OAKLAND -- Stephen Curry always seems to get excited for games against heralded point guards, such as Washington’s John Wall. Maybe that explains it.
Curry scorched Wall and the Wizards for a season-high 51 points Wednesday night, leading the Warriors to a 144-122 victory before an ecstatic sellout crowd (19,596) at Oracle Arena.
The points total is the highest by the Warriors since pouring in 149 against the Lakers on Nov. 23, 2016 at Oracle.
Here are three takeaways from what turned into a rout:
The Steph Show, Episode 4,473
Stephen Curry has two MVP awards and a scoring title. At no time, however, has he been a more unstoppable offensive force.
Curry poured in 23 points in the first quarter, 31 in the half and reached his total on 15-of-24 shooting from the field, including 11-of-16 from beyond the arc and 10-of-10 from the line.
It was Curry’s sixth game with at least 50 points, his ninth with 30 in a half and the 10th time he has made at least 10 3-pointers in a game. Not other player has done it more than three times.
For good measure, Curry passed Jamal Crawford and moved into fifth place on the all-time list of 3-pointers made. Crawford still is active, but it’s going to need a lot more playing time than he’s getting to make a season-long competition of it.
Curry’s fabulous night explains why, for the first time this season, there were several hearty rounds of M-V-P chants ringing throughout the arena.
Durant fantastic in shadow
While all eyes were on Curry, for obvious reasons, Kevin Durant was that lanky guy dazzling in the background.
He once again displayed his full and generous offensive weaponry -- drives, midrange jumpers, 3-pointers, dunks off lobs and more -- scoring 30 points (13-of-18 shooting from the field), grabbing a team-high eight rebounds and passing for seven assists.
And, while nobody was paying attention, he added a steal and a blocked shot on the other end.
Durant was posted a team-best plus-26 for the game. (Curry was plus-19).
The defense rests
Maybe it was Curry’s hypnotic performance, but the Warriors didn’t much bother with trying to stop the Wizards at the other end.
It’s not that they needed an incredible defensive effort; it’s tough for a visiting team to triumphantly respond when the home team hangs 144 points.
But, still, there were enough moments to give the coaching staff some ammo at the next video session. We’re talking blown rotations, missed switches and, sometimes, simple negligence. It was enough to allow Washington to score 71 points in the first half of 52-percent shooting from the field.
The Wizards were within eight (95-87) with 5:44 remaining in the third quarter, after which the Warriors finally clamped down, going on a 20-6 to take command.