Steph Curry's unreal stretch for Golden State Warriors generating MVP buzz
Chants of "MVP" were heard Monday night in Philadelphia, but they weren't for a 76ers player.
The 33-year-old was nothing short of spectacular, scoring 49 points on 14-for-28 shooting, including 10-for-17 from behind the arc.
He saved his most impressive stretch for the fourth quarter, when he reentered the game just under the seven-minute mark with the Warriors down one.
"The Chef" rattled off 20 points, missing just one midrange jumper and going a perfect 5-for-5 from 3 as well as 5-for-6 on free-throw attempts to put the game away for the Warriors.
Curry made history in the process, snapping a record previously held by Kobe Bryant for consecutive 30-plus-point games by a player age 33 or older.
Yes, Curry has made this kind of performance a habit of late.
Since returning from a tailbone injury in late March, he is averaging 40.0 points per game in 11 contests.
That clocks in at 10 points more than the next-closest NBA player in that span (Giannis Antetokounmpo, the league's reigning back-to-back MVP, who has averaged 30.0 PPG in his past six games).
The shooting stretch for Curry in Golden State's past five games is unlike anything the NBA has seen, according to Nick Wright of "First Things First," and something the league is unlikely to see again — unless Curry repeats the act.
"What we are seeing is not only the greatest shooter ever but the greatest shooter ever having his greatest shooting stretch ever," Wright said. "This is the guy who is the greatest to ever do something doing it at the highest level he has ever done it at. So we have quite literally, in sports history, never seen what has happened over the last week."
In four of his previous five games, Curry has hit 10 or more 3-pointers. That would rank him second on the list of most games with 10 or more made 3s in NBA history, if Curry's career were confined to that stretch.
Fortunately, it's not.
And it's not like he's chucking up an inefficient volume or hitting shots in garbage time. He's sinking his 3s at a 55.4% clip, and the Warriors have won four of the five games.
In fact, Curry's Warriors have won six of their past eight, beating opponents by an average margin of 15.5 points.
Their surge has them sitting ninth in the Western Conference entering Tuesday's games. Even at 29-29 for the season, Golden State is firmly in the mix for the NBA's new play-in round — or perhaps even better.
Curry's recent frenzy also has some throwing his hat in the ring for the MVP award, as we heard fans chant in the City of Brotherly Love.
Spectators are on board, but are pundits?
Not quite, Shannon Sharpe said on "Undisputed."
Skip Bayless echoed those thoughts, saying he couldn't bring himself to be a prisoner of the moment when it comes to Curry's exploits.
For now, it sounds like Curry's 2021 MVP campaign will remain confined to the fans who sing his praises when he's at the free-throw line.
If Curry can rattle off a few more spellbinding performances and push the Warriors further into playoff contention, though, watch out.
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