Stephen Curry shows his reaction after getting a foul call against Portland during the first quarter of their game at Chase Center on Sunday. Scott Strazzante captured the moment for The Chronicle.
During the Warriors’ game against the Trail Blazers, Stephen Curry achieved a personal milestone by scoring a career-high 62 points. His impressive performance was highlighted by a remarkable shot where he caught a pass along the left wing and, despite being covered by two defenders, managed to throw a 3-pointer as he fell. As he rose to his feet, mimicking a bird in flight, his opponents looked confused and annoyed. The official box score labeled the play a “27-foot running pullup jump shot,” but it can only be truly described as the work of the best shooter in NBA history. In just 36 minutes and 31 shots, Curry proved his greatness and sent a warning to other teams not to underestimate him.
Two days after Trail Blazers’ Damian Lillard commented that Curry appears mortal without the support of future Hall of Famers, Curry proved him wrong by scoring 31 points in each half. This made him the first player since Kobe Bryant to score 30 points in both halves during a game. Curry surpassed James Harden’s record for most points scored by a player this season with 60 points, joining the ranks of Wilt Chamberlain, Joe Fulks, Rick Barry, and Klay Thompson as the only players in franchise history to achieve this feat. Warriors head coach Steve Kerr praised Curry’s leadership and talent, stating that the team is fortunate to have him as their leader. Despite the absence of fans due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Curry’s teammates provided updates on his point total while he dazzled the court with his signature dribbling, scoop shots, and deep 3-pointers.
Thanks to Curry’s exceptional performance, the Warriors were able to overcome the haunting memory of their 25-point loss to the Trail Blazers on Friday. They managed to take a 20-point lead in the third quarter and hold on tight to secure the victory. Moreover, the supporting cast demonstrated that they are adapting to Curry’s style of play and learning how to complement his brilliance. It’s safe to say that Draymond Green also played a crucial role in Curry’s spectacular performance and the team’s much-needed return to form.
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During the first five games of the season, Stephen Curry faced challenges in finding his rhythm as he adjusted to a team that only had two active players he has played with extensively – Kevon Looney and Draymond Green. This is a common occurrence as new players usually require a few months to adapt to Curry’s fast-paced style, according to Coach Kerr. As a player who frequently moves off the ball, Curry relies on his teammates’ understanding of the Warriors’ read-and-react system for him to perform at his best. Despite this reality, Curry and his teammates received criticism in the previous week.
Stephen Curry’s performance on Sunday night was a statement to those who have doubted his abilities in recent years. After Portland Trail Blazers’ Damian Lillard commented that it was tough for Curry to get quality looks with a young team, numerous online memes surfaced showing multiple defenders bombarding Curry. Although Lillard’s comments were fair, Curry used the perceived slight to fuel his game and scored 62 points, becoming the fifth player in Warriors history to score at least 60 points in a game. With Klay Thompson still sidelined due to injury, Curry knows that he must have an MVP-caliber year for the Warriors to contend in a highly competitive Western Conference. Despite the pressure, Curry’s teammates recognize that he opens things up for everyone else and the more shots he has, the better it is for their team.