Basketball has always been a high-scoring sport, and the NBA has always been a point-oriented league. Even so, the current iteration is much more focused on baskets due to the prevalence of three pointers and deep shots. That’s the result of Stephen Curry.
The Warriors’ guard isn’t just a lethal scorer, he’s one of the best to ever play the game. To understand just how good he is at three shooting, and to explain how he fundamentally altered the game, we’ll look at his top in-game performances below.
More Than Three
Curry is synonymous with the term “three pointer.” He didn’t just make the deep shot the focus of every NBA team, he did it by making more threes more efficiently than anyone else to ever step on the court. He’s the best shooter in history by a wide margin.
His efficient (and deep) shooting brought the Warriors four rings. It also cemented Curry in the annals of NBA history. He’s set numerous records, done plenty of things no one will ever do again, and it’s all thanks to his unprecedented scoring ability.
The below games are all examples of what he can do when he gets hot.
Curry, as covered below, has had many big scoring nights during his time in the league. Even so, one game stands out above all the rest: his matchup with the Trailblazers in 2021.
On January 3rd of that year the sharpshooting point guard had the game of his life. He didn’t just score with lethal efficiency (18 of 31) but he made eight threes and became just the fifth player in Warriors history to reach that mark.
However, it’s also worth noting that he scored most of his points inside the paint. Eight threes is an amazing night for any basketball player, but it only equals 24 points. The rest came from Curry’s ability to get into lane, drive efficiently, and draw fouls at key times.
All of those factors came together to give the future hall of famer the best scoring contest of his career. Fifty point games, while rare, do happen every now and then. Sixty is a completely different beast. It’s still the only time he’s ever done it.
Another Big Game
Though his contest against Portland was the only time Curry ever reached the elusive sixty club, fifty is something the point is much more familiar with. He’s hit that mark quite a few times throughout his career, but none were as great as his game against Dallas in 2021.
Just a few weeks after his all-time scoring performance, Curry put up 57 points while playing the Mavericks. As with the previous game, he relied on the three ball to get it done. The shooter put in eleven during the game, and then backed them up with plenty of crafty layups.
While Golden State would lose the game in dramatic fashion, the performance, so quickly after his highest scoring game ever, showed Curry still had a lot left in the tank. It was that type of burst that elevated him and helped the Warriors win the Finals later that season.
Many Trips to the Well
Curry is perhaps the best point guard of all time. Though points aren’t the end-all-be-all of that category, he gets a huge bump simply by how much scoring he does. The above games will go down in Golden State history, but what makes Curry special is his consistency.
Beyond his 62 and 57 point contests, Curry has scored fifty or more in a staggering 11 games. Most of those are peppered throughout his career, showing that he hasn’t missed a step.
His first 50 point game occurred February 27th, 2013 against the Knicks. Just a few years out of college, a young Curry hung 54 points on New York in one of the best games of his then-budding career. It was shortly after that point where he began to build his legacy.
Curry had two fifty point games in 2015 (53 and 51), two in 2016 (51 both times), as well as one in 2018. His final ones came in 2020 and 2021.There are many great scorers who put up big numbers early on, but it takes a special talent to be able to stay that hot for that long.
Curry is one such example.
In an age of great shooters, none compare to Stephen Curry. The shifty guard knocks down more three pointers than anyone, makes more three pointers than anyone, and hits them at a rate that almost no one has ever (or likely will ever) match.
His top games aren’t as high scoring as the all-time list, but they are all impressive nonetheless. No matter who else gets to fifty or sixty points, odd are they won’t be able to do it with as much flash or as many threes as the Warriors legend.