Steph Curry poised to surpass Ray Allen for NBA’s all-time triple crown

Breaking down the league’s best three-point shooter, by the numbers

By John Krolik

Special to The Examiner

Stephen Curry has made 2,958 three-point shots in his career. Ray Allen made 15 more, making him the all-time leader in the category. Now, Curry is right on his doorstep, ready to take the mantle as the best three-point shooter of all time.

The Warriors’ superstar has already proven himself as the best three-point shooter ever, but surpassing Allen’s record will put a nice little bow on making it official.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at Curry’s unprecedented three-point prowess by the numbers:

• Curry is the all-time leader in threes made per game, with 3.77 makes per contest over the course of his career. Only Curry, Duncan Robinson, Buddy Hield and Damian Lillard have managed to make three or more long-range shots per game over the course of their careers. Only 27 players have an average of two or more made threes per game for their careers.

• Curry’s season-high for threes made in a season is 402, an NBA record. Overall, Curry has led the league in made threes a total of six times, and is on pace to accomplish the feat for a seventh time. (James Harden has led the league in threes every time Curry hasn’t since 2012.)

• The last NBA team to make less than 402 threes in the regular season and go on to win the NBA championship was the 2011-12 Miami Heat, who made 370 threes in the lockout-shortened 2011-12 season. The last championship team to make less than 402 threes over the course of an 82-game season was the 2003-04 Detroit Pistons.

• Curry’s 3-point shooting volume is only half the story. The other half is his accuracy. Curry has a career three-point percentage of 43.2%, which puts him at seventh all-time. Of the six players above him on the list, the player with the most career long-distance makes is the Nets’ Joe Harris, who currently is sitting on 874 three-pointers made for his career.

• Hilariously enough, Curry isn’t the most accurate three-point shooter on his own bench or in his immediate family. The most accurate three-point shooter in NBA history is Warriors coach Steve Kerr, who retired with a 45.4% three-point percentage. No. 2 all-time is Steph’s brother Seth, who currently has a three-point percentage of 44.1%.

• It’s worth mentioning that Curry has done damage to his three-point percentage over the course of his career by going for way more end-of-quarter bombs, which basketball-reference.com characterizes as “heaves,” than just about any other player. For his career, Curry has attempted 90 such shots, and only made four of them. For some points of reference, Kevin Durant has only attempted nine heaves in his career, Seth Curry has attempted four, Lillard has attempted 21 and LeBron James has attempted 34.

If Curry had never attempted a “heave” in his career, his career three-point percentage would go up a half-percent to 43.7%, which would put him in a tie with Drazen Petrovic as the fifth-most accurate three-point shooter in history.

• Although Curry is currently No. 2 in all-time three-pointers made and soon to be No. 1, he’s only third all-time in threes attempted. Allen has taken 586 more threes than Curry, and James Harden has taken 52 more.

• With the exception of the 2019-20 campaign, where injuries limited Curry to five games, he has shot better than 40% from three in all 12 of his NBA seasons. Allen only managed to crack the 40% barrier eight times in his 18 seasons, Reggie Miller did it 10 times in his 18 seasons, and Harden’s career-high three-point percentage is 39%.

• As for the playoffs, Curry is no slouch in that department. He is the all-time leader in three-pointers made with 470, while Allen is in 3rd (behind James) with 385 makes. In other words, Curry has already made more threes in NBA games than Allen.

Curry is already the greatest long-distance shooter in the history of the NBA, and has been for some time now. When he passes Allen’s regular-season record in what should be the very immediate future, it’ll just be a chance to celebrate his unprecedented 3-point ability.

John Krolik is a freelance contributor to The Examiner.