Sports

Curry claims scoring title as Dubs nab No. 8 seed

SAN FRANCISCO — Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry is the NBA’s scoring king for the 2020-21 season.

An 11-foot floater late in the first quarter of Sunday’s 113-101 win over the Memphis Grizzlies gave Curry enough points to clinch the scoring title over Washington Wizards All-Star Bradley Beal.

After Beal scored 25 points in Sunday’s 115-110 win over the Charlotte Hornets to finish with a season average of 31.3 points per game, Curry needed only three points to take the scoring crown, which he accomplished with a pair of field goals, including the clincher with 3:24 to play in the first.

The former MVP left little doubt by game’s end. Curry attempted a career-high 36 shots, including a career-high 22 3-pointers, en route to a 46-point game. He ends the regular season with 11 40-point games, just one shy of Michael Jordan’s record for the most by any player in his 12th season or later.

The Warriors clinched the eighth seed in the Western Conference with the win, setting them up for a Wednesday road game against either the Los Angeles Lakers or Portland Trail Blazers, pending Sunday night’s results.

Curry, who has already won two MVP awards during his illustrious 12-year career and was showered with “MVP” chants during Sunday’s game, has played arguably his best regular season during this condensed, coronavirus-shortened campaign. He averaged 37.3 points per game during 15 April contests — a stretch that left even his teammates and coaches in awe.

“We’ve just been really scrappy,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said before Sunday’s game. “We’ve been playing some small lineups, but we’ve had phenomenal seasons from both Steph and Draymond [Green] that have given us our foundation.”

Curry ends this season averaging 32 points per game. His previous career best of 30.1 points per game came in 2015-16, when he also became the first unanimous MVP in league history and won his other scoring title.

At 33, Curry becomes the oldest scoring champion since Jordan led the league with 28.7 points per game in 1997-98 at age 35. Curry also joins Jordan, Wilt Chamberlain and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the only players with multiple scoring titles, MVPs and championships, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

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