The “M-V-P, M-V-P, M-V-P” chants grew louder and louder in the third quarter and Stephen Curry rode the adulation all through the Shanghai night.
And he did so with Klay Thompson right at his side.
The two All-Star guards with massive followings in China sent countless waves of euphoria through the sellout crowd at Mercedes-Benz Arena on Sunday as the Warriors laid a 142-110 thrashing on the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Plugging into video-game mode, Curry unleashed his full offensive arsenal, firing in 40 points Sunday to lead all scorers.
Thompson also lit up the arena, draining eight of his 10 3-point attempts on the way to 28 points. Kevin Durant put in 22 points, while Draymond Green tossed in 11. Rookie forward Jordan Bell, coming off the bench, also had 11.
Curry was the clear star of the night, however, delighting the audience as the Warriors posted their first win of the preseason while closing out a two-game set in China against Minnesota.
“Just to be out there on the floor and watch him take over games like that . . . when he gets hot, it’s special to watch,” Draymond Green told reporters in Shanghai. “It’s special to be a part of.”
Playing 31 minutes, Curry drove to the basket with abandon, dropping floaters with ease, and launched from beyond the arc with typical bravado, shooting 13-of-20 from the field, including 6-of-9 from deep.
The Warriors were trailing 55-47 when Curry entered with 6:58 left in the first half and proceeded to use his scoring and passing to account for 20 of the team’s next 22 points as they took a 76-72 lead into halftime.
Curry, who also rang up eight assists, continued to punish the Timberwolves in the third quarter as the Warriors took command, going up 114-95 after three. The two-time MVP clearly earned the right to watch the fourth quarter from the bench.
“Obviously, Steph was amazing,” Thompson said.
The Warriors, tired as they might be, may wish to start the season now. Curry is ready, and when Curry is ready and bringing along his talented teammates, well, there isn’t much any opponent can do.