Stephen Curry makes 1,000 3-pointers quicker than anyone else. Much quicker

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Stephen Curry could have stopped shooting 3-pointers for more than a full season and still made 1,000 career 3-pointers in fewer games than anyone in NBA history.

Of course, Curry wouldn’t do that.

The Warriors guard became the 74th player to make 1,000 3-pointers, draining four triples in the Warriors win over the Pacers last night. He needed just 369 games to achieve the mark – 88 fewer than second-place Dennis Scott.

Here’s how long it took everyone in the 1,000 3-pointer club:

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And despite his early injury troubles, Curry was also the youngest to 1,000 3-pointers:

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Player 3s Games to 1,000 3s Age at 1,000 3s
Stephen Curry 1003 369 26-299
Dennis Scott 1214 457 29-076
Ray Allen 2973 473 27-167
Gilbert Arenas 1079 476 28-323
Peja Stojakovic 1760 488 28-145
Mike Miller 1553 527 27-319
Nick Van Exel 1528 534 29-025
Jason Richardson 1577 551 28-001
J.R. Smith 1344 561 27-097
Michael Redd 1045 570 31-218
Ben Gordon 1162 585 29-005
Kyle Korver 1607 585 30-001
Jason Williams 1238 587 31-100
Baron Davis 1332 589 28-334
Jamal Crawford 1765 591 28-360
Wesley Person 1150 595 31-267
Chauncey Billups 1830 598 29-182
Brent Barry 1395 600 32-317
Jason Terry 2009 602 29-121
Tim Hardaway 1542 605 31-213
Glen Rice 1559 606 29-265
Kevin Martin 1043 608 31-043
Paul Pierce 1981 611 29-029
Antoine Walker 1386 615 28-092
Eddie Jones 1546 615 32-025
Rashard Lewis 1787 626 28-098
Reggie Miller 2560 627 29-207
Quentin Richardson 1167 633 29-277
John Starks 1222 642 33-184
Vernon Maxwell 1256 652 31-153
Cuttino Mobley 1085 654 31-218
Mookie Blaylock 1283 654 31-012
Manu Ginobili 1231 657 34-253
Joe Johnson 1645 660 28-196
Stephen Jackson 1252 661 31-338
Vince Carter 1847 670 31-025
Allan Houston 1305 682 30-354
Damon Stoudamire 1236 691 31-151
Kirk Hinrich 1123 693 32-103
Dan Majerle 1360 698 32-170
Morris Peterson 1009 701 32-217
Mitch Richmond 1326 702 32-162
Mike Bibby 1517 706 29-306
Steve Nash 1685 734 32-334
Dana Barros 1090 736 32-312
Nick Anderson 1055 745 32-040
Steve Smith 1148 746 32-330
Dirk Nowitzki 1513 746 29-269
Hersey Hawkins 1226 747 31-062
LeBron James 1184 749 28-068
Tracy McGrady 1081 766 29-203
Mike Dunleavy 1165 769 33-070
Chuck Person 1220 775 31-261
Lindsey Hunter 1075 781 34-119
Michael Finley 1454 783 32-352
Hedo Turkoglu 1200 784 31-286
Dale Ellis 1719 784 33-225
Shane Battier 1250 794 33-154
Jason Kidd 1988 803 32-259
Latrell Sprewell 1104 810 33-172
Allen Iverson 1059 815 32-286
Kobe Bryant 1688 820 29-143
David Wesley 1123 834 34-138
James Posey 1035 834 33-329
Metta World Peace 1119 844 33-019
Dell Curry 1245 860 34-251
Antawn Jamison 1163 935 35-223
Derek Fisher 1248 996 35-178
Terry Porter 1297 1001 35-005
Rasheed Wallace 1086 1018 35-055
Danny Ainge 1002 1037 36-020
Clifford Robinson 1253 1109 36-340
Gary Payton 1132 1121 36-128
Derek Harper 1070 1125 36-121

Yes, I too was surprised J.R. Smith previously held the record for youngest player to make 1,000 3-pointers. (Smith has surprised me quite a bit lately.)

In no uncertain terms: Curry blew the competition out of the water.

I’ve long believed Curry will retire as the greatest 3-point shooter of all-time, and obviously him breaking these records reinforces that belief. But he has strong competition sooner than I ever imagined.

Damian Lillard (red) has made 500 3-pointers in 199 games, putting him ahead of Curry (blue) at the same point:

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Even by age, despite Curry entering the league younger, Lillard has passed the Warriors guard:

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Lillard (2.5 3-pointers per game in his career) trails Curry’s overall pace (2.7), and Curry deserves credit for improving even after his fast start. But it’s also possible Lillard makes similar improvements.

Of course, volume isn’t the only factor in determining the best 3-point shooter. Curry has a healthy lead in career percentage (43.5 to 38.3), and that’s a big reason I remain confident in my Curry prediction.

Still, if we’re going to discuss how Curry smoked the field in games to 1,000 pointers, it’s worth noting Lillard could get there even more quickly.

Suns keep winning, T.J. Warren keeps scoring, Nuggets outlast Jazz in 2OT

Suns star Devin Booker vs. Heat
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The Suns are unbeatable. T.J Warren is unstoppable. And the NBA is unapologetically fun.

Just another day in the NBA bubble.

Phoenix – already the NBA’s only undefeated team at Disney World – moved to 5-0 in seeding games with a 119-112 win over the Heat.

The Suns are still a half game outside play-in position with a tougher closing stretch than the ninth-place Trail Blazers.* But Phoenix sure is making the race interesting, and Portland isn’t closing the door.

*Both teams still play the 76ers and Mavericks. The Suns also play the Thunder. The Trail Blazers’ last seeding game is against the Nets.

Whether or not they make the playoffs, the Suns should absolutely be encouraged by this stretch. Unlike an early-season surge, when Aron Baynes and Ricky Rubio carried big loads, Phoenix’s young players are leading the charge now. Devin Booker scored 35 points tonight. Jevon Carter added 20 points on 6-of-8 3-point shooting off the bench. Deandre Ayton (18 points and 12 rebounds) continues to impress. Mikal Bridges and Cam Johnson have steadily contributed at forward.

Expectations are rising for next season.

First, the Suns aren’t ready for this season to end soon.

All the best bubble stories were in Phoenix last season.

Pacers forward T.J. Warren – whom the Suns dumped with a draft-pick sweetener last summer – continued his scoring binge with 39 points in a 116-111 win over the Pacers.

Warren could always get buckets. But he has been on another level lately.

The Nuggets (somewhat safely in third place) and Jazz (who might prefer to finish sixth) had few obvious reasons to care about beating each other.

But then the game got going, and both teams’ competitive juices took over.

Donovan Mitchell drove for a layup to force overtime. Nikola Jokic converted inside to force double overtime. Finally, Jamal Murray – who scored 23 points in his first game of the resumption – put Denver up for good with a jumper then 3-pointer in a 134-132 victory.

Bubble games have featured such great energy and competitiveness.

Damian Lillard to Paul George on Instagram: ‘keep switching teams … running from the grind’

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Damian Lillard missed a pair of clutch free throws in the Trail Blazers’ loss to the Clippers today. Patrick Beverley and Paul George let Lillard hear about it. Lillard boasted in his post-game interview about his series-winning shots over Beverley’s Rockets in 2014 and George’s Thunder in 2019 (which literally came over George).

Now, the conflict has spilled onto Instagram.

Bleacher Report:

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Dame, PG and Pat Bev went at it in our comments 👀

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George:

And you getting sent home this year 🤣 respect✊

Beverley:

Cancun on 3😂😂😂

Lillard:

keep switching teams … running from the grind . You boys is chumps

George:

@damianlillard respect that too in my stint with my first team I had more success… Dame time running out g

George did lead the Pacers to Game 7 of the 2013 Eastern Conference finals, losing to the eventual-champion Heat. Indiana also pushed Miami to Game 6 in the 2014 Eastern Conference finals. George doesn’t get enough credit for those achievements.

Though Lillard’s Trail Blazers peaked in the 2019 Western Conference finals, they got swept by the team that lost in the NBA Finals.

But George forced his way out of Indiana despite that being the only place he could earn a super-max contract. He also re-signed with the Thunder, announcing his plan at a big party thrown by Russell Westbrook, then requested a trade to join Kawhi Leonard on the Clippers only a year later.

Lillard just has different sensibilities. He said he’d stick with the Trail Blazers rather than join a super team. Lillard even talked disparagingly about players who get pressured into bypassing super-max contracts in order to be viewed as a winner elsewhere.

So, this clash makes sense.

Maybe it got too personal for George, who has overcome major injury and returned even better. He surely doesn’t want to be called a chump at this point in his career.

But I disagree with George’s championships-only argument. There is plenty of room for major achievements that fall short of a title – like the Pacers’ deep playoff runs George cited. And Lillard’s series-winning shot last year. George was the casualty on that play. There’s no way around it, and it’s likely still a sore spot. That was a high-profile moment that supersedes missed free throws in a seeding game.

Lillard and George can go back-and-forth about their accomplishments. Both have done plenty in this league. Their individual routes to success show their contrasting values. Neither are wrong. They’re just different.

That’s perfectly fine and – when it leads to spats like this – fun.

Damian Lillard misses clutch FTs, Trail Blazers blow key game against Clippers backups

Damian Lillard vs. Clippers
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The Clippers – maybe wanting to give the Lakers a tougher first-round matchup – showed their lack of interest in beating the Trail Blazers today by sitting Kawhi Leonard. Down five with two minutes left, the Clippers really waved the white flag by closing with a lineup of:

But that group ended the game on a 12-2 run to hand Portland a devastating 122-117 loss.

The Trail Blazers are now just half a game up for ninth in the Western Conference. This further opens the door for the Spurs, Pelicans, Suns and even Kings to make a play-in (and gives the Grizzlies more breathing room for advancing to that stage).

After McGruder hit the go-ahead 3-pointer with 26 seconds left, Damian Lillard drew a pair of free throws with Portland down one. Lillard is arguably the NBA’s most clutch player, and he had made 89% of his free throws this season. But he missed both – to the particular delight of injured Clippers guard Patrick Beverley:

Beverley and Lillard have a longstanding personal rivalry. The Clippers also have Paul George.

After the game, Lillard – who hit a series-winning shot against Beverley’s Rockets in 2014 and another series-winning shot over George, who was with the Thunder, last year – didn’t mince words.

Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports:

Lillard:

Asking me about Patrick Beverley, who – I sent him before at the end of a game. Paul George just got sent home by me last year in the playoffs. So, they know. The reason they’re reacting like that is because of what they expect from me, which is a sign of respect, and it just shows what I’ve done at a high clip more times than not. So, I’m not offended by it. If anything, it should just tell you how much it hurt them to go through what I put them through in those situations previously.

I love Lillard’s ability to remain calm and in control. Kudos for him for finding a way to boast after missing a pair of free throws that effectively cost his team a big game. Really. Lillard’s emotional maturity is an asset.

Expect the Trail Blazers to follow his lead and not further unravel. They can and probably should still be favored to reach the play-in.

But their margin for error definitely just shrunk.

76ers star Ben Simmons leaving bubble for surgery

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Ben Simmons injured his knee, and the 76ers didn’t hide their concerns.

This is serious.

Serena Winters of NBC Sports Philadelphia:

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

Obviously, the surgery itself is a setback. If Simmons becomes healthy enough to return before Philadelphia gets eliminated, he could be required to quarantine in his hotel room – which would limit rehab and training.

And of course it will be difficult for Philadelphia to advance deep into the playoffs without Simmons.

There are even graver concerns beyond this season. Will Simmons now be more susceptible to future injuries? This could derail a budding championship contender with Joel Embiid and Simmons.

Embiid already has long-term health concerns. It was always uncertain how long Philadelphia’s window would remain open despite Embiid and Simmons being so young.

Even next season could be perilous. How long will Simmons take to recover? Next season could be right around the corner (or not). If the 76ers’ outlook looks worse – especially amid the economic downturn caused by coronavirus – they could no longer follow through on their plan to pay the luxury tax. Slashing payroll could further reduce the roster’s effectiveness.

Already, expectations shrink this season without Simmons. Philadelphia appears increasingly likely to land the No. 6 seed and a tough first-round series against the Celtics (rather than a spot in the 4-5 series against the Heat or Pacers).

Will these difficult circumstances give 76ers coach Brett Brown more leeway to keep his job? Or do they just make it more likely the 76ers lose early in the playoffs and fire him?

He has plenty of options for proceeding without Simmons. Simmons was a multi-positional star who spent most of the season at point guard but had been playing power forward in the bubble.

Without Simmons, Al Horford moved back into the starting lineup, and Mike Scott – who had been out with a knee injury – joined the rotation. Glenn Robinson III could also get an expanded role once he’s healthy.

Many sans-Simmons lineups could give Philadelphia more spacing around Embiid, which makes the star center even more dangerous.

But this loss of talent can’t be offset and significantly lowers the 76ers’ ceiling this season and maybe reduces their odds of reaching their ceiling in future seasons.