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Stephen Curry clinches 2020-21 NBA scoring title

Stephen Curry is 5 years removed from his first scoring title, which he earned during his second MVP season in 2016-17.

Stephen Curry goes for 46 points in the season finale to lock the Warriors into the No. 8 seed in the West.

If the All-Star and probable All-NBA honors weren’t enough, Stephen Curry now has the NBA scoring title to punctuate a triumphant return from an injury-riddled 2019-20 campaign.

The former two-time Kia MVP secured the 2020-21 scoring crown on Sunday, edging Washington guard Bradley Beal during the Warriors’ 113-101 win against Memphis. Beal scored 25 points in his team’s 115-110 win over Charlotte, opening the door for Curry to clinch his second career scoring title with a 46-point outburst against the Grizzlies.

The 33-year-old Curry entered Sunday ahead of Beal by 0.4 points per game, and finished with an average of 32.0 points for the season. Overall, Curry finished at 32.0 ppg to Beal’s 31.3 ppg, giving him more than enough points to surpass Beal for the scoring crown.

Curry is shooting 42.1% on 12.6 attempts per game from 3-point range this season, a volume exceeding even his MVP seasons in 2015 and ’16. His play helped Golden State clinch eighth place and a spot in the State Farm Play-In Tournament despite the season-long absence of Klay Thompson, who is recovering from a torn Achilles tendon.

Earlier this season, Curry claimed the top spots on the Warriors’ all-time scoring and assists list while also passing Reggie Miller for No. 2 on the NBA 3-pointers made leaderboard. Curry’s 46 points against the Grizzlies marked his 11th 40-point game of 2020-21 and he has scored at least 30 points in 21 of his last 24 games.

> 2020-21 Official stats leaders

Curry becomes the first player 33 years or older to lead the league in scoring since Jordan in 1997-98 (35 years at end of season and averaged 28.7 ppg). He also joins Jordan, Wilt Chamberlain and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the only players with multiple scoring titles, MVPs and championships.

Oldest players to win NBA scoring title
Player Season Age
Michael Jordan 1997-98 35 years, 61 days
Michael Jordan 1996-97 34 years, 62 days
Michael Jordan 1995-96 33 years, 64 days
Stephen Curry 2020-21 33 years, 63 days
Jerry West 1969-70 31 years, 298 days

Additionally, Curry finished with 2,015 points overall in 2020-21 to mark the second season in his career with 2,000 or more points (the last time was in 2015-16). He joins Hall of Famers and former Warriors Wilt Chamberlain, Rick Barry and Chris Mullin as the only players in franchise lore to post multiple 2,000-point seasons.

Aside from Curry winning the scoring crown, other players took home statistical season feats of their own. The New York Knicks’ Julius Randle finished first in the league in minutes per game (37.6) under new coach Tom Thibodeau. Atlanta Hawks center Clint Capela finished with the season’s top rebounding average (14.3 rpg) to claim his first rebounding crown.

Washington Wizards guard Russell Westbrook not only became the all-time leader in triple-doubles this season, but also added another assists crown to his list of career accolades. He averaged 11.7 apg, marking his third assists title in four seasons (and fifth time in his career he’s averaged 10 apg or more). And, of course, he averaged a triple-double for the fourth time in the last five seasons.

Miami Heat swingman Jimmy Butler averaged 2.1 steals per game to collect his first steals title. That average was the highest of his career and the first time he averaged more than 2 spg since the 2017-18 season with the Minnesota Timberwolves. Lastly, Indiana Pacers Myles Turner — who has been out since mid-April with a right foot injury — notched his second career blocks title with a career-best 3.4 bpg.