The Oracle Arena crowd had waited patiently. Sure, Kevin Durant has picked up the pieces, but no one gets one of sports’ loudest venues roaring quite like Stephen Curry.
Until Monday night, “Roaracle” had been forced to sit on its collective hands waiting for a “Curry flurry.” They wait no more, as the Golden State Warriors (5-2) pulled away late behind a 46-point outburst from their leader, holding off a stubborn 0-7 New Orleans Pelicans squad 116-106.
This story has been updated with quotes and post-game material from the Warriors’ locker room at Oracle Arena.
It didn’t include one of Curry’s patented 20-point periods, of which he has 12 since the beginning of last season, nine more than anyone else in the association. Rather, the back-to-back MVP went with an evenly distributed scoring night, scoring double figures in each of the first three. It ended with an all-time NBA record of 13 three-pointers made in a game — on just 17 attempts.
Curry, who in February of last season tied the then record of 12 made threes in a game, said this was a magical mark for him:
“Ever since I tied it, I’ve thought about what it would take to get one more. When you know what the record is and you get to 12, and you tie it, it’s kind of a cool feeling. But, if you get that close, there is a little something that says, ‘try to get one more and get the record for yourself.'”
He now holds the record for threes in a season (402) as well as game (13). But this latest record performance came one game after seeing his record streak of 157 games with a made three come to an end.
Warriors Head Coach Steve Kerr said it was expected for his sharp-shooting guard to rebound the way he did:
“That was quite a show. Not at all surprising, the way Steph bounces back from bad nights.”
“I don’t overreact to games like that, whether I go 0-for-10 or 2-for-12, my process is the same. But, I’ve had another level of focus the past few days, trying to get my rhythm back.”
The same nagging issues were still present for the Warriors (5-2). They turned the ball over 15 times and allowed 100-plus points to the opposition for the sixth time in seven games.
Those issues led to the Pelicans trimming a 21-point lead with 2:11 left in the first half to a 14-point lead at the break. New Orleans once again cut into that lead in the fourth, trimming it to single digits before Curry’s record-breaking three put a kibosh on the comeback with 2:23 left.
With an eruption the likes of which so few are capable, Curry allowed the mishaps of he and his team to dissipate into the ether.
Along with his “Splash Brother,” Klay Thompson enjoyed an awakening of sorts, hitting on two of seven from deep — 11-for-20 overall — to chip in 24 points. Draymond Green added a double-double — 12 rebounds and 11 assists — despite scoring just four points, adding two steals and two blocks.
Green said that, while his scoring is down from a year ago, he has happily taken on the role of distributor. On this night, his role as distributor found Curry as the lead recipient, as Green was credited with an assist on four of Curry’s threes, including the record setter.
“When he’s going off like that, you don’t really have to try to find him he’ll find a way to get the shot off.”
“Set screens, try to find him and, sometimes, just get out of the way.”
The Pelicans were paced by Anthony Davis, who posted team highs in points (33) and rebounds (13) while recording his team’s only block.
The next test for the Warriors will bring former teammates Harrison Barnes and Andrew Bogut back to Oracle, when the Dallas Mavericks (1-5) visit on Wednesday. It will be Barnes’ first time playing in Oakland as a visitor, and Bogut’s first trip to the Bay since prior to his trade from the Milwaukee Bucks in 2012.
With 22 points, Kevin Durant pushed his streak of consecutive 20-point games to 71, moving past Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. He is now tied with Abdul-Jabbar for the fifth-longest streak, and one game behind Michael Jordan‘s longest such streak. … Golden State continues to search for bench scoring. The five substitutes who were used combined for 18 points — Andre Iguodala led with eight — in 84 minutes. … The Warriors were once again out-rebounded, 43-38. They have won the rebounding battle just once this season — a 122-96 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder. … Zaza Pachulia posted a team-worst minus-14 point differential, leading to a season-low 11 minutes. Iguodala’s plus-19 were a game high.