If you want to understand how much basketball has changed in the past few decades, look no further than the Golden State Warriors’ 127-123 win over the Sacramento Kings on Saturday and where the NBA was 40 years ago.
In the 1979-1980 season, the first year when the NBA adopted the 3-point line of the defunct ABA, seven of the league’s 22 teams made fewer than 40 3-pointers during the entire 82-game regular season.
In a single game in 2019, the Warriors and Kings combined for 41 triples, an NBA record.
Such a disparity between eras is staggering, and just one part of a thrilling night of basketball in Sacramento.
The record-setting performances of the Warriors, Kings (and Steph Curry)
Amazingly, the Kings actually set a franchise record in 3-pointers with a 20-of-36 night. While you’d think a team would win while setting such a record, such rules are immaterial against the Warriors. The defending champion’s 21 treys tied for fourth most in franchise history.
The Warriors star dropped 20 of his 42 points during the fourth quarter to power a comeback win over the Kings and move himself into fourth all-time on the NBA’s career 3-pointer list, passing Kyle Korver. The only players still ahead of Curry on the list: Ray Allen, Reggie Miller and Jason Terry.
At 2,277 triples, Curry is only five behind Terry for third all-time, so there’s a good chance he gets there by his next game.
Per ESPN Stats & Info, that was also Curry’s 11th game with 10 3-pointers, the most of any player in NBA history. The No. 2 player on that list: Curry’s teammate Klay Thompson with four. Only one other player, J.R. Smith, has multiple games with 10+ 3-pointers in a game.
Of course, the highlight for some might have been this attempt from Curry waived off by a travel. Curry made a not-so-subtle reference to a player known for getting away with the double step-back move he was called for.
Steph Curry putting up James Harden’s uniform number after getting called for the James Harden Travel pic.twitter.com/YpZSP48KL8
— Aaron Bruski (@aaronbruski) January 6, 2019
Meanwhile, Hield would attempt only a single field goal during the entire fourth quarter, a 3-pointer blocked by Draymond Green that represented the final shot of the game. That probably wasn’t the most disappointing development for the Kings though, as budding star De’Aaron Fox finished with just eight points on 3-of-12 shooting and seven assists.
Then again, Fox did this:
🗣️ IF YOU DON'T LIKE THAT, YOU DON'T LIKE KINGS BASKETBALL!!! OH BOY!!! pic.twitter.com/t5VMiqeGuB
— Kings on NBCS (@NBCSKings) January 6, 2019
Overall this season, the Warriors and Kings have played three games. The fewest either team has scored in one of them is 116 points, and no game has ended with a margin of victory larger than five.
The Warriors and Kings have one game left against each other for the rest of the season, but the good news is both teams are squarely in the playoff picture, and a potential seven-game series between the two would be some high-octane basketball.
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