Offensively, the Warriors didn’t have much more than Stephen Curry on Monday night.
Turns out, it was more than enough.
Curry exploded for 50 points in the Warriors’ 127-113 blowout victory over the Atlanta Hawks. It’s the most impressive win of the year for the league-leading Warriors, and maybe the most impressive in Chase Center’s brief history.
Curry was unstoppable, leading the Warriors in a game where the next leading scorer had 16 (Jordan Poole) and outpacing an Atlanta team that shot over 46 percent.
Curry finished with 50 points, seven rebounds, 10 assists and just two turnovers. He was an insane +31 — vs. a team that was in the Eastern Conference Finals last season — when Curry was on the floor. He did it on 14-for-28 shooting, hit nine 3s, and was a perfect 13-for-13 from the free throw line.
By the way, Curry is now 50-for-51 from the free throw line to start the season. That’s pretty good.
It was the two-time MVP’s performance in the third quarter that was the difference, his 17 points leading the Warriors to a 41-20 showing in the frame after entering the second half down four. It was a 12 minute period that decided the game, demoralizing the Hawks and sending Chase Center into a frenzy.
Curry’s primary victim was Atlanta wing Kevin Huerter. The 6-foot-7, 3-and-D wing had an excellent start to the game, dropping 11 points in the first half, one of many Hawks players that seemed immune to Golden State’s defense.
He got the Curry assignment in the third quarter and was cooked, accumulating five fouls by the end of the frame. He also didn’t score again.
It was a dominant performance from beginning to end for Curry, who opened the game by scoring eight points in just over two minutes, forcing an early Hawks timeout.
The only thing that briefly stopped Curry vs. the Hawks’ 27th ranked defense was an issue to his left shoulder. Curry injured it while fighting over a screen mid-way through the first quarter, causing him enough discomfort to have to wear a large wrap on the bench when he sat during the first half. Ultimately, it didn’t prove to be an issue.
While Curry didn’t have a ton of help when it came to scoring, the Warriors as a whole were excellent on the defensive end despite an incredible Atlanta shooting performance to start the game. Entering as the league’s top ranked defense, Golden State gave up 65 points in the first half. Even as the shots continued to fall, the Warriors beat Atlanta in the possession game, causing 18 turnovers to flip the script.
They also put a cap on Trae Young, who was trading baskets with Curry in the first half, scoring 21 to Steph’s 24. Young scored just seven total in the second half.
It should be noted, that while nobody else on Golden State had a standout offensive game, everybody was solid. The team has a whole shot over 47 percent, and moved the ball impeccably, combining for 31 assists to just 13 turnovers.
The win over the Hawks is the Warriors’ fifth straight double-digit win, previously beating the Thunder, Hornets, Pelicans, Rockets by 21, 22, 41, 13 respectively. Their 9-1 record is the best in the NBA.