NBA

Stephen Curry and Golden State Warriors got back to being fun in encouraging win

Jay Asser 20:46 23/02/2018
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Stephen Curry attacks the rim in the victory over the Los Angeles Clippers.

In their first game back from the All-Star break, Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors sent a timely reminder of what they’re capable of.

Golden State’s 134-127 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday wasn’t perfect, but the energy, exuberance and – maybe most importantly – the joy the Warriors played with was an encouraging sign for a team that had recently felt bogged down by malaise, apathy and boredom.

After going 4-4 over the past eight games before the All-Star break, Golden State played with their familiar vigor to beat the Clippers as Curry and the offence went supernova to get the second half of their campaign started in ideal fashion.

Curry exploded for 44 points on 14-of-19 shooting, including 8-of-11 from long range, while dishing 10 assists and grabbing six rebounds in arguably his best performance of the season.

It was the two-time MVP’s first game with at least 25 points since his 49-point outburst to defeat Boston on January 27.

Curry’s efficiency this season hasn’t been far off his spectacular 2015-16, but eruptions like the one he had on Saturday haven’t been as frequent. In taking a flamethrower to the Clippers though, Curry showed that he can still now and again produce magical nights where he and the Warriors are seemingly unstoppable.

The rest of the offence was also on its game as the team shot 62.7 per cent overall and 56.0 per cent on 3-pointers.

The other end of the floor is where Golden State weren’t exactly flawless, allowing 104 points over the final three quarters. But holding the Clippers to just 23 points in the opening period proved to be useful and kept Golden State form having to mount a comeback later on, as they’ve needed to do so often this season in games they’ve lacked urgency.

“It was a good step in the right direction,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “I think we did a lot of good things, but you can tell, it’s not like we’re going to wave a magic wand and be on top of our game again. But I liked our start. We got off to a better start.”

A motivational force for Golden State in the rest of the regular season could be home-court advantage, which Houston currently with a game advantage in the loss column in the standings.

Both teams have fared almost equally well on the road as they have at home, but considering the Rockets won two of the three head-to-head clashes, the Warriors have enough incentive to push for the top seed for the fourth straight year.

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