PHILADELPHIA — Golden State Warriors star guard Stephen Curry continues to say that the pursuit of Ray Allen’s all-time 3-point record is not weighing on his mind as he sits on the precipice of earning one of the bigger records in basketball.
After another lackluster shooting performance — at least by his own lofty standards in Saturday’s 102-93 loss to the 76ers — Curry insisted as much, as he sits just seven 3-pointers from passing Allen.
“If you take away the context of these last couple games, I played the exact same way,” Curry said after a 6-for-20 performance, including going just 3-for-14 from beyond the arc. “I just got to make shots and understand the opposition’s not going to want that to happen on their own floor. And they defend accordingly so I think for the most part try to keep it out of my head and just play basketball and just take the shots I normally take, play the game I normally do.
“There’s obviously a lot of attention on it which is well-deserved, it’s an all-time NBA record, and it’s one that’s been standing for 10, 11 years, so I appreciate the attention on it and it will happen when it happens. You got to continue to try and win games in the process.”
Curry is now 35-for-104 from the field and 27-for-72 from beyond the arc over his past six games. Warriors coach Steve Kerr noted that a major reason why Curry struggled on Saturday night was due to the fact that Sixers swingman Matisse Thybulle played so well on Curry and didn’t allow for the usual space for the two-time MVP to operate.
“I give Thybulle credit,” Kerr said. “I thought he was fantastic defensively. He’s a rare combination of length and athleticism and brains and he did as good a job on Steph as anybody I’ve seen in a long time.”
It was a defensive performance by Thybulle that reverberated inside the Sixers’ locker room as well.
“It was amazing,” Sixers center Joel Embiid said. “I’ve been saying this, this is a guy who is probably the best perimeter defender in the league, and I think he has a chance to win defensive player of the year.”
While Kerr and several Warriors were quick to praise the Sixers’ defense, especially Thybulle’s performance, they also acknowledged that they didn’t knock down the open looks that they did get.
“I missed three or four I normally make,” Curry said. “Usually when you have a defender like that that’s running you around you’re very selective about the shots that you do get because their game plan is to take away good looks. … They were flying around most possessions. Out of the 48 threes we got, I bet you 40 of them were really good looks. Not just me, but everybody. So it’s tough to win games if you only shoot 25% on those type of shots. Just got to stick with the program and how we play basketball.”
Thybulle took the performance in stride, understanding that with all the extra energy in the building surrounding the potential of Curry breaking the record, he was just trying to focus on doing his job.
“There’s, like, no secrets to guarding people like that,” Thybulle said. “You’ve got to play really hard, you’ve got to be willing to get scored on. He’s going to make some spectacular plays and you have to be able to play through that and just trying to be a consistent force and not let his success take you on a roller coaster.”
In the short-term, the Warriors now 21-5, have to decide if they are going to play Curry, who has played in all but one contest this season, in both Monday’s and Tuesday’s games in Indianapolis and New York. Another set of back-to-back games in Boston and Toronto will be staring at them at the end of the week. Curry deflected the question when asked about the possibility of sitting at some point.
“I always want to play,” Curry said. “It’s also understanding the situation, the big picture. And reassessing after every game how your body feels. I don’t want to give too much away but you have things that you’re doing regular maintenance on and understanding where we are throughout the season, so we’ll make the right decision accordingly.”
Curry demurred when asked whether he expects to play in both games. “We’ll make the right decision accordingly,” he said.
As the Warriors decide on the schedule they want to take with Curry, forward Draymond Green noted that the talk of the 3-point record is not something that is weighing on the group as it continues the rest of this five-game east coast swing.
“I think it’s hanging over the world,” Green said. “I think we all want to see it. But if you’re asking me if it’s negatively affecting the team, no.”
ESPN staff writer Tim Bontemps contributed to this report.