Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal had been the NBA scoring leader for months, but he was passed Monday night by yet another absurd game from Golden State's Steph Curry, who now is averaging 31.4 points to Beal's 31.1. SportsLine NBA oddsmakers also now list Curry as the clear favorite to win a second career scoring title – he also did in 2015-16. Beal has never accomplished that feat.
Curry led an upset of the Eastern Conference-best 76ers in Philadelphia on Monday with 49 points – he missed a late free throw, which is incredibly unusual, or would have had 50 – on 10-for-17 from three-point range. It was Curry's sixth game this season with at least 10 three-pointers made. No other player in league history has more than five such CAREER games. Curry has 21 such career games. In his past five games, Curry has made 46 three-pointers, an NBA record for any five-game stretch.
In 10 April games, Curry is averaging 40.8 points and has five games of at least 40 points. That's the most such 40-point games in any month by a player age 33 or older. Curry had been tied at four with Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan. In addition, Curry has 11 straight 30-point games, the longest streak by a player at age 33 or older in NBA history. It's the longest 30-point game streak by a Warriors player since Wilt Chamberlain in 1964.
Curry is on pace to join James Harden, Elgin Baylor, Kobe Bryant (3 times) and Wilt Chamberlain (11 times) as the only players in NBA history to average 40 points in a month (minimum 10 games).
"Obviously nobody's ever shot the ball like this in the history of the game. Even by Steph's own lofty standards, this is above and beyond," said Warriors coach Steve Kerr following Monday's win.
Curry's 31.4-point average is a career high. He averaged 30.1 in 2015-16 when he won the scoring title and was named unanimous MVP. Curry is not likely to add a third MVP (he also won in 2014-15) as Denver center Nikola Jokic, who had his own monster game Monday, remains the -400 heavy favorite at William Hill Sportsbook. Curry has climbed to third but is +2000; he was +5000 entering Monday.
It's going to be tough for Beal to keep pace with Curry scoring-wise because the Wizards also have Russell Westbrook taking plenty of shots, while the Warriors are essentially only Curry at this point. The Dubs need him to carry the load every night to get into the Western Conference play-in tournament.
At 29-29, Golden State sits ninth in the West but four games out of sixth, which is the last locked-in playoff spot in the West. Curry and the Warriors visit Beal and the Wizards on Wednesday – now that is must-see TV! Fans will be allowed at a Wizards home game for the first time this season. Curry is given a mammoth Over/Under of 35.5 points. Golden State is a short favorite to conclude a long road trip.
Via SportsLine oddsmakers: Who wins the NBA scoring title (points per game)?
- Steph Curry -300
- Bradley Beal +200
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