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Warriors marvel at Stephen Curry’s magnificent 45-point outburst

© Kyle Terada | 2021 Oct 21

Stephen Curry exploded for his 50th career 40-point game in the Warriors’ home-opening win over the Los Angeles Clippers. 

Only 17 other players have recorded as many 40-point performances. But it’s become almost commonplace for Curry, who led the NBA in scoring in 2020-21 with 32 points per game. 

That still doesn’t prevent Curry’s teammates and head coach from often being in awe at the 33-year-old’s magic. 

“I’m still blown away,” GSW head coach Steve Kerr said. “There’s never been anybody like him. Not just the shooting range. The competitiveness, the guts. Just an amazing player.” 

Thursday, Curry nailed 3-pointers in a wide variety of ways. Off the dribble, give-and-go, catch-and-shoot, in transition and in the half court. From the wing and from the logo. 

Would GSW head coach Steve Kerr have attempted any of them while he was playing? “I would’ve thrown it to Michael Jordan,” Kerr said. 

Forward Draymond Green, who’s played all 10 of his NBA seasons with Curry, summed up his reaction to Curry’s shots after seeing so many through the years.

“Some of them like, ‘Jesus Christ. What the hell?’” Green said. “And the majority of them, that’s money. Even some of them that are like ‘What the hell,’ still kind of thinking it’s money, but like why the hell did he just shoot that shot? I expect all of them to go in regardless of how ridiculous some of them are that he decides to take. Still expect them to go in because he makes those ridiculous-ass shots.

“And that’s what he’s done over the course of his career. That’s why he’s become who he’s become. That’s why he’s great. That’s why he’s one of the top players in this league and one of the top players to ever play this game. Tough shot taker, tough shot maker.” 

Curry hit eight of his 13 3-point attempts. He never stops moving, which makes it impossible for defenses to stay latched onto him for an entire game.

His 45-point barrage came one game after Curry struggled shooting, going 5-for-21 in a win over the Lakers in the Staples Center. He said he never worries about his shot. He’s earned that confidence. 

“For me, I’m always impressed,” Green said of Curry. “It’s a very impressive thing that he’s doing. But I’m not surprised. Especially with Steph coming off a game like Tuesday, you’ve got to know he’s coming out firing. He doesn’t have too many off shooting nights. Definitely impressed, but not surprised at all.”

The full array of scoring was on display against the Clippers, as he leveraged the threat of his range to get defenders off balance. He beat Luke Kennard, Marcus Morris and just about anyone LA put in front of him to get to the rim off the bounce. 

Twenty-five of Currys 45 points came in his career-best first quarter in which he shot a perfect 9-for-9 from the floor with five 3s. He added 10 more in the fourth quarter, including two dagger triples. 

His final 3 came after he threw a hit-ahead pass to Damion Lee, then followed it to free himself. Curry said postgame he didn’t necessarily know Lee would pass the ball back to him, but made sure his teammate saw him flying toward him. “It was a read and react situation, but I was also a little thirsty,” Curry said.

So Curry received Lee’s pass and rose in one-motion, sinking the go-ahead bucket over Reggie Jackson. 

“Any time the ball leaves the hand, I think it’s good,” forward Andrew Wiggins said. “Any time.”

 

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