Kelly Oubre Jr. was "unbelievable" in the Warriors' blowout win over the Dallas Mavericks on Thursday night, according to teammate Steph Curry.
Oubre scored a career-high 40 points (on 14-of-21 shooting and 7-of-10 on 3-pointers), rebounding from a dispiriting second half in Tuesday's loss to the Boston Celtics.
"I credit Oubre," Curry told TNT broadcasters Ernie Johnson, Shaquille O'Neal, Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith after the Warriors' win. "There's a lot of noise around him and his play every single night. I credit him for just sticking to it."
The Warriors traded for Oubre, who can become a free agent after this season, in the aftermath of Klay Thompson's season-ending torn Achilles. Golden State hoped Oubre's two-way impact could help fill the void left by Thompson, but inconsistency defined the 25-year-old's first 20 games with the Warriors. When Oubre's name briefly was in the NBA rumor mill last month, it was difficult to call it a surprise.
Curry said "there was a lot of optimism" when the Warriors acquired Oubre, and he didn't question his new teammate's tenacity or defensive intensity. Oubre on Thursday compared joining the Warriors to being a college freshman, and his growing pains -- particularly on offense -- have been evident throughout the season.
But Curry felt it was only a matter of time before Oubre's offense would "click" like it did against the Mavericks.
"He always shows up with energy," Curry said of Oubre. "He never gets in his feelings. And in this league, you gotta be kind of a grown man about it, and that's what he's doing."
Oubre's outburst Thursday upped his scoring average to 13.3 points per game from 12.0. The former mark, as well as his 39.8 field-goal percentage and 27.2 percent 3-point percentage, all would represent his lowest in at least three seasons.
Still, Curry's proud of how Oubre has navigated choppy waters early on this season. With the support of the two-time NBA MVP and the rest of his teammates, perhaps Oubre is in for smoother sailing the rest of the season.