On Monday night, Stephen Curry nuked the Denver Nuggets for 53 points on 10-of-18 shooting from 3 in leading the Golden State Warriors to a 116-107 victory. In doing so, Curry passed Wilt Chamberlain to become the Warriors' all-time leading scorer. It was Curry's seventh career game with at least 50 points and 10 made 3s, five more than anyone else in league history (Klay Thompson and James Harden each have two).
Removing the 50-point filter, it was Curry's 18th career game with at least 10 made 3-pointers, which is 13 more than the next closest player -- Thompson at five. It was also Curry's seventh consecutive game with at least 30 points, the longest streak in the league this season.
Since he returned from his tailbone injury, Curry is averaging 38.4 points on 54/46/91 shooting splits over seven games. Since the beginning of April, he's averaging 39.5 points on 55/46/92 splits. Since the start of March, he's averaging 34.9 points on 52/44/92 splits. Across the board, all those marks lead the league by a laughable margin.
All of which is to say, Curry, for all the talk -- legitimate or not -- about how he was going to be exposed this season without Thompson and Kevin Durant by his side, might very well be reopening his case as the best player in the world. LeBron James, for most people's money, sits on the throne. But let's not forget that LeBron missed the playoffs the last time he had to go through the Western Conference without a A-list sidekick. That's not a knock. It's just the truth.
Curry might miss the playoffs himself. We'll see. There's a lot of time to go. What we know is that to this point, Curry has made a downright bad team a sleepy threat. He's not going to win MVP, but really, who has actually been more valuable in 2020-21? The Warriors are 1-6 without Curry this season. He recently sat out the back end of a back-to-back, and the Warriors lost by 53 points to the 21-win Raptors.
That Curry has this Warriors team -- with effectively zero spacing and no second scoring or shooting threat that defenses even halfway fear -- in the playoff hunt is a borderline basketball miracle, and the truth is, Golden State's record probably should be even better.