Stephen Curry Drops 51 in Obliteration of Wizards, Warriors win 144-122.
After a dominant win over the Phoenix Suns, the Golden State Warriors (3-1) took on the Washington Wizards (1-2) at home. The Warriors were looking to build off their momentum from the previous game, but also heat up from distance, as they were among the worst three-point shooting teams in the league through four games. The Wizards were coming off of an overtime win over the Trail Blazers, and were looking to get their record to .500. Shaun Livingston returned to the Warriors after missing the last two games, so the Warriors were fully healthy once again. This was the debut game for the Warriors new gold alternate jerseys inspired by the 1975 championship team. The Golden State Warriors went on to win the game 144-122.
Kevin Durant got the first quarter started with an elbow jumper, and that was the beginning of just a red-hot beginning of the game for him. The two teams traded baskets for the first few minutes, but the Warriors begun to pull away thanks to some stellar plays. Kevin Durant was a perfect 4-4 from the field, and he even though down an incredible dunk off of a perfect pass from Draymond Green. Stephen Curry nailed a step-back three for his first points of the quarter, and he had five when the first timeout was called. The Wizards offense was stalling a bit because Bradley Beal had to leave the game with an injury, but with 6:48 left in the first quarter the Warriors led 20-14. KD was still hot after the timeout, scoring the first points on a tricky alley-oop lay-in. The next four minutes of the game belonged to Stephen Curry. He went BERSERK, nailing three threes (two of which were from 30+ feet out), and made an incredible layup. He was so hot that he forced the Wizards into another timeout with 2:44 left in the game. At the time of the stoppage the Warriors led 37-25 and Steph had 16 points. Steph nailed another DEEP three immediately after the timeout, he was just on fire. He remained just as hot through the end of the quarter, and had a game-high 23 points. The Wizards did score 37 in the quarter, but they were up against the wall, it’s hard to beat the Warriors when Steph is as hot as he was. Kevin Durant went 5/5 with 10 points, and Klay Thompson added four points of his own. The Wizards were led by Kelly Oubre Jr. with eight points. After the first quarter, the Warriors led 46-37.
Shaun Livingston got the second quarter started with a mid range jumper, and that was the beginning of a very fast-paced start to the quarter. The two teams were just flying up and down the court, practically just living in transition. Klay Thompson was hot for the Warriors, he had four points in the quarter, and Shaun Livingston had six to start the quarter. The Wizards were still hanging around, but were always around 10 points behind the reigning champions. There were several highlight plays to start the quarter as well, and the most exciting was a Jordan Bell dunk off of a lob from Draymond Green, who had eight assists to this point. The first timeout of the quarter was called with 7:51 left to play and the Warriors winning 58-48. The two teams stalled on offense for the next couple of minutes, as neither team scored more than six points. Kevin Durant and Jordan Bell threw down powerful dunks for the only Warrior points between stoppages, so that was exciting. Steve Kerr called timeout with 4:58 to play in the half and the Warriors winning 62-54. Kevin Durant nailed a baseline fadeaway to get the scoring started after the timeout, and he nailed another one on the next possession for the Warriors. Stephen Curry nailed a wing three for his first points of the quarter, and then he nailed a turnaround midrange jumper while getting fouled, and he hit the free throw. The quarter ended with the two teams trading baskets and playing very little defense, but Kevin Durant nailed an impressive midrange jumper for the last Warriors points of the half. The Warriors walked away from the first half with a 9-point lead after scoring 80 points, which is one less point than the Jazz did in their record-breaking night against the Warriors just three games ago. At the half, the Warriors led the Wizards 80-79.
In the first half, Stephen Curry just dominated the Wizards. He had 31 points on 10/14 shooting. Of the four shots he missed, two were easy layups, he could easily have had 35 points at the half. His MVP running mate, Kevin Durant, added 20 points on 9/11 shooting in the half. The duo was unstoppable, 51 points on 19/25 shooting is unstoppable. As a team, the Warriors shot a combined 60.4% (29/48) from the floor and 42.9% (6/14) from three. The Wizards were led by Kelly Oubre Jr., who had 15 points on 5/8 shooting. He was just one of four Wizards in double-figures, the other players were John Wall (12), Bradley Beal (10), and Jeff Green (10). The Wizards combined to shoot 52% (26/50) from the field and 26.1% (6/23) from three.
Bradley Beal nailed a step-back jumper over Damian Jones to get the third quarter started, but Kevin Durant cancelled that out with a three on the next possession. The Wizards looked like they were going to make a run in the first couple minutes, but the Warriors didn’t want to let that happen. Kevin Durant, who was playing like a man on a mission, threw down a powerful dunk over two Wizards defenders. Stephen Curry nailed a three after an offensive rebound from Damian Jones, and it looked like the Warriors were still hot and ready to roll. The Wizards cut the lead to six-points in the opening minutes, but the Warriors bounced back and stretched it back out to 12, forcing a timeout from Scott Brooks with 8:27 left in the third and the Warriors leading 90-78. The two teams went back-and-forth between timeouts, but the Wizards appeared to have the upper hand. Bradley Beal got two nice baskets and stared down the Warrior bench after each, and Otto Porter Jr. made a three to cut the Warrior lead down to eight again. Klay Thompson hit his first three of the game during that stretch as well, which seemed like a good sign of things to come. When Steve Kerr called timeout with 5:33 left in the quarter, the Warriors led 95-87. Kevin Durant threw down an incredible and-1 dunk to get the scoring started after the stoppage. The dunk by KD got the Warriors going, but Stephen Curry re-emerged to open the floodgates, put the pedal to the medal, basically did everything except execute the Wizards in cold blood. He hit three-straight three’s, one of which was a four-point play. The last three, that forced a timeout from the Wizards, came from the hash mark, and Steph hit the iconic MJ shrug afterwards. When timeout was called, the Warriors led 110-93 with just under 3:00 to go in the quarter, and Steph had 46 points. Steph hit two free throws after the timeout, but he hit a ANOTHER three from just inside halfcourt to get his total to FIFTY ONE points. The quarter came to a close with the Warriors up by 18 points. Stephen Curry had 51 points, which tied his career-best at Oracle Arena (career-high is 54). Kevin Durant added 28 points of his own. Bradley Beal had 23 to lead the Wizards. As a team, the Warriors shot a combined 55.6% (49/72) from the floor and 48.1% (13/27) from three, while the Wizards shot 50% (36/72) from the field and 30% (9/30) from three. After the third quarter, the Warriors led the Wizards 115-97.
The Wizards got the fourth quarter started with some free throws, and as all Warrior fans secretly wished for a comeback so Steph would return to the game, Draymond Green drilled a three. Klay Thompson nailed a step back jumper and Kevin Durant then threw down a tomahawk dunk in transition to put the Warriors up by 23 heading into a timeout. Scott Brooks called timeout with 9:20 left in the game and the Warriors leading 122-99. The Warriors then used the next several minutes to grow their lead to 25-points, get KD a 30-point game, and get the starters out of there for the rest of the game. Steve Kerr called timeout with 6:44 left and the Warriors winning 128-103, and the rest of this game was merely a formality. During the garbage time that was the final 6:44 of the game, the Warriors kept their lead and continued to demoralize the Wizards. The Warriors won the game 144-122.
Stephen Curry finished with a game-high 51 points, which is tied for the most he has ever scored at Oracle Arena. He scored his 51 points on 15/24 shooting (11/16 from three), while also grabbing four rebounds and dishing out three assists. Lost in all of Steph’s exciting game was Kevin Durant, who was ridiculous. He scored 30 points on 13/18 shooting with eight rebounds and seven assists. He was playing so well that when he got his 30th point he was caught on camera telling Steve Kerr that he was done playing with the Wizards because they are “weak”. Klay Thompson was the only other Warrior in double figures with 19 points. As a team the Warriors combined to shoot 58.2% (53/91) from the floor 46.9% (15/32) from deep and 92% (23/25) from the line.
The Wizards were led by Bradley Beal, who had 23 points on 10/15 shooting. Kelly Oubre Jr. had 17 points, Markieff Morris had 14, John Wall had 13, Otto Porter Jr. had 12, and Jeff Green had 10. The Wizards finished the game shooting a combined 45.2% (42/93) from the field 28.6% (12/42) from three and 92.9% (26/28) from the line.
There is nothing more exciting in professional sports than when Stephen Curry is locked in, especially when he is locked in at home in Oracle Arena. His game tonight was just absolutely spectacular. His start to the season has been absurd, and he is on a better pace than he was in the 2015-16 season where he became the only Unanimous MVP in NBA history. Tonight was the sixth time in his career that he made at least 11 threes. The rest of all the players in the history of the NBA have done it a combined seven times. He’s almost done it more than all the other players in the history of the league combined.
Here’s some more food for thought: Stephen Curry has made 33 threes in the five games he has played this season. That is a higher total than four NBA teams (Thunder, Cavaliers, Clippers, Pelicans).
In case you weren’t already convinced of this before tonight’s game I’ll reiterate it for you: Stephen Curry is the best shooter the NBA has ever seen. He’s the best shooter in the history of human existence. He shoots a basketball better than anybody has shot anything, whether that be a gun, a bow and arrow, film, anything. There is no one better at shooting than Steph. Not Ray Allen, not Reggie Miller, not Chris Kyle, not Stanley Kubrick, not Steven Spielberg…nobody.
Stephen Curry looks like he wants that third MVP, and it looks like he wants it badly. If he keeps playing like this, or anywhere near the way he is playing now, there is no way that anyone else has a valid argument.
For his next trick, Stephen Curry and the Warriors return to the place of his greatest scoring conquest, Madison Square Garden, and if tonight was any indication, the two-time MVP and the Warriors are on a shoot-to-kill mission with the Knicks in their sights.
On somewhat of a side note, I’m going to need someone to find me an HD picture of Stephen Curry hitting the MJ shrug. That was a truly iconic moment.
The Golden State Warriors play next on Friday, October 26, in New York against the Knicks at 4:30 p.m.