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Warriors’ Steph Curry searching for 3-point record vs. Pacers

Sportsnaut
Dec 11, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry warms up before a game against the Philadelphia 76ers at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 11, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry warms up before a game against the Philadelphia 76ers at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The Indiana Pacers get their chance to deny Stephen Curry what appears to be his inevitable piece of NBA history when the rejuvenated Eastern Conference club hosts the Golden State Warriors on Monday night.

Coming off games against Portland at home and Philadelphia on the road in which he combined to shoot 9-for-31 from beyond the arc, Curry will take the court six 3-pointers short of Ray Allen’s all-time career record of 2,973.

Needing seven 3-pointers to claim the top spot for himself, the 33-year-old has bombed in seven or more 101 times in his career, including eight times this season.

He had eight in a Warriors home win over the Pacers in January 2016, three years after recording seven in a Golden State road loss at Indiana in February 2013.

Curry’s substandard 3-point shooting in his last two games appears to have been contagious. In a hard-fought win over the Damian Lillard- and CJ McCollum-less Trail Blazers and a loss to the Ben Simmons-less 76ers, the Warriors have shot just 26-for-94 on 3-pointers en route to 104- and 93-point totals, respectively.

Draymond Green said he didn’t believe Curry’s unsuccessful quest to break the record and the Warriors’ lackluster play of late are related.

“I think it’s hanging over the world. I think we all want to see it,” Green said of the record chase. “But if you’re asking me if it’s negatively affecting the team, no.”

While the Warriors, who were 18-2 and owners of the best record in the NBA two weeks ago, have split their last six games, the Pacers have put together their best run of the season with three straight wins over the Washington Wizards, New York Knicks and Dallas Mavericks.

The winning streak has come at home, where Indiana will attempt to complete a winning six-game homestand after opening losses to the Atlanta Hawks and Miami Heat.

Caris LeVert has provided a spark to the Pacers’ turnaround, averaging 21.8 points on 49.3-percent shooting in the last four games.

He had a team-high 26 and Domantas Sabonis added 24 in a 106-93 home win over Dallas on Friday that was coached by assistant Lloyd Pierce. The former Warriors assistant has slid to the head of the bench in the absence of Rick Carlisle, who is out for COVID-related reasons.

Pierce won 63 games over three seasons as head coach of the Hawks from 2019-21, so he did not make much of his first with the Pacers, crediting previous experience as having helped.

“I know not to yell at the refs too much because the salary isn’t the same (as when I was head coach),” he joked. “I think there’s a calm for me, and hopefully there’s a calm for everyone else.”

The game pits impressive Pacers rookie Chris Duarte against one of the teams that passed on him in the July draft.

Picking seventh, the Warriors opted for Jonathan Kuminga, who has been brought along slowly, totaling 53 points so far. Duarte, who was taken 13th, has 346 points, the third-most among all rookies.

–Field Level Media