Warriors

Rewind: Scintillating Curry 'gets in one of those zones' vs Wizards

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Rewind: Scintillating Curry 'gets in one of those zones' vs Wizards

WASHINGTON –- Folks in and around the nation’s capital tend to flock to a major event, which explains why Washington Wizards ticket prices were at a five-year high for the Stephen Curry Show, featuring the Warriors, on Wednesday night.

The 20,356 that filled Verizon Center got their money’s worth in performance art, even if some left disappointed with the outcome.

Curry finished with 51 points, lighting up the building in the first quarter, pouring 25 on 9-of-10 shooting, including 7-of-8 from deep. The seventh-year point guard finished the first half with 36, making 13 of his first 14 shots, and eight of his first nine from deep.

With his fourth career game of at least 50 points, Curry built such a scoreboard reservoir that the Warriors were able to withstand some ugly moments – including more than a few provided by Curry – in posting a 134-121 victory on the eve of the team’s visit to the White House to celebrate its 2015 title with President Obama.

“We had a major emphasis on trying to start the game well, knowing how explosive they are on the offensive end,” Curry said, referring to the Wizards. “I didn’t know it would shape out like that. But when you make your first couple of shots and get a lucky bounce on one, you start to build confidence.”

[POOLE: Instant Replay: Curry drops 51 in Warriors' win over Wizards]

The shots that felt good coming off his hands were going in, as were those that didn’t feel so good. Curry’s shooting exhibition was a beauty to behold, thrilling the youngsters, many of whom were wearing Warriors apparel, and numerous times bringing the entire crowd out of its seats.

It was a splendid recovery for the reigning MVP, who spent the previous three games in a “Steph Slump,” shooting 37.9 percent (11 of 29) from 3-point range and 38.3 percent (18 of 47) overall. He had scored 50 points, total, during those games.

“I didn’t know Steph was in a slump; Steph’s never in a slump,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said with a grin. “But, yeah, was scintillating tonight coming out of the gate.”

Curry needed every bit of his offense to prevail in a fabulous point-guard duel with Wizards star John Wall, who totaled a season-high 41 points on 17-of-25 shooting, making all three of his treys.

“He made some unbelievable shots,” Wall said of Curry, “and we know he can shoot the ball very well. From time to time he gets in one of those zones.”

With Curry in that “zone,” the Warriors (45-4) were able to hold off Wall and the Wizards to win their eighth consecutive game and sweep their three-game road trip.

Yet there were plenty of floor warts that came along with such pristine shooting, with Curry committing seven turnovers, one off his season high.

“It’s something we harp on constantly,” Kerr said. “But it’s really easy to get caught in the track meet and start trying crazy things when you’re up 13, 14 points and you don’t really feel threatened. But we should feel threatened, because the turnovers are killing us.”

The Warriors committed 18 turnovers, off which the Wizards scored 24 points. Kerr after the game addressed the issue with the team, and even in the face of such a remarkable shooting display Curry felt the sting of those sloppy moments.

“It’s still frustrating,” he said of the giveaways. “It helps that the other things were going well. But I still know that I didn’t have that great of a floor game.

“It’s one of those games where I had probably three of them that I shouldn’t have had. A couple of lazy passes, telegraphed passes. It happens. It’s frustrating because when they happened, that’s when they got back in the game.”

Washington (21-26) trimmed a 14-point halftime deficit to two with 7:48 left in the third quarter. They never were able to catch up, though, because Curry dropped in seven points in seven minutes of the fourth quarter, while teammates Klay Thompson and Shaun Livingston combined for 17 to hold off the Wizards.

“To sweep the trip and be able to enjoy tomorrow, the festivities at the White House and then head home,” Kerr said, “it’s a hell of a trip.”

And it was punctuated by a performance by Curry that won’t soon be forgotten.

DeMarcus Cousins didn't make debut vs. Pelicans for one specific reason

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USATSI

DeMarcus Cousins didn't make debut vs. Pelicans for one specific reason

Programming note: Watch DeMarcus Cousins and the Warriors take on the Clippers on Friday night at 7:30pm PT, streaming live on the MyTeams app.

DeMarcus Cousins isn't exactly on the best of terms with the New Orleans Pelicans organization. 

The four-time All-Star was hoping to re-sign with the franchise that traded for him back in February 2017, but things didn't work out. There is still some bad blood.

Cousins will make his Warriors debut on Friday against the Clippers. Apparently, he could have suited up against the Pelicans but opted to remain on the sideline.

[RELATEDDeMarcus Cousins' surgeon wants Warriors fans to know something important]

"I wasn’t going to return against them,” Cousins told Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports before the Warriors' victory. “I didn’t because I didn’t’ want to give (the media) a storyline. Straight up. You can ask Bob (Myers) that.

"I didn’t want to give y’all a storyline. That’s why (my return) is Friday.”

Cousins is right in that if he made his debut against the Pelicans, the emotions would have been off the charts. He made the right decision to wait two extra days.

At his introductory press conference with the Warriors back in July, the big man implied that New Orleans GM Dell Demps didn't offer him a contract.

"I’m gonna put it like this: Only me and Dell Demps know what was said on the phone that night," Cousins declared. "We both know the truth. And I’ll leave it at that."

If you like drama, then mark April 9 on your calendar because that's when Cousins and the Warriors will face Anthony Davis and the Pelicans in New Orleans...

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller

DeMarcus Cousins' surgeon wants Warriors fans to know something important

DeMarcus Cousins' surgeon wants Warriors fans to know something important

Programming note: Watch DeMarcus Cousins and the Warriors take on the Clippers on Friday night at 7:30 p.m. PT, streaming live on the MyTeams app.

In April 2012, Steph Curry underwent surgery on his right ankle. The surgeon was Dr. Richard Ferkel of the Southern California Orthopedic Institute.

In late January 2018, DeMarcus Cousins underwent surgery to repair a torn left Achilles tendon. The surgeon was ...

... Dr. Richard Ferkel, who certainly will be watching when the Warriors big man takes the floor Friday night in Los Angeles.

[RELATED: Cousins’ debut means Warriors will face 10 crucial questions]

He recently spoke with NBC Sports NBA Insider Tom Haberstroh about Cousins' rehab process and acknowledged that keeping the six-time All-Star's weight down has been a top priority.

"The stress they're putting on is a little different than for somebody who is a 6-foot point guard," Dr. Ferkel said. "It probably extends the rehab a bit longer in bigger people than in smaller people.”

Cousins isn't a small person, and at various points throughout his career, he has needed to shed some pounds. At this point, that isn't an issue because he truly looks to be in very solid shape -- not elite-level "game shape," but he definitely passes the eye test right now.

But Warriors fans shouldn't expect a seamless assimilation. It will take Cousins some time to shake off the rust and get fully comfortable. He'll have to adapt to the Warriors' high-octane pace and style.

“I think it’s important for people to understand that even if he’s released, we, as part of DeMarcus’ team, feel this current release (to play) is really the final phase of his rehabilitation," Dr. Ferkel added. "We’re not saying he’s 100 percent like he would be if he was uninjured.

"He’s done everything he can do but be in a game situation with elite players.”

Buckle up and enjoy the ride ...

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller