Curry in rhythm like sweet music bumping throughout Oracle Arena

Curry in rhythm like sweet music bumping throughout Oracle Arena

OAKLAND -- There is a rhythm to Stephen Curry’s game that, when at full volume, is not unlike a full band swapping solos, piano to guitar to sax to bass to the drums.

And, with the minds of the audience completely blown, back to the piano.

Curry’s work is, at its best, splendid in its artistry, complete in its majesty. His latest performance, a 39-point, eight-assist masterpiece Wednesday night, provided the sizzling beat for Warriors as they blew the Charlotte Hornets out of Oracle Arena.

“That’s amazing,” Klay Thompson, Curry’s sidekick in the backcourt, said after the 126-111 victory.

“Early on, he got it cooking and we kind of rode the wave from there,” Kevin Durant said.

Curry needed only 30 minutes to electrify the sellout crowd. He made 14 of his 20 shots, including 11-of-15 from 3-point distance.

“You just know that Steph is capable for incredible games like tonight, and streaks, stretches . . . whatever you want to call it,” Kerr said. “He’s in a good groove and it all makes sense.”

Curry’s last three games: 110 points, with 26-of-42 shooting from deep.

His last two games: 82 points, with 20-of-30 shooting beyond the arc.

Curry accomplished that despite limping into the first game with a tender quad and coming into the second, on Wednesday, after missing a game due to stomach flu. Moreover, he did it without playing a single minute in the fourth quarter of either game.

And, on Wednesday, without a free throw. He’s the first Warrior to score as many as 39 points without going to the line since Rick Barry went for 40 on April 5, 1977.

Curry is, plain and simple, in a rhythm.

“Whether it’s the rhythm of a dribble going into your shot, or just feeling the footwork that it takes to get into that zone before you take a shot,” Curry said. “You know the nights when it’s all clicking and you can feel it. And some nights, you kind of have to be real purposeful about getting into that rhythm as best you can when it’s not really that natural.

“But tonight it was one of those vibes where every shot I took in the first quarter, I knew right when it left my hand it was going in. You might be surprised if it doesn’t; it doesn’t happen like that every night.”

Curry conceded that he enjoys playing the Hornets, partly because he considers Charlotte his hometown and partly because his father, former player Dell Curry, is an analyst for Hornets games.

“Every game I try to have that kind of attitude,” Curry said. “I want to play well, shoot the ball well, be aggressive, try to make stuff happen. You just find different openings against different teams, for whatever reason.

“It’s always cool to see my dad on the sidelines, commentating the game on their end. I get a little juice from that, too.”

So good was Curry that Thompson’s truly remarkable game -- 29 points (10-of-19 shooting, including 6-of-10 from deep), career-high-tying eight assists, five rebounds -- was eclipsed.

“When shooters get it going like that, man, it’s tough to stop,” Kevin Durant said.

“They made the correct passes and we keep going to them,” he added. “They stayed hot. They made the correct plays as well, both of them with eight assists and one turnover apiece. That’s great basketball.”

And, for Curry and his teammates, it sounded like sweet music.

Hopeful night at Oracle turns solemn after Curry sprains left MCL

Hopeful night at Oracle turns solemn after Curry sprains left MCL

OAKLAND -- The words came dribbling out slowly, ruefully and with more than a trace of despair.

JaVale McGee, the 7-foot accidental villain, could barely speak about his role Friday night in the moment that left the Warriors pleading for mercy while their fans were screaming at the sky.

Stephen Curry, returning to the lineup after a six-game absence due to a right ankle sprain, lasted 25 minutes before sustaining another injury, this one a sprain to his left MCL. The two-time MVP will undergo an MRI test Saturday.

“I pray to God,” McGee said, “that nothing’s wrong with him.”

The injury occurred with 3:09 left in the third quarter. After biting on a pump fake by Atlanta forward Mike Muscala, McGee wound up tumbling backward, with his 270 pounds landing directly at the front Curry legs. Curry immediately started limping away, with the sellout crowd at Oracle Arena gasping in horror.

“I was trying to block a shot,” McGee said beneath a vacant stare, “and I ran into him.”

That’s the kind of month it has been for the Warriors. All four of their All-Stars have been knocked out of action by an array of injuries.

Curry went down March 8 after tweaking his surgically repaired right ankle. Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson were injured March 11 at Minnesota, Durant sustaining a rib cartilage injury after taking a elbow from 7-foot Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns and Thompson spraining his right thumb after making contact with Minnesota point guard Jeff Teague.

Draymond Green began the next week as the team’s only healthy All-Star, a distinction that lasted eight days before he was struck down with a pelvic contusion Monday night in San Antonio.

“It’s like a juju or something on us,” McGee said. “I’ve never been part of a team where everybody just got injured, especially the starters. It’s kind of scary to tell the truth.”

Durant, Thompson and Green were unavailable Friday night, which is why Curry’s return was so encouraging. After a 2-point first quarter during which he went 1-of-6 from the floor, Curry found his stroke and over his next 16 minutes scored 27 points on 9-of-12 shooting.

Then came the most frightening moment of the night, throwing a massive damper on a 106-94 victory.

“I assumed it was his ankle when he came out hobbling and I found it was his knee,” coach Steve Kerr said. “We will see what the MRI says tomorrow.

“There is not a whole lot we can do or predict. It’s kind of a strange, cruel twist of fate. He rehabs his ankle for the last couple of weeks and gets that strong and the knee goes. We’ll see what happens. Fingers crossed.”

The Warriors came out of the All-Star break fairly healthy and ready to make a run at the No. 1 overall seed. They’ve achieved it in each of the last three seasons, coming away with two championships.

Hopes of getting there this season have disappeared under a pile of injuries, all of them coming over the last 16 days. As of late Friday night, there was no knowing how serious Curry’s injury is, or how long he might be out.

What’s known is that it was another in a succession of frightful moments.

“It’s a little somber in there,” Kerr said of the locker room. “Everybody feels for Steph. But it’s more a case of just keep going and keep pushing forward. We’ll come into tomorrow, short practice and get ready for Utah.”

That’s at the request of the schedule. That’s a dose of NBA reality on a grim night.

McGee didn’t seem ready for that. He was feeling awful about the entire episode.

“I can’t describe it,” he said of the play that followed everyone into the night. “Everybody has a TV. I fell into him and . . . I know y’all (reporters) don’t think I’m standing here like, ‘Yes, I fell into him.’

“That’s a star player. Of course, we don’t want him to be injured, especially after he came back. So I feel very bad for the fact that I was a part of that.”

McGee said he hopes Curry is out no more than a couple games.

The Warriors would be ever so pleased if it’s a couple weeks. They want to be whole for the postseason,, the only season by which they will be measured and a season that, on this night, nobody was of a mood to visualize.

Curry limps to locker room with left MCL sprain, does not return vs Hawks

Curry limps to locker room with left MCL sprain, does not return vs Hawks

OAKLAND -- Stephen Curry lasted 25 minutes Friday night before limping out of another game.

He was diagnosed with a sprained left MCL and did not return after sustaining the injury.

Curry came up limping after center JaVale McGee, leaping for a rebound, tumbled backward into his lower legs with 3:09 remaining in the third quarter of the Warriors-Hawks game at Oracle Arena.

Immediately, the sellout crowd let out a collective groan.

Curry, his face a mask of dejection, headed for the bench, where he was examined by Warriors physical performance specialist Chelsea Lane. The two then headed into the locker room.

Curry scored a team-high 29 points and grabbed seven rebounds before leaving the game. This was his first appearance since March 8, when he tweaked his surgically repaired right ankle, causing him to miss six games.

Curry has missed 21 of the team’s 71 games. He will undergo an MRI on Saturday, and his status beyond that is yet to be determined. 

This story is being updated.