Steph Curry is one of the greatest scorer's of this generation, but for some reason, the Warriors' superstar struggles on Christmas, the NBA's marquee day on the calendar.
Per Sportsradar, Curry is averaging just 13.1 points in eight Christmas Day games. That is the lowest average he has in his career on any day in which he has played at least five games on that date. The next closest is Nov. 21 when he has averaged 16.0 points in five career games.
Curry enters the Warriors' road clash with the Phoenix Suns on Saturday averaging 27.7 points per game this season, second in the NBA behind only Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant (29.7), who won't play on Christmas because he is in the league's health and safety protocol.
Curry has scored at least 30 points in the last three games he has played, including 46 in the Warriors' 113-104 win over the Memphis Grizzlies on Thursday night at Chase Center. So it would be surprising to see the reigning scoring champ struggle against the Suns. But Phoenix has one of the best defenses in the league, so they could clamp him down. They held Curry to just 12 points in the first meeting of the season between the two teams, but he bounced back with 23 points a few days later in a Warriors' blowout win.
When asked if he likes playing on Christmas Day, Curry brought up his struggles on the holiday on his own.
"I like it because it means you're one of the marquee teams, only 10 teams playing, so you know they are very selective about who they put in those slots," Curry told reporters after Thursday's game. "I personally don't like it because I haven't played well.
"I don't know. I'm trying to think of my best game. I've struggled a lot on Christmas, for whatever reason, so I'm trying to rectify that on Saturday."
Before Thursday's game, coach Steve Kerr brought up the fact that the Warriors are playing on the road for the second straight Christmas, and broached the idea that the NBA institute a rule where teams can't play consecutive road games on Christmas. After the game, forward Draymond Green was asked about Kerr's comments and said it's "f---ed up" that the Warriors have played on away from home two years in a row on Christmas because he will now have missed his 1-year-old daughter's first two Christmas celebrations.
Curry, who has three young children, is in the same boat, but he took a more reasoned approach to being away from them.
"It is weird, especially on the road, I've got three kids and how special of a day and weekend it is, so you're trying to balance being present with them and doing your job, playing the game and staying focused on that," Curry said. "I think we've played nine straight years, something like that, on Christmas, that means you're doing something good so you kind of got to take the good with the bad with it."
Curry is one of the biggest draws in the NBA, which played a large part in why the Warriors have been scheduled on Christmas every year since 2013-14 and 11 of Curry's 13 seasons. And it's very likely that as long as he is playing at an All-Star level, Golden State will play on Dec. 25 for the foreseeable future.
The Warriors have proven this season that they can win games when Curry has an off night, but on Saturday, they probably can't afford for his Christmas Day struggles to continue if they want to beat the NBA-best Suns.