INDIANAPOLIS — As Golden State Warriors star guard Stephen Curry sits on the precipice of breaking Ray Allen’s career 3-point record, he does so with only one regret over how the last week has played out in the buildup to the milestone.
Curry said that while he would have still had the belief he could hit 16 3-pointers and break the record at home, having the whole world talk about him making 16 “sparked a little extra — I won’t call it tension, just anxiousness about the whole night.”
Both Curry and Warriors coach Steve Kerr said after last Monday’s win over the Orlando Magic that it was possible Curry could make 16 3-pointers in one game to break Allen’s record. The current record for most made 3-pointers in a single game is 14 and is held by Curry’s teammate Klay Thompson.
“And those shots I took, those first four [against Portland] I missed all four, I would shoot those whether it was Game 1, Game 82, the playoffs,” Curry said. “That’s how you approach the game. It just had a different context to it. It feels a little bit different now knowing we’re right there. It will happen when it happens and I’ll enjoy it when it does.”
It’s a sentiment that Kerr shares on several levels — reiterating Monday that he wished he didn’t feed into the “narrative” that such a record breaking performance was possible.
“There hasn’t been stress for our team,” Kerr said of Curry’s record chase. “I would say it’s been a slight distraction. And I told the media in Philadelphia the other night, I fed into it because somebody asked me if Steph could break it at home against Portland with 16 3s and I said, ‘Sure,’ because nothing Steph does surprises me. But that fed into the narrative — he came out and took 17 3s that night, our crowd was going crazy from the very beginning. And I’m shaking my head thinking, what the hell did I just do?
“I think the most important thing is we just have to settle in and it’s going to happen obviously pretty soon. We just have to get into a rhythm. We haven’t been great offensively over the last five or six games … it’s more likely that he’ll make more 3s if our team’s in a good rhythm and we’re just playing.”
Curry now needs seven 3s to surpass Allen’s record heading into Monday night’s game against the Indiana Pacers.
Curry has been open about how much the record means to him, but acknowledged after Monday’s shootaround that there was a little “tension” as the milestone gets closer.
“I realize how much work’s gone into it, but there is a lot of tension and emotion,” Curry said. “Even from the last home game, the schedule’s kind of provided a little extra emphasis, seeing if I could do it before we came on this road trip. But after that when I get on the floor I’m just playing basketball having a good time, trying to win games in the process. Obviously, I’d like to shoot the ball better, play better. I know that’s going to happen and the record will come as a part of that, but just enjoying the process.”
Curry, who has been a longtime fan of Hall of Famer and former Pacer Reggie Miller, said that while he learned “a lot” from watching Miller’s game and the “creativity” he used on the floor, he’s just looking forward to breaking the record wherever it happens.
“There’s a narrative for pretty much everywhere on this road trip that you could kind of key in on,” Curry said. “Reggie’s presence and legacy here. Playing against my brother in Philly, in the Garden [Tuesday]. The court that Ray Allen broke Reggie’s record in Boston. Again, it will happen when it happens.”
Curry acknowledged that there was some chatter about whether or not he would play on both ends of Monday’s and Tuesday’s back-to-back against the Pacers and New York Knicks. He said there was “nothing unusual about those type of conversations” and they weren’t related to where he may break the record. With another upcoming back-to-back Friday and Saturday against the Boston Celtics and Toronto Raptors coming up, Curry demurred when asked if the plan was for him to still play on every game of this road trip.
“I’m playing tonight,” Curry said. “And then I look forward to playing the next time they tell me to play.”