ORLANDO, Fla. — It took Stephen Curry 1:19 to tie Kyle Korver’s NBA record of 127 straight games with a made 3-pointer on Wednesday against the Miami Heat. Twenty-four hours later against the Orlando Magic, the reigning league MVP took his time — at least by his own standard — in breaking it.
After missing his first 3-point attempt with 8:09 remaining in the first quarter Thursday at Amway Center, Curry connected on a 3 from the left wing with 5:45 left in the period. A minute and 19 seconds later, he hit a second one just for good measure.
The first triple gave Curry 128 consecutive games with a 3 — a mark that doesn’t include 21 playoff games during the Warriors’ championship run last season, each of which included at least two Curry 3-pointers.
Curry finished Thursday’s game with 51 points, going 10 of 15 from behind the arc, including a half-court bank shot that capped a 6-of-7 effort from deep in the third quarter. And and at this point, it’s tough to envision when or how the streak might end.
“I don’t know that the record is that significant because it’s so simple for him,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said after his team beat the Magic 130-114 to improve to 52-5 on the season. “A 3-point shot is like a layup. A half-court shot is like a 3-point shot. Steph just — that’s what he does. It’s to the point where we expect everything to go.”
Curry’s last game without a 3-pointer came on Nov. 11, 2014, when he went 0 for 7 from downtown in a 113-100 home loss to the San Antonio Spurs. Following the goose egg, Curry made a 3 in each of the final 73 games in the 2014-15 regular season. He’s now made a 3 in each of the 55 games he’s played this season, as well.
Heading into Thursday, Magic coach Scott Skiles didn’t sound optimistic that his team would be the one to end Curry’s run, admitting that he has “a hard time seeing how the streak is ever going to end,” and afterward, Skiles and his team praised Curry for giving Orlando fits.
“This was Steph’s night,” Skiles said of Curry’s third 50-point game of the season. “He’s a great player. He tricked us so many times where he just runs, he stops, he relaxes, he stands up, he causes you to relax. (If) you don’t have discipline, he’s gone. That happened at least a dozen times, and I’ll probably see almost 20 times when I look at the tape.”
“It’s one thing watching him, and it’s another thing when you’re actually on the court with him playing,” Magic forward Aaron Gordon added. “I think that the rate he makes 3s and how consistently he can do it throughout the entire game is incredible. … It’s unheard of, but he’s going to make the league better. That’s what he’s going to do and that’s what he’s doing right now.”
Despite his recent run of success, Curry actually has 34 games without a made 3 for his career. However since the start of the 2013-14 season, he’s had only three such games — he’s now hit a 3 in 203 of his last 204 appearances — and he’s never taken eight or more 3-point attempts in a game without making at least one.
But rather than bask in his own glory, Curry instead heaped praise on Korver for setting the bar so high in the first place.
“I don’t get into debates about the greatest shooter of all time, things like that, because I have a lot of work to do and there’s a longevity factor to it,” Curry said. “So for a record like Kyle set, to have that level of consistency — last year I didn’t think it was possible. There’s so many variables that go into it. That’s a long time. So it’s special to break that and hopefully continue it.”
Prior to Curry and Korver, the NBA record was Dana Barros’ 89 games in a row from 1994-96. Korver’s streak of 127 consecutive games with a 3-pointer spanned Nov. 2, 2012 through March 5, 2014, but according to Skiles, Korver’s feat was easier to control than Curry’s.
"The way (Curry) makes them — nothing against Kyle, but it’s totally different than Kyle," Skiles said prior to Thursday’s game. "Kyle Korver is usually coming off of screens and possibly you could switch out, maybe get a game where you could take (that) away from him, whereas Steph makes so many of them off the dribble and from 30 feet and fading away."
Just last season, Curry broke his own NBA single-season record with 286 3-pointers. After Thursday, he’s only 10 away from tying that mark with 25 games left to play, and for Kerr, the only player in NBA history with a higher career 3-point percentage than Curry, that’s impressive enough to put Curry in a class with the greatest of all time.
"I was lucky enough to play with Michael Jordan and there were nights — pretty much every night — when he did something that was awe-striking," Kerr said before Thursday’s game. "And I would say Steph is on that level now, where you see it night after night (and) it’s awesome, but it becomes routine because he does it so often."
“He carried us tonight,” added Warriors guard Klay Thompson, who scored just nine points in the win. “We are witnessing greatness.”