Steph Curry put on a performance for the ages against the Sacramento Kings to give the Golden State Warriors a much needed 116-113 win to end a five-game losing streak.
Curry was playing like a man with the weight of the world on his shoulders, ending with a season high 47 points on 17-for-24 shooting, eight rebounds, eight assists and going 7-for-12 from three-point range.
Andrew Wiggins added 25 points and 10 rebounds and Klay Thompson chipped in with 16 to help the Warriors over the line. Draymond Green also had a solid all-around performance with 11 points, eight rebounds and six assists.
But the night was all about Curry, who was dominant from tip-off until the final buzzer when he made two free throws with 1.3 seconds on the clock to seal the win.
He has sunk 53 three-pointers after 10 games, a mark that has only been surpassed once, by himself in the 2018/19 season.
Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said after the game, “Steph was breathtaking. He’s one of the greatest players of all time. He plays well on so many nights … this even seemed like something special for him.”
Green added: “It was very Game 4 of the NBA Finals to me. He just wasn’t going to allow us to lose.”
While Curry was brilliant, the Warriors’ early season struggles were apparent, with the bench play coming up short from the starting five’s usual brilliance.
That gap was apparent against the Kings. The Warriors, after resting four of their stars in their last game, took a 12-point lead after eight minutes. But after the starters were subbed out, the Kings overturned the deficit and ended the quarter with a two-point lead, 31-29.
That pattern would continue, with the Warriors bench being outscored 49-15 by the Kings. The Kings extended their lead in the second, outscoring the Dubs by 10 and taking a 12-point lead into halftime, but with Kerr losing faith in his bench, he kept on his starters who, led by Curry, clawed back into the game.
By the end of the third quarter, the Warriors were still down by nine points, but Curry took it to the next level.
He scored 17 points in the final quarter and, with the Warriors up by one later, he made two clutch free throws to kill the game.
It was Curry’s eighth 30-point haul in 10 games so far this year, matching a franchise mark by Warriors greats Wilt Chamberlain and Rick Barry, and Curry’s 32.6 point per game average so far would be the highest of his career.
After the game, Curry said: “That’s the story of this team. As vets, you understand every year is a little different and you are ready for that challenge. For these young guys to try and find themselves in this league and also a specific role, it’s challenging.”
And that is the challenge for Kerr, getting the most out of the young talents around the seasoned vets.
With Green’s and Thompson’s injury concerns, the Warriors will have to get more from their bench as the season progresses. But if this performance is anything to go by, maybe all the Dubs need is Curry.