There's ridiculous, and then there's what Stephen Curry did Wednesday night in the Golden State Warriors' 134-121 win over the Washington Wizards at Verizon Center.
After scoring 50 points combined in the Warriors' last three games leading up to Wednesday's win, Curry exploded for 51 points on 19-of-28 shooting, including 11-of-16 from three to fall one trey short of tying the NBA single-game record held by Kobe Bryant and Donyell Marshall. According to ESPN Stats & Info, Curry is the only player in NBA history to drain 11 threes in a game multiple times.
A quick scan of Basketball-Reference.com also shows Curry is the only player in the NBA this season with multiple 50-point performances. All told, he now has four 50-point games for his career.
According to the Wall Street Journal's Ben Cohen, Wednesday's display accelerated Curry's torrid pace from beyond the arc in a ridiculous way:
Stephen Curry is in the top-10 for most 3-pointers in a single season after tonight. He still has 35 games left.— Ben Cohen (@bzcohen) February 4, 2016
At 45-4, the Warriors have 33 games to play, but the pace is impressive nonetheless. Curry's most recent signature performance started in outrageous fashion. In fact, there aren't enough fire emojis in the world to do his opening statement justice. Or, as Bleacher Report's Adam Fromal suggested, perhaps there needs to be a new emoji created in Steph's honor:
Fire emojis do not suffice for Steph Curry. We need volcano emojis.— Adam Fromal (@fromal09) February 4, 2016
The marksman dropped 25 points in the first quarter, with 21 coming from beyond the arc. His seven first-quarter triples ranked as a new career high, per Fox Sports Live on Twitter, and it paved the way for one of the most impressive individual performances the NBA has seen this season.
According to NBA on ESPN, Curry finished with a career high for points in a first half (36) and drilled the most threes in any half of his career (eight) while shooting 13-of-14 from the field to give the Warriors a 14-point lead at halftime:
If you're wondering what that sort of production looks like in shot-chart form, it's positively jaw-dropping, as ESPN Stats & Info explained:
Most 35-Point Halves - Last 10 Seasons— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) February 4, 2016
Stephen Curry 3
Klay Thompson 2
LeBron James 2
Carmelo Anthony 2 pic.twitter.com/eGVeaREJVl
Curry's wrist-flicking brilliance caused ESPN's Pablo S. Torre to draw a comparison between the point guard and a famous film protagonist:
Steph is the I Know Kung Fu scene in The Matrix— Pablo S. Torre (@PabloTorre) February 4, 2016
It would have been easy for the Warriors to look past the Wizards and set their sights on Saturday's showdown with the Oklahoma City Thunder following a relatively lethargic road trip that included wins over the Philadelphia 76ers and the New York Knicks, but Curry wouldn't let that happen.
The reigning MVP was coming off three sub-25-point efforts himself, and he was due for a signature performance. Truth be told, he couldn't have asked for a better stage than the one he was presented with Wednesday night.
Matched up against another elite point guard in John Wall (41 points, 10 assists), Curry asserted his dominance with a panache that's simply unmatched by any other lead dog the NBA has to offer.
Curry provided his immediate thoughts on the historic night during his postgame interview with CSN Bay Area, as NBA TV documented on Twitter:
"He was scintillating tonight, especially coming out of the gate," Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said, per the team's official Twitter account. "He was brilliant."
Marshall—who owns a share of the single-game three-point record—provided his take on Curry's performance and offered a bold prediction:
What a tremendous shooting display by @StephenCurry30 I can breathe another day. But it's only a matter of time before he breaks 3pt record— Donyell Marshall (@Dmarsh42) February 4, 2016
"We watch it on TV every day, and you’re like, 'Ah, it’s not like that,'" Wizards forward Otto Porter said, per the San Francisco Chronicle's Rusty Simmons. "When he does it vs. you, it’s eye opening."
Next up for the Warriors: a trip to the White House on Thursday to commemorate last season's NBA title.
"I already met President Obama, I'm not really excited about it," Curry joked when speaking to reporters after the game, according to ESPN.com's Ethan Strauss.