NEW YORK – Stephen Curry did not disappoint New York, and the city most assuredly did not disappoint the man on Tuesday who became the NBA’s career leader in 3-point field goals.
Indeed, Curry, as well as the entire Warriors roster, probably needed the boost provided by the enthusiastic crowd of 19,812 at Madison Square Garden.
“I knew The Garden would deliver in terms of how iconic this place is,” Curry said.
The home of the Knicks was, on this night, the House of Steph.
From the celebrities at courtside to those in the nosebleed seats, there was an energy before the game, during the national anthem and at tipoff. Every Warriors possession was followed by waves of fans rising out of their seats. Noise levels went up, as did engagement.
Both of which peaked with 7:33 remaining in the first half, when Curry made the 3-pointer that pushed him beyond Ray Allen and into the record book as the all-time leader in 3-pointers. That prompted a standing ovation.
“I really can’t say it enough: I really appreciate the way the fans embraced this moment with me, and let me get lost in it,” Curry said. “I could feel it, once I took the shot, on the wing, it felt good and looked good, it went in, felt like we were at home. “
Which was appreciated more than ever in the wake of Golden State’s journey from Indianapolis to New York. Their scheduled departure out of Indy late Monday night had the Warriors arriving in New York shortly after 1 a.m. That all changed when their charter jet had mechanical issues and attempts to find another were futile.
So, it was another night in Indy at the same hotel but their unexpected return meant fewer available rooms, forcing some members of the traveling party to share. Then a morning flight to New York, with the group checking into the hotel about less than six hours before tipoff.
And, still, Curry got his record and the Warriors got a 105-96 victory.
“Any time you have the opportunity to play in the Garden, it’s special,” Draymond Green said. “When you have the opportunity to break a record here, it takes things to new heights and to a totally different level. I definitely would’ve rather had (the record) over with sooner, just to get it behind us. But in saying that, I don’t think there’s any better place in the world for it to happen than in Madison Square Garden.”
Curry practically had his own rooting section. His dad, Dell, was in attendance, as was his mother, Sonya. Also on hand were Larry Riley, the general manager when the Warriors drafted Curry in 2009. So, too, was Bob McKillop, the head coach at Davidson College (in North Carolina), where Curry spent three years before heading to the NBA.
Allen had flown in from Miami to pass the torch. Reggie Miller, whose record Allen surpassed in 2011, was part of the TNT telecast crew.
The Warriors may have indulged in a few jolts of caffeine. Maybe. But there is no doubt Curry fed off the zesty crowd.
There is no practice on Wednesday. Never is after a back-to-back set. There will be lots of sleeping in and plenty of smiles.