SAN FRANCISCO — Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr has run out of words to describe the play of Stephen Curry to start the season. Earlier this week, he said Curry was “breathtaking.” After Friday night’s 106-101 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers, Kerr used “spectacular.”
Curry scored 40 points against the Cavs, including 18 in the fourth quarter, marking the sixth time he has scored at least 10 points in the fourth this season. Curry shot 15-of-23 from the field, including 6-of-11 on 3-pointers.
“I classify it as being aggressive,” Curry said on his numerous late-game takeovers. “Obviously, shots have to fall, but it’s about having aggressive attacks off of pick-and-roll, getting other guys involved, getting to the paint and finishing, coming out shooting. A lot of confidence carried over from our playoff run last year. It’s understanding the balance of playmaking and scoring.”
Curry has now scored at least 30 points in nine of his 11 games. At 34, he is also the oldest player with consecutive 40-point games since Michael Jordan in 2002.
“He’s just amazing night after night,” Kerr said. “Given the circumstances with our team kind of in a rut, trying to dig our way out of a hole, he’s just been spectacular. He’s never been better, I can say that.”
For Warriors forward Draymond Green, what has stood out the most through Curry’s scorching start are the reads he is making.
Green pointed out one play down the stretch Friday night where Curry heard Cleveland coach J.B. Bickerstaff tell his bigs to stay in the paint. Curry came over to the Warriors’ bench and told his teammates to face out so he could pull the ball closer to half court.
The subsequent play resulted in Kevon Looney setting a screen on Jarrett Allen, freeing up Curry for a 3-pointer.
“He is setting all of this stuff up,” Green said. “We have seen [Curry do this] for years, but I think it’s how he is doing it and how he is putting guys in the spots that he wants them in, that’s what I’m impressed with. The growth there is absolutely amazing.
“To notice all of those things and actually get to the exact shot that you want to get to and then making it is a whole different thing … to actually set that up and then go deliver is very impressive.”
The Warriors (5-7) have counted on Curry to deliver these kinds of moments and performances all season. He has undoubtedly been carrying a heavier load to help his team find any kind of success so far this year.
But as it stands, the Warriors aren’t concerned about Curry’s stamina or workload.
“At the end of the day, Steph is going to carry the majority of the load offensively. That’s just who he is and what he does,” Green said. “No need to panic or get weary now. But I think guys are starting to find their rhythm and it’ll all come together. It’s a process.”
Curry got help Friday night from Andrew Wiggins, who finished with 20 points; Jordan Poole, who after struggling to start the year scored 18 points; and two-way player Anthony Lamb, who added 10.
Kerr says that Curry’s fitness and strength are the areas where he has seen the most growth during his nine years in Golden State.
Curry doesn’t consider this to be the best he has felt to start a season but said it’s more about maintaining the rhythm he had toward the end of last season and carrying it over to now.
“Considering our struggles early and how we’re trying to get over the hump as a team, it’s nice to know you can will your way into big games like that to help us get some solid momentum,” Curry said. “We’ll see how long it lasts.”