Curry, who stunningly went 0 for 10 from 3-point range on Friday in a loss to the Los Angeles Lakers, scored 46 points and shot 13 for 17 from deep. Somewhere, Kobe Bryant and Donyell Marshall are surely commiserating over no longer sharing the single-game 3-point record with Curry, and they’re acknowledging that it was only a matter of time.
Anthony Davis, forever a thorn in the Warriors’ side, led the winless Pelicans with 33 points on 11-of-18 shooting, plus 13 rebounds, but it was not enough. Takeaways:
Steph, Steph, Steph, Steph, Steph, Steph, Steph, Steph, Steph, Steph, Steph, Steph, Steph: This was a reminder that you never know when the back-to-back MVP is going to erupt. Curry played like the man who won those awards, and it wasn’t just about the sheer number of 3s that he made. It was the way Curry hunted for his opportunities, creating magic out of broken plays and bringing the Oracle Arena crowd to its feet with highlight plays. Look at this 3-pointer from the second quarter:
My favorite part of that clip is Durant’s reaction. He leans back as the shot is in the air, as if he’s willing it into the basket. When it drops through the net, he snaps his head back in disbelief. It’s a bit of a cliche to say that stars can reduce their teammates to crazed fans, but this is an example of that happening in real time … before anybody had any idea that a record would be broken.
Curry is the only player in the league with the audacity to take that shot with 19 seconds on the shot clock. When he launches it like that, it’s obvious that he’s in the zone.
Last year, it seemed like he was on a hot streak essentially all season. This year, it has come in spurts, as if he’s a mere mortal. For Golden State to be at its best, he has to play with that sort of flair as often as possible. His team feeds off it. This was just the first time he eclipsed the 30-point mark in the regular season, and you can bet it won’t be anywhere near the last.
Draymond staying in his lane: Draymond Green scored four measly points, but his fingerprints were all over this one. There has been a lot of discussion about how he will handle his reduced role on offense, but there haven’t been many signs that he has a problem with it lately. This might have been his best all-around game of the young season — he finished with 11 assists, 12 rebounds, two blocks and two steals in 35 minutes.
Green’s shot has been off this month, but Golden State will struggle if he lets that affect the other parts of his game. His importance to the team defensively and on the glass can hardly be overstated, and his passing is maybe even more of an asset now that the Warriors have another deadly weapon on the roster. Green isn’t going back to the days when he was just seen as an energy guy; he’s merely giving up touches and shots while finding other ways to impact the game.
These Pelicans fight: You have to feel for New Orleans. The team’s offseason was all about acquiring defensive reinforcements, but with Jrue Holiday and Tyreke Evans out of the lineup, its offense has been a disaster. There is only so much Davis can do when he is seeing triple-teams and his teammates are missing jumpers.
For all the criticism of the Pelicans during their 0-7 start, you can’t say there has been an effort problem. Credit them for hanging in there this time while at an extreme talent disadvantage. They made a point of attacking the paint as much as possible, getting to the line a ton and moving the ball when Davis attracted multiple defenders. Tim Frazier is continuing to make a name for himself, finishing with 13 points and 10 assists while trying to keep up with Curry. New Orleans turned the ball over too much to have a real chance with Curry going off, though, and Buddy Hield‘s shaky jumper continues to be a mystery.