Golden State Warriors

Curry peaking as Warriors prepare for most important regular season game in NBA history

Steph Curry GS Warriors

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stephen curry

The noteworthy part about Friday night’s game was the return of Steve Kerr. That lasted about, oh, 30 seconds. After the crowd cheered Kerr during pregame intros (Kerr waved the camera away, in a “c’mon, let’s get on with it” kind of way), the attention was on Steph Curry.

Curry started the season putting up numbers we’ve never seen. But almost quietly — not exactly Curry’s style — he’s back on that unfathomable pace.

Friday night’s 122-110 win over the Pacers was Curry’s best game since he went bananas in Toronto. He had 39 points, 12 assists, 10 rebounds and made eight threes. Mostly, the Warriors seemed lost when he wasn’t on the floor. The Pacers are just 23-20, while the Warriors are 40-4. Winning at home over Indiana by 12 seems like it should’ve been preordained, but the Pacers gave the Warriors some trouble in this game. That trouble only seemed to surface when Curry was off the floor, however.

Curry was a game-high +22 on the night. The reserves were all negative, thanks mostly to 19-year-old rookie center Myles Turner going off for 31 points on 17 shots in 28 minutes to keep the Pacers in the game. But the Warriors’ offense bogged down whenever Curry was off the floor, as it often does. The Pacers played excellent defense at times, but the Curry-fueled chaos was too much to handle most of the time.

Now that we’ve got that game out of the way, THE SPURS ARE COMING. THE SPURS ARE COMING. THE SPURS ARE COMING. THE SPURS ARE COMING.

The NFL conference championship games on Sunday are simply appetizers for what’s about to happen in Oakland on Monday night. And the Warriors not only have their coach back … the best player on the planet also happens to be in the middle of one of his best sustained stretches of the season. Notice how we haven’t heard a thing about his shin bruise for a while?

Now we’ll get to see if Gregg Popovich will provide any clues as to how they’re going to defend Curry if/when the Spurs and Warriors meet in the playoffs. Simply trapping him won’t do, but they have Kawhi Leonard. Should be fun.

Dub Steps

— Seriously?

— Steph has become an elite celebrator. Which makes sense. The guy has a lot of practice.

— The Warriors held Paul George to 12 points on 5-of-15 shooting. It was easy to forget he was there for long stretches.

— With Turner improving quickly, and the Pacers looking pretty spry without George playing well or George Hill, Ian Mahinmi, and Rodney Stuckey in the lineup, it’s not all that hard to imagine them giving the Cavs a fight at the end of the season. This is a team that changed pretty drastically from a year ago, they play hard, and Frank Vogel seems like one of the better coaches in the league. They should only get better as time goes on, right?

— Festus Ezeli is averaging a foul every four minutes in his last three games.

— Harrison Barnes went 2-for-10, but he had 11 rebounds and five assists — including that pass to Curry in the corner, where Curry set his feet and swished a three.

— The bench could be a problem on Monday night. Mo Speights looks awful (and only played because Ezeli picked up three fouls in three minutes). Leandro Barbosa, Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston can play, and Ian Clark is a dependable shooter, but the Spurs are big. They’ll need Ezeli to avoid unnecessary fouls. Speights probably isn’t worth trusting at this point.

— Iguodala’s game, compressed into seven seconds.

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