WATCH: Stephen Curry is NBA's new three-point king
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New York - Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry eclipsed Ray Allen's all-time record for NBA three-pointers on Tuesday on an emotional night at storied Madison Square Garden.
Curry, whose remarkable shooting range has revolutionized the NBA in his 13-year tenure, matched Allen's record with his 2,973rd career three-pointer with 10:56 remaining in the first quarter with his first shot of the contest.
He then missed a chance at breaking the record, but with 7:33 remaining in the opening period, he swished in number 2,974, letting out a yell as teammates celebrated with him and the New York crowd cheered.
"Hell yeah!" teammate Draymond Green shouted as photographers gathered around Curry and the game briefly halted. "That's greatness!"
Curry exchanged an emotional hug with coach Steve Kerr, who corralled the ball used in the record-setting shot.
He then embraced his father, former NBA player Dell Curry, as well as Allen, who was courtside.
"Very, very special night," Curry said in a post-game television interview. "This arena, I can't express how much of an honor that was, for the reaction here on the road and the appreciation for this milestone."
Kerr said in a halftime television interview that the moment was "more emotional" than he had expected.
"It was just beautiful just to hear the fans' reaction, see his teammates, see his dad -- it was just a fantastic moment."
Curry has been scorching towards overtaking Allen's record for years. He finally surpassed the milestone on Tuesday in his 789th career game; Allen had achieved his old benchmark in 1,300 appearances.
He finished the night with five three-pointers, taking his tally to 2,977, as the Warriors pulled away late to beat the Knicks 105-96 and improve their league-leading record to 23-5.
Curry's long-range prowess is such that there was real belief he could break the record with a single-game mark of 16 in a home game against the Portland Trail Blazers last Wednesday.
That didn't happen, and the Warriors departed on a road trip with Curry needing 10 three-pointers to break the record.
The 76ers' swarming defense held Curry to three three-pointers in Philadelphia on Saturday. He added two more at Indiana on Monday.
Curry, who said he knew teams would be keen to slow him, wasn't disappointed to have a shot at the record at "iconic" Madison Square Garden, where his 54-point performance against the Knicks on February 27, 2013, was a harbinger of a career that now includes three NBA titles and two Most Valuable Player awards.
"It's been a long week since our last home game, where everybody was talking about 16.
"(It) seemed like every shot I took there was another level of anticipation and anxiousness around it. I was just trying to play my game. Tonight it kind of set up perfectly, made that first one, get that one out of the way and then just let the record-breaker come to me.
"It felt good the whole way, and, again, the reaction was pretty special."
the MOMENT Steph made history pic.twitter.com/ZT9KxBSHmI— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) December 15, 2021
The atmosphere was electric even before the game, with Allen courtside and Reggie Miller, who held the three-point record for more than a decade before Allen broke it in 2011, on duty as a television commentator.
Both chatted and shared a hug with Curry before the game, with filmmaker and Knicks super-fan Spike Lee catching the moment on his phone camera.
After the game, Allen and Miller presented Curry with a jersey with the number 2,974 emblazoned on it.
Reaction from around the league was swift.
"Just landed in Dallas to see @StephenCurry30 broke the record and to make it even doper he did it in the GARDEN!!" Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James tweeted. "WOW CONGRATS BROTHER!! INCREDIBLE."
A night that will live forever in NBA history. pic.twitter.com/mqSd0J8CnA— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) December 15, 2021
Curry and the Warriors won NBA titles in 2015, 2017 and 2018 against Cleveland Cavaliers teams led by James.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver called Curry's achievement "thrilling."
"He has revolutionized the way the game is played and continues to leave fans in awe with his amazing artistry and extraordinary shooting ability. We congratulate him on this historic achievement."
Former Lakers great Magic Johnson congratulated Curry "for making history and setting the new NBA All-Time 3-point record tonight!!"
"Thank you @StephenCurry30 for revolutionizing the game of basketball forever!"