In the team’s final game of the season, a victory over the Memphis Grizzlies that secured the 8th seed and a superior draw in the NBA’s postseason play-in tournament, Curry accomplished a great deal.
The point guard won his second career scoring title on a bucket in the first quarter, edging out Washington Wizard Bradley Beal and becoming the only player since Michael Jordan to win a scoring crown at the age of 33 or older.
Curry averaged 31.8 points per contest during the 72-game, coronavirus-abbreviated regular season. It is the highest scoring average of his career, topping the 2015-16 season when Curry won his initial scoring title on the strength of 30.1 points per outing.
Warrior Steph Curry Hit Several Offensive Benchmarks This Season
Across the board, Curry’s offensive numbers were ridiculous all season long. His scoring average got him to 2,015 total points on the year playing 10 games fewer than he normally would have.
He also made 337 total three-point shots, the fourth-highest tally in NBA history, per Basketball Reference. Averaging 5.3 made 3’s per contest throughout the year, he would have claimed the second most connections from deep in a single season assuming a full slate of 82 games — finishing only 12 makes behind his own all-time record of 402, which he set in 2015-16.
On Sunday, May 16, Curry also recorded 40+ points in a single game for the 11th time this season. He did so on the back of a career-high 36 shot attempts, willing the Warriors to a victory that will allow them room for error in the play-in tournament.
“I felt like the second and third quarters, I got a lot of good looks,” Curry said in the postgame press conference. “Obviously, in the fourth quarter, it was go time. At that point, you don’t think about it. You just let it fly.”
Curry’s Performances This Season Were Not About Empty Stats
Curry’s 46 points on Sunday were enough to help Golden State to a 113-101 win over the Grizzlies, which cemented the Warriors’ position in the top-half of the play-in tournament bracket.
Their reward is a possible matchup with LeBron James, Anthony Davis and the rest of the defending champion LA Lakers. However, if the Portland Trailblazers fall to the Denver Nuggets Sunday night, and the Lakers hold off the New Orleans Pelicans, the Warriors will get what most would consider an easier draw against Damian Lillard and company.
Regardless, securing the 8th seed was important for Golden State beyond their potential opponent. If the Warriors win, they are in the first round of the playoffs in the No. 7 spot. If they lose, they will get another chance in a one-game playoff against the winner of the No. 9 Grizzlies vs. the No. 10 San Antonio Spurs matchup.
With two tries and Curry on a historic tear, it is hard to fashion the Warriors losing two consecutive games to miss out on a first-round playoff series, a berth which did not seem like a foregone conclusion across much of the team’s injury-riddled campaign.
All of Curry’s prolific scoring has been set to a singular purpose since the beginning of the year when he realized he would have to lead a young, inexperienced group of teammates to the postseason without the help of fellow All-Star Klay Thompson.
That purpose? Playing in games that matter.
“We’re in a good spot right now,” Curry told reporters Sunday. “I’m really proud of how we’ve given ourselves a chance to play games that matter.”