ORLANDO, Fla. — Whenever Seth Curry steps on the court, he has to prove he has the game to go with his name.
Until Thursday, the 6-foot-2 guard from Duke was running out of opportunities to demonstrate that to the Orlando Magic in the Orlando Pro Summer League. But the brother of Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry and son of longtime NBA 3-point sharpshooter Dell Curry was given more of a chance to showcase his skills in a game where the Magic chose to rest Victor Oladipo.
Curry’s team-high 15 points, which including four 3-pointers in six attempts, couldn’t prevent the Magic from losing 76-67 to the Boston Celtics. But his play strengthened the argument for him possibly being brought back when training camp rolls around in late September.
"I feel like I can play at this level," he said. "Every time I step on the floor, I try to show different ways I can help teams win. So I’m trying to get better in every aspect, take the feedback the team is giving me, and try to work on my game. I’m just trying to pursue the dream."
In contrast to his brother, who was a lottery pick in 2009, Curry went undrafted a year ago and had to play primarily in the D-League. Although he had brief call-ups with the Memphis Grizzlies and the Cleveland Cavaliers, his biggest splash came when he poured in 44 points in his first D-League playoff game.
He got more playing time Saturday in the Magic’s first summer league game than Elfrid Payton, one of their two first-round draft selections. But Curry’s minutes weren’t as abundant in their next two games, and it appeared he might head to Las Vegas to play for the Phoenix Suns’ summer league entry there without leaving much of a lasting impression.
Instead, he was the only player on either team to get into a shooting rhythm in the first half.
"Obviously I hadn’t had the ball in my hands as much with Vic and Elfrid out there with me," he said. "But I was trying to show I could play without the ball in my hands and try to be efficient when I got my opportunities. And for the most part, I did that offensively."
Curry’s first 3-pointer came in transition off an assist from Magic second-round pick Devyn Marble. His last came with less than two minutes to go and cut the Celtics’ lead to 68-65.
But Marcus Smart, the third of three lottery picks in the game, sealed the win by splitting a double-team by Payton and Aaron Gordon and then hitting a left-handed scoop shot under the reach of Romero Osby, the Magic’s second-round pick in 2013.
Smart, who played with Payton and Gordon on the U.S. under-19 team which won a gold medal last summer in Europe, led all scorers with 19 points. But he wasn’t as proficient from 3-point range as Curry, who is now 9 of 19 from that distance.
"At some point, he can be a guard in this league," Magic assistant coach Wes Unseld Jr. said. "He’s respected as a shooter, but his perimeter game is underrated."
As the son of someone who was named one of the NBA’s 50 greatest players when the league had its anniversary, Unseld understands to a degree what Curry is going through.
"I think he’s comfortable in his own skin," he said. "I can relate on some level. But I don’t play NBA basketball. It’s somewhat different. But being in that same family with a brother who plays at the level he plays at, I’m sure it dwells on him a little bit."
Curry said he prefers embracing his family background rather than treating it as a reason to have a chip on his shoulder.
"I can go to them anytime I want to pick their brains basketball-wise," he said. "I talk to them after every game. They get on me sometimes, but they’re my biggest fans."
By losing their second game in a row and being outscored in three of four quarters by the Celtics, the Magic will play in the fifth-place game of the 10-team tournament at 8 a.m. Friday. Asked whether he’ll take part in that before leaving for Las Vegas, Curry replied, "I don’t know yet. It’s a quick turnaround."
Unseld said Oladipo will be in uniform for that game. And considering the openings the Magic have at guards following the departures of Arron Afflalo and Jameer Nelson, he wouldn’t mind seeing Curry again down the road.
"Yeah, I’d love to have him back," Unseld said. "A great kid. He does anything and everything you ask him to do. He’s a competitor. So he’s got my vote."