For the second time in his career, Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry has claimed the NBA’s scoring title.
Curry, early in the Warriors’ 113-101 win against the Grizzlies in their regular season finale at the Chase Center, officially secured the scoring title with a baseline floater over Memphis center Jonas Valanciunas.
Washington Wizards star Bradley Beal came in second after he put up 25 points in their 115-110 win against the Charlotte Hornets earlier on Sunday. Beal, 27, finished the season averaging a career-high 31.4 points per game.
Curry entered Sunday’s game averaging a career-high 31.8 points per game.
“I don’t know what else to say about Steph,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said, via USA Today’s Mark Medina. “We’ve been through this all year. From one game to the next, it’s difficult to express how good he is and how amazing of a teammate he is.”
The 33-year-old is now the first player to earn the scoring title at his age or older since Michael Jordan did so during the 1997-98 season, when he averaged 28.7 points per game at 35. Curry also hit several other statistical milestones this season, including becoming the Warriors’ all-time scoring and assists leader and hitting a record 96 3-pointers in a single month.
"[Curry] has never been better, I can say that," Kerr said, via ESPN's Nick Friedell. "He's been great for a long time though so it's hard to say he's at his best now because he's been like this for years.
"I think what's different this year is just the supporting cast is different. We've got a much younger team. He's been asked to do a lot more with this group and he's gone above and beyond what we've asked of him. Just an incredible season and I'll leave it at that. He's never been better than he is right now."
Curry drops 46 to lead Warriors to eighth seed
With their victory on Sunday, the Warriors have now secured the eighth seed in the Western Conference play-in.
Curry closed out the 12-point win with 46 points, nine assists and seven rebounds. He finished with a career-high 36 shot attempts from the field and a career-high 22 attempts from behind the arc, too.
Andrew Wiggins added 21 points and 10 rebounds for Golden State, and Jordan Poole added 15 off the bench. The Warriors closed out the game on a huge 18-4 run over the final 4:30 of the contest.
Valanciunas led the Grizzlies with 29 points and 16 rebounds, and Dillon Brooks finished with 18 points.
Both the Warriors and the Grizzlies will compete on Wednesday night in the play-in tournament. The Warriors will take on the seventh seed, which will be either the Los Angeles Lakers or Portland Trail Blazers, on the road. The Grizzlies will host San Antonio.
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