The Los Angeles Lakers will make history on Tuesday night in Oakland.
The world champion Golden State Warriors have started the season 15-0, which is tied for the best ever start to an NBA season with the 1993-94 Houston Rockets. The Atlanta Hawks ended the Rockets' streak in December of 1993, but Atlanta extended its own winning streak to 10 games with the victory.
The Lakers are not entering Tuesday's contest on a nine-game winning streak. The Lakers have lost seven of their last eight games and three in a row. A national audience expects to tune in to watch the champs toy with their sacrificial lamb before pleasing the audience with a swift stroke, which is what the masses came to see.
The stroke, in this case, belongs to Stephen Curry. The league's reigning Most Valuable Player is far away the best player in the league and on the best team in the Association through the first 20 percent of the season. Curry's stroke is averaging 32.7 points on 21.1 shots per game with 11.3 of those attempts coming from beyond the arc. Curry is shooting 43.8 percent from distance, which is in line with his career average of 44.0 percent, but the former Davidson Wildcat has attempted slightly more than three extra three-point attempts per game.
Already making an argument for being the best shooter of all time, the 27-year-old point guard is shooting 51.4 percent from the field and 43.8 percent from three-point land this season. From the foul line, Curry shoots a cool 93.8 percent on the season and 90.2 percent for his career.
It's been a tough week for the Lakers' young backcourt of rookie D'Angelo Russell and second-year Jordan Clarkson. On Monday, Brandon Knight recorded a triple double as his backcourt partner Eric Bledsoe helped the Suns burn the Lakers in Phoenix. Then, Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozen combined to give Toronto a victory on Friday night. Finally, the nightmare week ended with Damian Lillard dropping 30 points and 13 assists and C.J. McCollum doing his part with 19 points and five assists in the Blazers' victory on Sunday.
On Tuesday, the Lakers' young backcourt continues getting punched in the face when it matches up against the top backcourt in the NBA. Joining Curry, Klay Thompson's points have dropped slightly, but the 25-year-old is attempting about three fewer shots per game. And Thompson is the only player in the league that can hold a candle to Curry from shooting beyond the arc.
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A season ago, Thompson hit 239 threes in a season to rank no. 9 for the record of most three-pointers made in an NBA season. Curry has had seasons that rank at no. 5, no. 2 and no. 1 on that list. A season ago, Curry set the record with 286 three-pointers in a season to shatter his own previous mark of 272. Thompson may be holding the candle, but Curry is on his own planet.
Through 15 games, Curry has already made an astounding 74 three-pointers. If he continues at his current pace, the kid from Akron will finish with 330 three-pointers, which would shatter Curry's other top two seasons.
On Tuesday, however, the Lakers arrive in Oakland to make history. If the purple and gold lose, Golden State will set a new record for most wins to ever start a season. If the Warriors miraculously lose, the Lakers could well be pulling off the greatest regular season upset in NBA history.
Entering Tuesday, most Las Vegas casinos peg the Lakers as 17 or 18-point underdogs. Yes, the Warriors are that good. Lakers at Warriors tips-off at 7:30 p.m. Pacific Time.