It was a Steph show at Oracle Sunday evening, and the Washington Wizards had matinee tickets.
Stephen Curry poured in 42 points with nine 3-pointers, eight assists and just one turnover, and scored on an array of dazzling looks that left Oracle and the Wizards defense in a constant state of bewilderment.
And led the Warriors to a 139-115 walloping of the Wizards.
Curry put on a show early, scoring in double digits in the first three quarters, and before halftime already had 22 points, six assists on 6-of-9 from the 3-point line. And he did things like this:
Gortat never had a chance….. pic.twitter.com/1CucoI1V3N
— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) April 3, 2017
The break at halftime did nothing to slow Curry down, as he saved his most insane plays for last. Including his last two finishes at the rim where any lesser human would have been forced into a turnover or an embarrassingly bad attempt.
What even is that?
It’s like night and day with Curry on and off the court Steve Kerr said:
“He’s humble and cocky at the same time, which is why we like him. He’s a very humble, modest human being, which guys respect and he’s an arrogant basketball player.”
Perhaps Curry was motivated from getting no love in the MVP race, or maybe he still remembers Bradley Beal and John Wall proclaiming they were the best backcourt in the NBA. Whatever it was, Curry came out looking to steal the show and it wasn’t difficult at all.
For his part, Curry said it’s all about his confidence on the court:
“It’s what I expect to do every night even if it doesn’t happen. It’s the same confidence I have going into every game. I made my first three shots I think and then after that the opportunities I got, with rhythm shots and finding openings, the ball was moving all over the court, it was a fun style of game tonight.”
Curry may have been the star, but he got plenty of help as Shaun Livingston scored a season-high 17 points with seven rebounds on 8-of-10 shooting.
After struggling for much of the season Livingston is hitting his stride—just in time for the playoffs. In his last seven games he’s shot 23-of-29 from the field and has looked as sharp as ever on both ends of the court.
All of this is thanks to the way his body has been feeling Livingston said:
“Just my body feeling better. Coming off the road trip it was tough… You want to feel good about your body and the better I feel about my body, the better I feel about my game.”
Draymond Green was his usual self, notching another triple-double with 11 points, 12 boards and 13 assists and played his expected brand of help defense.
But the triple-double — which Green didn’t get till the very end — isn’t something he hunts out, especially after that got the team into problems last year:
“I had my selfish moment last year trying to chase a triple-double, it ain’t for me. I don’t get off on stats, it does nothing for me. I’ve always been the type of guy that I rather you have it than me.”
Green and the rest of the Warriors were able to limit the explosive Wall to just 4-of-11 shooting and three turnovers.
Just add Wall to the list of MVP candidates the Warriors have frustrated recently. That stretch of games has really set the tone for the groove the Warriors are in right now. Five games in eight days all against playoff teams, Memphis, Houston, San Antonio, Houston and Washington.
And the Warriors humbled all of them, the closest game was eight, and this all coming without Kevin Durant. The Warriors turned the toughest stretch into a statement.
All those MVP front-runners regressed back to the average against the Warriors, Curry has done the opposite. Well, technically you can call this an average Curry performance, there’s a reason the hashtag Steph gonna Steph exists.
Karl-Anthony Towns and the Minnesota Timberwolves will visit Oakland Tuesday as the Warriors wrap up their three-game stint at home. The Warriors conclude their final stretch of the regular season with four of their last five games against lottery-bound teams, and Minnesota comes in losers of seven of their last nine games.
Kevin Durant has been ruled out for at least the next three games, which means if he is going to return before the end of the regular season it will be sometime during their final homestand. And Steve Kerr said before the game that is still the plan. … In other injury news Kevon Looney missed his third straight game with a hip injury. And although they have a spot open with injuries to both Looney and Durant, they currently plan to let rookie Damian Jones stay in Santa Cruz for the D-League playoffs. … JaVale McGee has now totaled 11 blocks in his last three games. Although his athleticism lets him alter many shots in the air, he hasn’t swatted a bunch of them until this streak. He’s only averaging 0.8 blocks per game. … The game ended on a strange note as Brandon Jennings was called for a flagrant foul on a 3-point shot from JaVale McGee with just six seconds left in the game. Kerr said JaVale shouldn’t have taken a 3-pointer and apologized to Wizards coach Scott Brooks, but the rest of the Warriors defended McGee. McGee even thanked Jennings for fouling him:
“I’m glad he pushed me to tell you the truth. Say he didn’t push me, I would have airballed and it would have looked horrible. So shout out to Brandon Jennings.”