Chiozza's best game with Warriors marks special 26th birthday

Chris Chiozza

Chris Chiozza could have looked at the Warriors' roster and simply said "No thanks." 

It was clear Golden State had its eyes on returning to championship contention. Minutes wouldn't be easy to come by, especially on a two-way contract. But everything about the Warriors convinced the now 26-year-old guard that San Francisco should be his new home over the offseason.

"That was one of the reasons I came here," Chiozza said Sunday night after the Warriors' 119-104 win over the Toronto Raptors. "I knew they had a history of two-way guys getting into the rotation and contributing a lot. Coming into training camp, I just came in with the mindset of being able to possibly be ready to be the backup point guard or whatever position they wanted me to play. I kind of knew I was gonna have games where I wouldn't play a lot and then games where I played major minutes.

"Steve [Kerr] and all those guys talked to me early about playing and playing with Steph [Curry], coming in for Steph and just being ready to do whatever they need me to do." 

On a night where Curry scored a season-low 12 points, Chiozza was ready to step up and do exactly that -- whatever the Warriors asked of him.

He played a season-high 20 minutes and made the most out of all of them. He scored a season-high 11 points, which was his most since April 7 of last season when he was a member of the Brooklyn Nets. His big night also just so happened to be on his birthday. 


The Warriors wasted no time celebrating him after the win in the locker room. 

"It means a lot," Chiozza said. "It just goes to show how close this team is and the trust that we have in each player on the roster and just how connected we are from top to bottom. It felt great." 

Chiozza and Kerr both felt he was a good matchup for the Raptors. It showed on the court, and Kerr made it clear that Chiozza's increased role wasn't particularly due to the day he was born. 

"Everybody on our roster is capable of helping us win a game," Kerr said. "It's a very deep team. Tonight was [Chiozza's] moment. It's his birthday today, which is coincidental to him playing. It was just a good matchup for him. Toronto is a fast, strong, athletic team and that's [Chiozza's] kind of game.

"Perfect example of a guy who stays ready, waits for his turn, is a great teammate -- guys gave him an ovation in the locker room after the game. They respect him so much for how hard he works and just his approach every day."

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Curry going cold will maybe happen a handful of times the rest of the season. Games like Sunday where Chiozza and Co. can step up show just how much more advanced this 15-2 Warriors team is than a season ago.

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