INDIANAPOLIS — Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry is now just two 3-pointers away from breaking Hall of Famer Ray Allen’s all-time record after he knocked down five triples in Monday night’s 102-100 win over the Indiana Pacers.
“I’m enjoying the moment and now you’re knocking on the doorstep, it’s pretty surreal,” Curry said after scoring 26 points and going 5-for-15 from beyond the arc. “But just trying to let it happen. It’s one thing I’ve learned these last three games, is keep playing basketball, keep taking shots you think you’ll make and enjoy the experience of it because it’s a long time coming.”
Curry, who now has 2,972 career 3-pointers, is primed to break Allen’s record (2,973) on Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden against the New York Knicks. The Warriors will take a Tuesday morning flight to New York after spending Monday night in Indianapolis due to plane troubles.
After Monday’s game against the Pacers, coach Steve Kerr acknowledged that the weight of the record is hanging over both Curry and the Warriors. Curry had seven turnovers in the win and has struggled to find his familiar consistent offensive rhythm over the past two weeks.
“I think he’s been trying a little bit too hard the last few games,” Kerr said. “Just trying to make 3s and get to this record, it will be a relief for him I think, and for our team, when he does break it. But I just think he’s been trying a little bit too hard. And a lot of them have been coming out of blitzes, off pick-and-roll — he just needs to make the simple pass, he knows that, but he’s kind of trying too hard to make a big play.”
Warriors forward Draymond Green echoed a similar sentiment, noting that everybody appears to be looking for Curry a little more as the record inches closer.
“I think subconsciously you just want him to get the record,” Green said. “So even if you’re not going into the game saying, ‘I’m going to give Steph the ball every time,’ subconsciously, you want him to get a 3 up. That’s always a good option, so it’s not like you’re trying to fit a square peg into a round hole — we play that way anyway where we’re trying to get Steph loose.”
Curry earned some laughs from the assembled media while agreeing with Kerr’s assessment that the record-breaker will be a relief for all involved after the extra attention the chase has created.
“Hell yeah, because I get the record,” Curry said. “The relief part, I get what he’s saying just in terms of the buildup and not really knowing what game it’s going to be. It’s been awesome — like the home crowd the Portland game [last Wednesday] was amazing even though it didn’t happen. Philly was awesome; every 3 the crowd goes crazy. Every 3 was like that.”
The crowd here cheered loudly throughout the game each time Curry drained a 3-pointer — standing in unison in the final minute when the 33-year-old just missed a chance to tie Allen’s record.
“We heard it here,” Green said. “Everybody wants to see the record broken, so everybody’s cheering. It’s not just our fans. Everyone just wants to witness history. So I’m sure it will be electric. Hopefully he makes the first two 3s he shoots in the first quarter. And then that’s it.”
Kerr couldn’t help but tease the media after the game, joking that he was “resting” Curry on the backend of Tuesday’s back-to-back. The veteran coach is confident the two-time MVP will respond to the atmosphere in the iconic building.
“It’s the mecca,” Kerr told ESPN. “It’s the best atmosphere in the league. It’s going to be electric. I can’t wait — it will be fun … every player loves New York. Every player in the league loves playing in the Garden. It’s just a special venue — so hopefully he can get it done [Tuesday].”
Curry was happy to hear that Hall of Famer Reggie Miller, who sits third on the all-time 3-point list, is scheduled to call Tuesday’s game for Turner Sports.
He is trying to take the extra pomp and circumstance in stride as the milestone looms. After Monday’s news conference, he took a box of popcorn out of a nearby machine and calmly headed back near the locker room. He knows the Madison Square Garden atmosphere will be special but is trying not to look too far ahead.
“I don’t really want to even guess,” Curry said when asked what he expects on Tuesday. “I kind of just want to be in the moment to be honest … I’m going to enjoy it.”
So will his teammates and coaches. While they all want to celebrate Curry’s accomplishment, they also know how much the achievement has hung over everything.
“I’ll be happy as hell when it’s over,” Green said. “When he gets it and he got it. Ultimately, I think he’ll end up beating this record by 1,000-plus 3s, so I’ll be happy when it’s behind.”