In his 7th season, 24 year old Kobe Bryant broke the NBA’s 3-point record. Dennis Scott’s record had been in place since before Kobe was a NBA player. Kobe was a senior in high school when Scott drained 11 threes and the Orlando Magic beat the Atlanta Hawks in a home game. It would take 7 years for the record to fall and in a twist of all ironies, it wasn’t another three point shooter that broke Scott’s record but explosive scorer and best player in the NBA in 2003, Kobe Bryant.
The scoring savant who would drop 81 in a game a few years later, made 12 3-pointers on January 7, 2003. It’s a record no one associates with Bryant because his 3-point shooting was the most average part of his offensive weaponry. But that Tuesday night, Bryant made 9 three’s in a row. He then went 3-6 over the course of the game for a 66% percentage, way above his average that year of 38%, a career year for Bryant draining threes.
Bryant’s coach, Phil Jackson was more than impressed. “That was perhaps the greatest streak shooting I have ever seen in my life.”
12 years have gone by since Bryant set that record and although the league has had some great 3-point talent, the record hasn’t been in serious jeopardy until this year with Steph Curry’s brilliant 3- point shooting taking center stage and demoralizing teams.
Unlike Bryant’s other hallowed record of 81 points, this one seems destined to fall into Curry’s lap before we hit April. He has already made 116 3-point shots this year. He is shooting a ridiculous 47% from three, a career high. 55% of his shots are 3-pointers.
The question then comes down to two things: will he take 18 three’s a game? And can he make 13 of them?
Against the Nuggets, Curry took 16 threes and made 8. Against Brooklyn, he took 16 threes and made 5. He took 16 threes against Phoenix and made 9. On Sunday, he took 15 threes and made 9.
Curry probably isn’t even aware of the record. Bryant wasn’t aware of the Dennis Scott record when he began draining threes on that Tuesday night in front of his teammate, Shaquille O’Neal, who had also been a teammate of Dennis Scott.
Whereas Bryant was an explosive scorer, not a three point shooter by trade, Curry is the best 3-point shooter in NBA history so it stands to reason he’ll topple the 3-point record Kobe set on a night when Bryant had 45 points on 16-28 shooting.
Curry doesn’t have to work as hard as Bryant to make 12 three point shots, particularly not this year, a career best where he has established his dominance.
Curry’s most 3-point makes in his career were 11. He shot a sick 84% from three in Madison Square Garden in his epic 54 point, 7 assist game in 2013. Last season, he made 10 3-pointers against the Mavericks, shooting 64%. Those sum up his double digit makes from distance.
But in this oh so special season for him, there is no record that Curry can’t grab on one of his extraordinary 28 point quarter, 55% shooting, Warrior domination nights. All records are in trouble once Steph Curry is in the building.
photo via llananba