Barely wrapped and held together by a few strands of Scotch tape, the Warriors gifted Steph Curry another disappointing road loss, 134-126 to the Los Angeles Clippers at Crypto.com Arena, as a belated birthday present to forget.
One day after turning 35 years old, Curry gave Golden State all of his superpowers. Away from Chase Center, they somehow weren't enough. Again.
Curry scored 50 points in under 39 minutes. He was 20 of 28 from the field, good for 71.4 percent. He was 8 of 12 from 3-point range, good for 66.7 percent. Curry has led the NBA in free-throw percentage four times, and that somehow was his worst shooting spot on the floor.
The Warriors superstar got to the line twice, making two and missing two.
Those numbers now have him over a 50/40/90 for the second time in his career. Curry in 2015-16 when he was named unanimous MVP finished with a 50.4 field-goal percentage, 45.4 3-point percentage and 90.8 free-throw percentage in his age-27 season. Through 44 games this season, he now has a 50.4 field-goal percentage, 44.0 3-point percentage and 91.5 free-throw percentage.
Through three quarters against the Clippers, Curry already was at 41 points -- without taking a single free throw. Though his lack of whistles always has been questioned, Wednesday night marked the first time Curry scored at least 40 points without any free throws.
"Steph was just sublime," Steve Kerr said to reporters in LA. "That was incredible to watch him play tonight. It was a great game, we just came up short."
Since turning 30 years old in 2018, Curry now has seven games of scoring at least 50 points. His latest performance has him tied with Wilt Chamberlain for the most 50-point games ever by a player at 30-plus years old. He previously was tied in second with Michael Jordan.
Still performing like an MVP in his 14th season, Curry now has a 50-point game at 30, 32, 33, 34 and 35 years old. Jordan, LeBron James (twice), Kobe Bryant, Alex English and Jamal Crawford are the only other players in NBA history to score 50 points in a game at 35 or older. Curry entering the club fresh off his birthday was all about efficiency.
Up close or from long distance, Curry got whatever he wanted -- except for a foul call.
Though the Warriors trailed after the first quarter, and fell to 0-18 on the road this season when down going into the second, Curry was on a quick heater. He played all of the first quarter and scored 12 points in 12 minutes, going 5 of 8 overall and 2 of 4 beyond the arc.
Then in the second quarter, he scored eight more points in just under seven minutes, missing only one of the four shots he took. While it was too little, too late for the Warriors as a whole, Curry scored nine points over seven-plus minutes in the fourth quarter on 3-of-5 shooting. The third quarter was where he went nuclear.
Playing all 12 minutes, Curry exploded for 21 points in the third quarter. He flat out couldn't miss. OK, he did twice. Curry was 9 of 11 in the period and 3 of 4 from 3-point range. Watch a master go to work.
"It's like when a guy's throwing a no-hitter," Kerr said. "You just leave him alone. Let him sit in the dugout in between innings and don't say anything to him.
"It was stunning watching that show tonight, watching some of the shot-making, the playmaking. We're so lucky on so many levels to coach Steph, to play with Steph, our fans being able to watch Steph. He puts on a great show every single night, but this ranks right up there with some of the great individual performances I've ever seen from him."
And it still resulted in a loss, for the second time this season.
Earlier this season on Nov. 16, Curry scored 50 points against the Phoenix Suns. The Warriors lost by 11 points. At least this time they only lost by eight.
Steph has scored 40 or more points six times this season. The Warriors are 3-3 in said games. No. 30 has dropped 30-plus points 23 times this season. The defending champs are 14-9 when he does so.
"Y'all know me," Curry said. "It's nice to play well, to shoot well. That's what I expect to do every night. No matter what the stat sheet looks like after the game, it's just frustrating when you can't get over the hump and figure out a way to get a win, especially with where we've been all season on the road.
"Our job is to just keep playing, keep competing at a high level and try and figure it out. Whatever I gotta do in the process individually is what I expect to do. Just going to keep doing that."
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Golden State again was doomed by turnovers and sloppy play. The Warriors turned the ball over 16 times, and the Clippers turned that into 20 points. They also took eight more shots than the Dubs thanks to having 27 second-chance points compared to the Warriors' 11.
Klay Thompson scored 15 points, and Eric Gordon scored 16.
Curry has thrown on his cape, loaded his right hand and played hero time and time again in his Hall of Fame career. He tried to do so again, and fell short once more. Before this season, the Warriors were 8-2 in games where Curry scored at least 50 points.
Highlights will be displayed all over social media and TV shows. Until the scoreboard flips in favor of the Warriors on the road, these performances will be nothing more than lost nights from an all-time legend.