Steph Curry is closing in on a piece of Golden State Warriors history, and set to make the mark in a key matchup against a rival team.
The two-time league MVP is within striking distance of earning a franchise record and appears likely to reach it in Monday’s critical tilt against the Los Angeles Lakers. While Curry aims for the career mark, the team will also be fighting for playoff positioning and looking to build on what was one of the biggest wins of the season in the prior game.
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Curry Close to History
As the NBA.com’s stats department noted, Curry goes into Monday’s game just two assists shy of setting the Warriors all-time record, currently held by Guy Rodgers. The Warriors are facing the Lakers in a critical contest a day after defeating the Western Conference-leading Utah Jazz.
Steph Curry enters tonight's ESPN action 2 assists shy of passing Guy Rodgers (4,855) for the @warriors franchise record.
GSW/LAL, 10:30 PM ET pic.twitter.com/So2DIEuqWJ
— NBA.com/Stats (@nbastats) March 15, 2021
Ahead of the likely franchise achievement, the San Francisco Chronicle looked back on how Curry’s passing prowess first caught the attention of then-Warriors general manager Larry Riley back in 2008. Curry, then a guard at Davidson, was the nation’s leading scorer but struggled in a December loss to Purdue. Curry hit just five of his 26 shots in the game including 2-for-12 from behind the three-point arc, but his passing abilities won over Riley.
“We have to draft this kid if he’s available at our pick,” Riley told owner Chris Cohan, via the San Francisco Chronicle.
The passing abilities have shined in Golden State as well. Warriors head coach Steve Kerr noted that Curry’s pinpoint passes often lead to baskets, even when his work doesn’t show up in the stat sheet.
“A lot of his best passes don’t even lead to an assist,” Kerr said, via the San Francisco Chronicle. “They lead to Draymond [Green’s] assist. … What I love about Steph is he’s so willing to get the ball out of his hands anytime people start doubling him.”
Curry Enjoying Career Season
The Warriors guard is closing in on history during what is one of the best seasons of his own career. Curry is just a shade below his career-high with 29.3 points per game, along with 6.3 assists and 5.4 rebounds — a stat line close to what he achieved in his unanimous MVP season in 2015-16.
He already set another franchise mark this year as well, NBA.com noted. When Lakers star LeBron James selected Curry with the third overall pick of the 2021 NBA All-Star draft, it gave the Warriors guard his seventh career All-Star game start, tying Rick Barry for the franchise all-time mark. Curry still needs to make the All-Star roster three more times to catch Paul Arizin’s franchise record of 10.
Stephen Curry needs two assists Monday to pass Guy Rodgers atop the Warriors’ all-time list, and the wildest response to that declarative sentence might be: Draymond Green eventually could eclipse Curry, writes @Rusty_SFChron.
— Sporting Green (@SportingGreenSF) March 15, 2021
Though Curry is likely to own the Warriors franchise assist record, he may not have it for as long as the 55 years that Rodgers has held it. As the San Francisco Chronicle noted, teammate Green is actually on pace to surpass Curry’s mark, though would need to maintain his current pace of 8.1 assists per game — and stay with the franchise — through 2032.