Why the Warriors star is one of the legends of the NBA

Lost in the whirlwind of his 50-point, 10-assists masterpiece on Monday night, Stephen Curry walked around the court chirping “say it” and a bunch of other stuff he couldn’t see because he was chewing. a mouth guard.

Teammate Damion Lee raised the bar in his comments after the Warriors’ fifth straight double-digit victory, a 127-113 win over Atlanta, by saying Curry was already among the NBA’s top 75 players – and could possibly have. -be raised to be on a top 50, 25 or even 10 list.

By Tuesday, it was clear that Curry could pretend he was heading to Mount Rushmore from basketball.

Stats, Curry’s 50-10 game only made him the third in Warriors franchise history with those numbers, joining Rick Barry and Wilt Chamberlain. Curry’s 10th career game with at least 50 points tied him with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Only Michael Jordan has had more games of at least 45 points after the age of 32.

Jordan, Abdul-Jabbar, Chamberlain. These are the names, and none of them were improving at 33.

“It was just a stunning performance from Steph,” said Warriors head coach Steve Kerr. “He’s up to the occasion over and over again, because he loves the challenge. You could see Steph’s competitiveness in full screen.

Opponents of the Warriors had recorded a total of 39-64 (0.379) heading into Tuesday’s games, but, among them, the Clippers and Hawks played their respective conference finals last season. In games against these two opponents, Curry averaged 47.5 points on 53.1% 3-pointershots, 8.5 rebounds, 5.5 assists and 2.0 steals.

Curry took him to another level against the Hawks in the third quarter, when Atlanta had the audacity to defend him one-on-one with Kevin Huerter during a stretch. The two-time MVP totaled 18 points and five assists in the third, but in a span of 1:47 when no one was helping Huerter it got serious.

There was one and one, a 29-footer, a steal, four free throws, a rebound and an assist on a 3-point Juan Toscano-Anderson that put the Warriors, once led by 15, ahead by 17. In a match that Curry had already done the “who knows?” Jordan pulls back after a 3-point made and Carl Landry’s bicep flex after a pullback, Curry has taken it up a notch with his demonstrations.

He hit his chest, seeming to forget about his “stuck” left shoulder, and saliva bounced off his mouthguard. He repeatedly shouted, “Say it.”

Which: Minnesota (3-6) vs. Warriors (9-1)

When: 7:00 p.m.

Television / Radio: NBCSBA / 95.7


He knew it would be one of those nights long before the third quarter.

Curry tried to explain entering one of those areas that only a handful of people have ever felt. He said that when he makes the first two shots, finds a rhythm and the ball feels good in his hand, he knows there is a chance for an “explosion”.

“You come out in the third quarter, and that’s when you start to wait for that avalanche to drop,” Curry said. “It made.”

In fact, the anticipation should have started much earlier.

After shooting 40.7% from the ground – worse than his career 3-point shooting percentage – in the past five games, Curry’s pre-game preparation with assistant coach Bruce Fraser has focused on its shooting and its mechanics.

“I need you to have a little more conviction as to when it’s time to shoot,” Curry recalled, telling Fraser.

“It was just a little seed that he planted.”

Curry, who has been congested, tired and struggling to breathe over the past week, scored the Warriors’ first 13 points, including taking a 10-2 lead in the opening 2 minutes and 10 seconds.

Andre Iguodala, who typically spends the first five minutes prepping his 37-year-old body for a substitute in the game, rushed out of the bowels of the Chase Center when he heard Atlanta called a time-out.

“After the first two minutes of the game, Andre comes out of the tunnel and looks up,” said Lee. “Damn, does he already have 10?” “”

Curry then scored 40 points over his next 33 minutes, with the last two being the toughest.

With 6:48 left in the fourth quarter, Curry had 48 points. He missed his next two 3 points and a runner as his teammates rushed to retrieve the ball for him.

Kerr told Curry, “It’s time to get out.” Curry nodded.

With a replacement at the scoring table, Curry dribbled three Atlanta defensemen and shot a float on a quarterback to reach 50.

“You never go out with a number in mind,” Curry said. “When you throw it, you keep going. “

Rusty Simmons is a writer for the San Francisco Chronicle. Email: [email protected] Twitter: @Rusty_SFChron

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