Stephen Curry has won the MVP twice and looks set to grab his third even though the NBA season is not even half way through yet. He is the undisputed 3-point champion now too.
At 33, Curry is assembling one of the best seasons of his career, and he has helped position Golden State atop the Western Conference as they await the return of Klay Thompson.
Curry scored 33 points in their 116-107 victory over the Phoenix Suns on Christmas Day. Curry carried most of the load, overcoming a mediocre shooting night to crack 20 points for the first time in nine Christmas games. Chris Paul had 21 points and eight assists for Phoenix. Deandre Ayton finished with 18 points in the Suns’ third loss in 28 games.
Playing on Christmas is nothing new to the Warriors. This was their ninth straight Christmas Day game and 11th in 12 seasons. The Suns, once regulars on the Christmas schedule, were in their first since 2009.
Golden State arrived in the desert short-handed, missing three of their top four scorers to health and safety protocols: Andrew Wiggins, Damion Lee and Jordan Poole. It didn’t really matter as Curry filled the void impressively.
He has been sensational this season averaging 27.1 points per game on 39.6 percent shooting from the three-point range. For 13 NBA seasons, Curry has been racking up scores for Golden State, and last Tuesday, he became the NBA’s most prolific 3-point shooter, sailing past Ray Allen’s career record. The record-breaking shots came early in the first quarter against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden, with Allen in attendance and the crowd buzzing every time Curry touched the ball.
Curry reached a career 3-pointer milestone of 2,977 in 789 games. Allen’s previous record had come in 1,300 games. Curry will soon pass the 3,000 mark and continue amassing those incredible numbers.
But beyond the gluttonous figures is the artistry of an athlete capable of producing jolts of electricity whenever he lines up a long-distance shot.
At this stage of the season, the MVP race is becoming clearer. Kevin Durant is the other outstanding contender but he is injured presently. Giannis Antetokounmpo and Nikola Jokic are having fantastic seasons too and are also in the mix.
The Warriors are now the top team in the west, and have the best record in the entire NBA, thanks mainly to Curry. After a two-year hiatus from the league's upper echelon that threatened to become a permanent condition, the Warriors have regained their place at the pinnacle. There were plenty of reasons to believe that while their dynastic run included three championships and five straight Finals appearances, the Warriors seemed in decline. They were an ageing team seemingly fading gracefully out of the spotlight.
Though they lost Durant to the Brooklyn Nets on free agency in 2019, and still rely heavily on their senior players, the Warriors don't look like a team that's been disrupted in the least by the harsh realities of basketball mortality.