(AFP) — Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry eclipsed Ray Allen as the NBA’s three-point king on Tuesday, draining his record 2,974th career three-pointer against the Knicks at Madison Square Garden.
Curry, whose remarkable shooting range has revolutionized the NBA in his 13-year tenure, matched Allen’s record with his 2,973rd three-pointer with 10:56 remaining in the first quarter with his first shot of the contest.
He missed a chance at breaking the record but with 7:33 remaining in the opening period, he swished in number 2,974 over Knicks defender Alec Burks, with Andrew Wiggins getting the assist after kicking the ball out to Curry from the paint.
Curry let out a loud shout as teammates celebrated with him.
“Hell yeah!” teammate Draymond Green shouted as photographers gathered around. “That’s greatness!”
Curry exchanged an emotional hug with coach Steve Kerr, who corralled the ball used in the record-setting shot, and then embraced his father, former NBA player Dell Curry, as well as Allen.
Kerr said in a halftime television interview that the moment was “more emotional” than he had expected.
“It was just beautiful just to hear the fans’ reaction, see his teammates, see his dad — it was just a fantastic moment.”
Curry has been scorching towards overtaking Allen’s record for years. He finally surpassed the milestone on Tuesday in his 789th career game; Allen had achieved his old benchmark in 1,300 appearances.
Such is his long-range prowess that there was real belief that Curry could perhaps break the record with a single-game mark of 16 in a home game against the Portland Trail Blazers last Wednesday.
That didn’t happen, and the Warriors departed on a road trip with Curry needing 10 three-pointers to break the record.
– Electric atmosphere –
The 76ers’ swarming defense held Curry to three three-pointers in Philadelphia on Saturday. He added two more at Indiana on Monday.
Curry, who said he knew teams would be keen to slow him, wasn’t disappointed to have a shot at the record at Madison Square Garden, perhaps the most storied arena in the NBA.
“I’ve had some fun nights in that building,” said Curry, whose 54-point performance there against the Knicks on February 27, 2013 was a harbinger of a career that now includes three NBA titles and two Most Valuable Player awards.
“The whole legacy of that building, how iconic it is — a lot of cool things have happened in that building.”
The atmosphere was electric before the game with Allen courtside and Reggie Miller, who held the three-point record for more than a decade before Allen broke it in 2011, on duty as a television commentator.
Both chatted and shared a hug with Curry before the game, with filmmaker and Knicks super-fan Spike Lee catching the moment on his cell phone camera.
Reaction from around the league was swift.
“Just landed in Dallas to see @StephenCurry30 broke the record and to make it even doper he did it in the GARDEN!!” Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James tweeted. “WOW CONGRATS BROTHER!! INCREDIBLE”
Curry and the Warriors won NBA titles in 2015, 2017 and 2018 against Cleveland Cavaliers teams led by James.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver called Curry’s achievement “thrilling.”
“He has revolutionized the way the game is played and continues to leave fans in awe with his amazing artistry and extraordinary shooting ability. We congratulate him on this historic achievement.”
Added former Lakers great Magic Johnson: “Congratulations to Steph Curry for making history and setting the new NBA All-Time 3-point record tonight!! Thank you @StephenCurry30 for revolutionizing the game of basketball forever! It was great to see his parents Dell and Sonya there supporting him!”
© Agence France-Presse