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The Splash Brothers are a duo of basketball players consisting of Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson. The two guards both play professionally for the Golden State Warriors in the National Basketball Association (NBA). Each an excellent long-range shooter, they have combined to set various NBA records for three-point field goals by a pair of teammates. In 2014–15, Curry and Thompson became the first teammates in the league to be the starting guards in the same NBA All-Star Game since 1975, and they were the Warriors' first pair of All-Stars since 1993. They also became the first guard combo to be named to the All-NBA Team in the same season since 1979–80. Additionally, they were teammates on the United States national team in 2014, winning the gold medal at the FIBA Basketball World Cup.
Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson were both born into athletic families. Their fathers, Dell Curry and Mychal Thompson, each had productive NBA careers, while mothers Julie Thompson and Sonya Curry both were volleyball players in college. Their brothers, Seth Curry and Mychel Thompson, also became basketball players. Neither Stephen Curry nor Klay Thompson were highly recruited by college basketball programs.
Curry did not receive athletic scholarship offers from any major universities, and his parents' alma mater, Virginia Tech, asked him to be a walk-on. He landed at a mid-major basketball program in Davidson College, a small private school in North Carolina. As a sophomore, Curry's scoring and three-point shooting developed a national following as he led the Wildcats within a game of the Final Four in the 2008 NCAA Tournament. The following season, he was a consensus first-team All-American and led the nation in scoring with an average of 28.6 points per game.
Thompson played at Washington State University, which was not considered a basketball powerhouse. He was only lightly recruited by the other Pacific-10 (now Pacific-12) schools, prompting him to move from California to Washington. Thompson became a two-time, first-team All-Pac-10 player, and led the conference in scoring with 21.6 points per game in 2010–11. He finished his Cougars career holding the school record for most career three-pointers (242).
Golden State Warriors
Golden State selected the Script error: No such module "convert". Curry in the first round of the 2009 NBA draft with the seventh overall pick. Although the Warriors already had another lean, 6-foot-3, offensive-minded guard in Monta Ellis, Coach Don Nelson had a penchant for using small lineups in his Nellie Ball system, and had warmed to the idea of selecting Curry. However, Ellis announced at a media session that he and Curry were too small to play together. Two years later, while Curry and Ellis were still adjusting to each other, the Warriors added another scoring guard in the Script error: No such module "convert". Thompson, who they drafted in the first round with the 11th overall pick in 2011. Curry and Thompson had limited time together in their first year as teammates; the 2011–12 season was shortened to 66 games because of the NBA lockout, and Curry missed 40 games due to injuries. Towards the end of the season, Golden State traded the fan-favorite Ellis in a deal for center Andrew Bogut, leaving Curry to lead the team and opening the shooting guard position to Thompson, who provided needed size to their backcourt.
In 2012–13, Curry and Thompson combined to make 483 three-pointers, the most ever by an NBA duo.[a] Curry set an NBA record with 272 made three-pointers, while Thompson added 211, at the time the 22nd best season in league history. Warriors coach Mark Jackson opined that the tandem was "the greatest shooting backcourt of all time." Golden State advanced to the second round of the NBA playoffs before losing to the eventual Western Conference champion San Antonio Spurs. Curry and Thompson in 2013–14 became the first teammates to finish first and second in three-pointers, making 261 and 223, respectively. They also extended their combined three-pointer record by one (484), and together averaged 42.4 points per game. With Curry making 42.4 percent of his three-point attempts and Thompson converting 41.7 percent, ESPN.com wrote that "no backcourt in history has rivaled the Splash Brothers in both categories of 3-point volume and efficiency." During the offseason, they were both members of the 2014 U.S. national team that won the gold at FIBA World Cup. The two combined to make more three-pointers than any other duo in the tournament, accounting for 43 of Team USA's 77 threes in 13 games. Thompson established himself as a star in the international competition, and emerged more as Curry's peer rather than his sidekick. He was the second-leading scorer for Team USA, averaging 12.7 points, while Curry added 10.7.[b]
Prior to the 2014–15 season, the Warriors considered breaking up the pair and trading Thompson for Kevin Love, but ultimately kept their starting backcourt intact and signed Thompson to a four-year, $70 million contract extension. That season, Curry and Thompson each scored 50 points in a game, just the seventh time it had occurred on the same team in an NBA season, and the first time since 1994–95.[c] They both started in the 2015 NBA All-Star Game, becoming the first teammates to be the starting guards in an All-Star Game since 1975.[d] Curry received the most All-Star fan votes of any player for his second straight All-Star start. Coming off NBA single-quarter records of 37 points and nine three-pointers during his 52-point game in January, Thompson was making his All-Star debut. He was voted onto the team as a reserve by Western Conference coaches before being named as a replacement starter by West coach Steve Kerr, who had become the Warriors coach that season. The Splash Brothers were the Warriors' first All-Star duo since Tim Hardaway and Chris Mullin in 1993, and the franchise's first pair of starters in the All-Star game since Rick Barry and Nate Thurmond in 1967. During All-Star Weekend, Curry and Thompson also competed in the Three-Point Contest, which was widely considered to have the greatest field of contestants in the event's history. They both advanced to the three-man final round before Curry won the contest. The Warriors finished Kerr's first season with a league-best 67–15 record, the most wins ever by an NBA rookie coach, and Curry captured the NBA Most Valuable Player Award. Kerr had Curry guard opposing point guards, which Curry credited with keeping him more focused; Jackson had previously assigned that defensive responsibility to the longer Thompson. Additionally, Curry broke his own record for three-pointers (286), and Thompson again finished second in the league (239) as the two combined to make 525 threes, surpassing their previous record by 41 while converting an impressive 44 percent of their shots. They were both named to the All-NBA Team, with Curry being named to the first team, and Thompson earning third-team honors. It was the first time Warriors teammates were named All-NBA in the same season since Mullin (first team) and Hardaway (second) were recognized in 1991–92. Curry and Thompson were the first backcourt mates to be selected All-NBA since 1979–80, when Gus Williams and Dennis Johnson of Seattle were both named to the second team.
The Splash Brothers nickname refers to the duo's ability to "splash" the net with the ball, particularly on three-point shots. The term began in 2012 in a tweet from Brian Witt, a writer for the Warriors website. On December 12 against the Charlotte Bobcats, Curry and Thompson had combined for 25 points and seven 3-pointers by halftime, when Witt posted an update of their performance with a #SplashBrothers hashtag; Golden State would win the game 115–100. The name was a play off an older nickname for another pair of San Francisco Bay Area teammates, baseball players Jose Canseco and Mark McGwire, who were known as the Bash Brothers when they played for the Oakland Athletics. The Warriors liked the nickname, and encouraged Witt to continue tweeting it.
- Previous record was 435 by the Orlando Magic's Dennis Scott and Nick Anderson in 1995–96, when the NBA briefly had a shorter three-point line with a uniform distance of Script error: No such module "convert".
- James Harden averaged 14.2 to lead the U.S. in scoring.
- Jamal Mashburn and Jim Jackson of the Dallas Mavericks each scored 50 in 1994–95.
- Walt Frazier and Earl Monroe of the New York Knicks started for the Eastern Conference in 1975.
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