OAKLAND –- Staring a seven-inch height disadvantage in the face, Steph Curry didn’t flinch. He rather salivated at the opportunity.
The 6-foot-3 Warriors guard was sitting on 299 3-pointers, his ongoing record, when he confronted the challenge presented by 6-10 Orlando forward Ersan Ilyasova late in the third quarter Monday night.
Curry, beyond the arc left of center, dribbled right and then left. He darted, still dribbling, back and to his left. He went right once more, and with Ilyasova practically shoving him back to his left and into a step-back jumper, Curry lifted off and let it go from 28 feet.
And with that, Curry became the charter member of the NBA’s 300 3-pointer club.
“That’s pretty dope,” was the way teammate Draymond Green summarized it.
“That’s special,” Curry said. “It’s never been done before in history. I’m blessed to have been healthy. You’ve got to play night in and night out to have that kind of consistency and try to shoot the ball at a high level.
“Two years ago, when I broke the record the first time, reaching 300 seemed crazy. It’s still kind of surreal to accomplish that.”
Milestones come and go, and often they leave little lasting impression. Not so in this instance. This was memorable, sure to be viewed and reviewed by millions. This was cruel and beautiful and hypnotic, like a butterfly floating about while carefully pulling the wings off a bee.
Curry, as is his custom, didn’t bother gloating about yet another episode of The Steph Show.
“You just try to get him somewhat off-balance,” he said of Ilyasova. “He played good D. He kept his body on me. I just had a good rhythm with the dribble and (was able to) shoot it.”
And drain it, for the 300th time this season, from deep. Curry finished the game, a 119-113 Warriors victory, with 301 treys.
Dennis Scott in 1995-96 poured in 267 3-pointers in a single season, a record that lasted a decade, until Ray Allen fired in 269 in 2005-06. Curry supplanted Allen three years ago with 272 and bettered it again last season with 286.
Sitting on 301 with 20 games remaining, getting to 400 is conceivable.
That’s truly crazy.