Stephen Curry has been putting up video-game numbers for the Golden State Warriors this season.
On Wednesday, Curry scored 51 points in a 13-point win over the Washington Wizards. It was Curry’s fourth career game with at least 50 points, and he is the only player with multiple 50-point games this season.
It marked the sixth time in NBA history that a player made at least 10 3-pointers and scored 50 points in a game. Curry accounts for half of those games.
He scored 35 points in the first half alone, and he now accounts for two of the three 35-point halves registered in the NBA this season.
The Warriors point guard had an effective field goal percentage (which takes into account the added value of 3-pointers) of 121.4 in the first half Wednesday. Over the past 20 seasons, there have been more than 24,000 instances in which a player had at least 10 field goal attempts in a first half. Curry's effective field goal percentage was the highest of any of those.
All of these numbers add up to a version of Curry that has been better than the video-game version of him.
We reached out to 2K Sports and had the company run 50 simulations of Curry in the 2015-16 season. Based on the results, Curry is playing better in real life than in those simulations.
Curry is averaging an NBA-high 29.8 points per game this season. The 2K version averaged 28.5 points per game.
The real Curry has 22 30-point games, on pace for 36 for the season. Simulations had Curry averaging 23 30-point games over the course of an entire season.
Curry hit seven 3-pointers in the first quarter of Wednesday's game alone, tied with Deron Williams in 2013 for the most 3-pointers in a first quarter in NBA history, according to Elias Sports Bureau research. Curry scored 25 points in the quarter, his seventh quarter with 20-plus points this season. The video-game version of Curry averaged two 20-point quarters in season-long simulations.
Curry has 232 3-pointers, putting him on pace for 388 for the season. That would break his own single-season NBA record by 102 3-pointers and top his 2K simulation average by 95.