The best shooter in NBA history added another record to his resume on Sunday.
Steph Curry hit his 61st straight free throw in the Golden State Warriors’ win over the Chicago Bulls, setting the franchise record for most consecutive free throws made.
The previous mark was held by Rick Barry. The Hall of Famer hit 60 in a row in 1976 with his signature underhand shot, but he’s long been hoping to see Curry eclipse him. “Hell yeah, I’m rooting for him,” Barry said in 2017 when Steph last got close — he was at 49 straight at the time, and got to 54 before finally faltering on a technical free throw.
Curry’s current streak actually spans three seasons. He finished the 2018-19 regular season with 20 straight over his final eight games, and then in 2019-20 he was limited to just five games due to injury but made all 26 of his shots. He hit all nine attempts in his first two games of 2020-21, and then nine more against the Bulls to run his total to 64 and counting.
* Note: In the 2019 playoffs he went “only” 148-of-157 (94.3%) in 22 games, so he has missed free throws during this overall span of time, but records like these only count regular season play
The record-setting shot came at the end of the third quarter on Sunday. The Warriors were down six and fighting hard to stay close despite a poor team shooting night, and for the second straight possession Curry drew a foul to get himself to the line. His first shot tied Barry’s record, and his second set the new mark, while also pulling the Dubs within four on the scoreboard.
61 straight makes (and counting).@StephenCurry30 has passed Rick Barry for most consecutive made free throws in franchise history. pic.twitter.com/fD4RYHSJpw— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) December 28, 2020
Twenty seconds later the Bulls hit a three, and Curry answered right back with a 32-footer to finish off the quarter. He scored 36 points on the night, and every one counted as Golden State roared back in the fourth quarter to steal a dramatic 129-128 comeback win on Damion Lee’s game-winning trey.
It’s no surprise to see Curry chew through yet another accuracy record like it’s one of his mouthguards. After all, the title of Best Shooter In History isn’t just talk. In terms of free throws he’s literally the best ever, as his 90.62% career rate sits atop the NBA leaderboard by a wide margin, above Steve Nash (90.43%), Mark Price (90.39%), and Barry (89.98%). It feels like a matter of when, not if, he’ll break the league record of 97 straight free throws made, set by Michael Williams in 1993.
But the real proof that Curry is the Best Shooter In History? On Sunday he netted his 2,500th career three-pointer, just the third player ever to reach that milestone, and it wasn’t even his top headline of the night. Chew on that.