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


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.

Kevin Durant tells Serge Ibaka why Warriors would have beaten Raptors

Kevin Durant tells Serge Ibaka why Warriors would have beaten Raptors

It's always fun to hear two people talk some friendly trash to each other.

It's even better when the people involved are Kevin Durant and Serge Ibaka.

On the most recent episode of "How Hungry Are You?" from Bleacher Report, the former Oklahoma City Thunder teammates had the following back-and-forth about the 2019 NBA Finals between the Warriors and Raptors:

Ibaka: "Do you think if you didn't go down, you guys would beat us?"

Durant: "For sure."

Ibaka: "Are you sure about that? Are you 100 percent, my brother? We were hot, baby ... we were hot. We were like fire. Nobody could stop us."

Durant: "I could. I was like Sub-Zero (laughing)."

Ibaka: "We may go to Game 7, but the way we were balling -- had confidence."

Durant: "Let's put it like this -- if ya'll go into a Game 7 with the two-time champs, you're not winning that game. You're not. Ya'll had to win in six, which ya'll did. But if I was out there, ya'll wouldn't have beat us at home."

Ibaka: "We almost beat you guys in five, you know that right?"

Durant: "Yeah. Game 6, ya'll almost lost anyway. Klay [Thompson] went out, and ya'll almost lost. So Game 6, we would have smacked ya'll at the crib. And then Game 7 -- I know for sure you could hear a pin drop in your locker room walking into that arena. Ya'll would have been so shook."

Ibaka: "Yeah."

Durant: "So shook."

Ibaka: "Yeah, you're right about that (laughter). But we were hot, so we the champs."

[RELATED: Steph knows he has no room for error with Dubs this season]

Awesome stuff.

Durant didn't bring up the fact that he missed the first four games of the series, while Klay and Kevon Looney were sidelined for Game 3 in Oakland.

I think we all can agree that if both teams were fully healthy from the start, Golden State wins the series in six games max.

But that's not how life works.

Follow @DrewShiller on Twitter and Instagram

Programming Note: Get ready for the 2019-20 Warriors and Kings seasons with the NBA Tip-Off Show, streaming live on the MyTeams app at 1 p.m. PT on Tuesday, Oct. 22. Download MyTeams and tune in to the show by clicking here!

NBA rumors: Cavs claim ex-Warriors wing Alfonzo McKinnie off waivers


NBA rumors: Cavs claim ex-Warriors wing Alfonzo McKinnie off waivers

Alfonzo McKinnie found a new basketball home.

The Cavaliers claimed the former Warriors forward off waivers, the team announced Monday afternoon.

McKinnie -- who officially was waived by Golden State on Saturday afternoon -- will remain on a non-guaranteed contract with Cleveland.

The 27-year-old was vying to be the Dubs' starting small forward this season, but injuries in the frontcourt to Willie Cauley-Stein and Kevon Looney made him a roster casualty and Golden State opted to keep Marquese Chriss instead. 

The Warriors play in Cleveland on Feb. 1 and host the Cavs on April 8.

Follow @DrewShiller on Twitter and Instagram

Programming Note: Get ready for the 2019-20 Warriors and Kings seasons with the NBA Tip-Off Show, streaming live on the MyTeams app at 1 p.m. PT on Tuesday, Oct. 22. Download MyTeams and tune in to the show by clicking here!