SAN FRANCISCO -- Warriors guard Steph Curry has long been the centerpiece of Golden State's offense.
His habit of making shots from far beyond the 3-point line has revolutionized basketball over the last decade. On Thursday night, he continued the trend, scoring 40 points in 26 minutes to lead the Warriors in beating the Minnesota Timberwolves, 143-123.
Curry exploits come at a unique time for Golden State. With Kevin Durant gone to Brooklyn, Klay Thompson shelved until the All-Star break and eight new additions to the roster, similar performances will be imperative.
"He's going to have a large offensive burden all year," Warriors coach Steve Kerr said Thursday night. "Just the nature of what we've lost from a scoring standpoint and a playmaking standpoint."
Thursday brought Curry's usual game. His first shot came from the deep corner, off an assist from Draymond Green, as he ran up court before the 3-pointer swished through the net. Seven minutes later, he broke down Wolves guard Jake Layman, before throwing up a layup high over the outstretched arms of Karl-Anthony Towns.
By halftime, Curry was up to 24 points, including three 3-pointers.
"Steph looks like he's in mid-season form now," Kerr said.
Curry's value might have been more glaring when he was on the bench. During a stretch Curry was off the floor through the first and second quarters, Golden State was outscored 16-9 by the Wolves. When he returned, the Warriors promptly went on an 11-4 run, taking a 55-51 lead.
The two-time MVP isn't new to large offensive responsibilities. During the 2015-16 season, Curry had the highest player efficiency rating since 1991, while leading the league in 3-pointers made (402), steals (169), win-shares (17.9) and value over replacement (9.8) while finishing second in usage, earning him the first unanimous MVP in league history.
Entering his 11th NBA season -- with a roster full of changes -- Curry had an idea of what was needed.
"Coming into camp, I have the same mentality every time I step on the floor," he said. "Doesn't mean I'm shooting every possession, but I'm trying to make plays and do what I'm comfortable doing and that's just playing my style of basketball and being aggressive and confident."
"It's just the natural way of our offense and how I'm going to have the ball more. I just got to make the right plays. Be confident, aggressive and assertive every possession and that gets the dominoes falling."
Curry's change in aggression comes as his team is going through a transition of its own. Thursday marked just the second game at Golden State's new Chase Center in San Francisco. Though fewer than 20 miles from the team's old facility in Oakland, most of the team is transitioning to a new home.
Kerr can only get around 'The City' with the help of directions app Waze, while Curry is failing to find a replacement location for the tunnel he made famous at Oracle Arena.
“I did shed a tear about the tunnel shot tonight," Curry admitted.
Perhaps the biggest change is the way Curry gets to his new office. Now living in the South Bay, he's still finding a route that suits his schedule.
"I just got here 20-25 minutes later than I usually do and I'm a creature of habit and routine," he said. "Obviously, I played well but it still throws you off a little bit because you're still trying to get the flow. For ten years, I had the same routine every step of the way. I try to repeat that routine but there are some quirks and different routes you take. It's a different vantage point."
As for his play on the court, it hasn't changed, but the output might be more important than ever.
"Hopefully that vibe is contagious," Curry said. "I just don't know what it will look like every night but I'm going to play that exact same way and just do what I do."