golden State forward Carl Landry rebounded a missed jumper by Blazers rookie Meyers Leonard, Warriors guard Jarrett Jack took the outlet pass and fired the ball ahead to Curry, who'd spotted up just above the break on the right-hand side of the court. Blazers defender Victor Claver was just a bit slow to close out, which is a bad thing to be when the man you're guarding is Stephen Curry.
The former Davidson star gladly took the daylight, rose up and splashed down the record-setting triple at the 6:49 mark of the second quarter, giving his playoff-bound Warriors a 10-point lead.
Just after he'd set the record, the Warriors' Twitter account shared a neat little infographic breaking down Curry's season to celebrate the occasion:
Curry entered Wednesday night leading the NBA not only in 3-point makes and attempts, all while shooting a sensational 45.5 percent from deep, third-best in the league behind Jose Calderon (46.1 percent) and Kyle Korver (45.7 percent), neither of whom have taken anywhere near as many long balls as Steph has. That level of accuracy at that level of frequency is, as we've discussed before, simply stunning.
Perhaps best of all, though, for those of us who feared the ankle injuries that plagued Curry's 2011-12 season would rear their ugly heads again this year, is that he's been healthy enough to play enough to be able to put that ultra-sweet stroke to such good use — he ranked seventh in the NBA in total minutes and sixth in minutes per game entering Wednesday night.
It wasn't the prettiest outing for Curry, who finished with 15 shots on 5 for 16 shooting — including a 4-for-11 mark from 3-point range, meaning the new single-season record will sit at 272 — to go with five assists and three steals in 32 minutes as the Warriors beat the Blazers, 99-88, at the Rose Garden in Portland. The win locks up the No. 6 seed for the Warriors; they will face the Denver Nuggets in the opening round.
Here, thanks to our friends at the NBA, are some highlights from Curry's record-setting season: