Steph Curry of the Golden State Warriors notched his second NBA scoring title by averaging a career-high 32 points per game this season. Curry edged out Bradley Beal in the final weekend of the regular season, and the two gunslingers have been fighting for the scoring title over the last couple of months ever since Curry went on a heater around the All-Star Break.
Curry previously won the NBA scoring title during the 2015-16 season by averaging 30.1 ppg. Beal was seeking his first scoring title. He finished second overall last season behind James Harden, who won the scoring title in three consecutive seasons.
|NBA Scoring Title Leaders (Since 2010)|
|2021||Steph Curry||32.0||Golden State Warriors|
|2020||James Harden||34.3||Houston Rockets|
|2019||James Harden||36.1||Houston Rockets|
|2018||James Harden||30.4||Houston Rockets|
|2017||Russell Westbrook||31.6||Oklahoma City Thunder|
|2016||Steph Curry||30.1||Golden State Warriors|
|2015||Russell Westbrook||28.1||Oklahoma City Thunder|
|2014||Kevin Durant||32.0||Oklahoma City Thunder|
|2013||Carmelo Anthony||28.7||New York Knicks|
|2012||Kevin Durant||28.0||Oklahoma City Thunder|
|2011||Kevin Durant||27.7||Oklahoma City Thunder|
|2010||Kevin Durant||30.1||Oklahoma City Thunder|
Curry dropped 46 points against the Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday. Beal needed to score 67 points in order to pass Curry, but he had just returned to action after sitting out a week with a sore hamstring. Beal fell short of the mark when he tallied just 25 points against the Charlotte Hornets to finish the season with 31.3 ppg.
Steph Curry 2020-21 season:
— 32.0 PPG (leads NBA)
— Oldest to win scoring title since MJ
— 38 30-point games (most since MJ)
— 337 threes (leads NBA)
— 4th 300-three season (most ever)
— 7 10-three games (most ever)
— 5.3 3PG (most ever)
— Broke Warriors all-time scoring record pic.twitter.com/DS84gkjcAv
— StatMuse (@statmuse) May 16, 2021
Curry the sleeper MVP?
Without Klay Thompson this season, the Warriors relied on Curry to provide more perimeter scoring. He didn’t think twice about bombing away, sometimes from a half-dozen feet beyond 3-point range.
At the start of the season, Curry set a new career-high with 62 points against the Portland Trail Blazers. In April, Curry was on fire, averaging 37.3 ppg while shooting a blistering 45.5% from beyond the arc. He knocked down a career-high 5.3 3-pointers per game this season while attempting a career-high 12.3 treys per game. He also shot 42.1% from downtown this season.
Nikola Jokic has the inside track to the 2021 NBA MVP, but Curry will garner a few votes for his remarkable season.
“Look at what he’s done this year,” said LeBron James. “I don’t know anything else if you’re looking for an MVP. If Steph is not on Golden State’s team, what are we looking at? Steph has had, in my opinion, the best season all year.”
“He’s never been better, I can say that,” said Warriors coach Steve Kerr. “Just an incredible season and I’ll just leave it at that. He’s never been better than he is right now.”
Curry two-time scoring champ
Curry snapped a three-year streak by James Harden, but then again, once Harden joined the Brooklyn Nets, he didn’t have to shoulder the entire scoring burden like he did with the Houston Rockets.
Harden missed an opportunity to join an elite group of five players who won four or more NBA scoring titles. That special club of high-volume scorers includes Michael Jordan, Wilt Chamberlain, Kevin Durant, George Gervin, and Allen Iverson.
With his second scoring title, Curry joins a group of 19 elite NBA players who earned multiple titles. He waited five seasons to add his second one. Curry, who fractured his non-shooting hand last season, became the oldest player (33-years old) to win a scoring title since Michael Jordan won his final scoring title at age 35 in 1998. Elite scorers begin to fade when they reach 30; Curry and Jordan are the only two scoring champs to win a title after the age of 33.
|Most NBA Scoring Titles|
Jordan leads everyone after winning the NBA scoring title 10 times with the Chicago Bulls. If he didn’t retire prematurely (twice), Jordan would have won a dozen scoring titles and added a couple of more NBA championships with the Chicago Bulls.
Wilt Chamberlain locked up seven scoring titles between 1960and 1966 when he dominated the NBA as a member of the Philadelphia Warriors and Philadelphia 76ers.
If Curry can win another scoring title next season, he’ll join the three-timer club with Harden, George Mikan, Bob McAdoo, and Neil Johnston.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who holds the all-time NBA points record, led the league in scoring only twice.