The Warriors on Sunday night delivered stinging dissents to a couple opinions heating up the court of public opinion, reminding one and all that Steph Curry is marvelous at basketball and Steve Kerr is not a one-note coach.
Curry scored a career-high 62 points -- the highest total ever in the brief history of Chase Center -- and the Warriors rebounded from an embarrassing loss to Portland on Friday with 137-122 triumph over the Portland Trail Blazers (3-2).
The Warriors (3-3) benefited from a re-simplified offense that relied heavily on Curry’s ability to fracture defenses and score out of pick-and-roll situations while also utilizing his unique relocation skills.
Four other Warriors scored in double figures, led by Andrew Wiggins’ 21 points.
Here are three takeaways from Golden State’s most impressive performance this season.
Curry wasted no time putting his stamp on the game, scoring 21 points in the first quarter to pull the Warriors into a lead they never lost.
He spent the evening scoring from all three level, driving into the paint for floaters, draining midrange shots and, of course, punishing Portland from distance. His 62-point night came on 18-of-31 shooting, including 8-of-16 from deep.
For good measure, he Curry added five rebounds and four assists. He was plus-20 over 36 minutes.
It wasn’t all good news for Curry, though, as a missed free throw in the first quarter ended his streak of consecutive makes from the line at 80. He settled for 18-of-19 from the line.
Curry’s early fireworks display lifted his teammates to higher and more sustained energy levels than seen at any time this season.
Draymond Green, playing for the second time this season, looked more like his typical self, influencing action at both ends of the floor and even engaging Damian Lillard in a “debate” that resulted in double technical fouls.
The effort level of Kelly Oubre Jr. (season-high 17 points) has been good but ticked a bit higher. Wiggins brought passion at both ends. Kent Bazemore, Damion Lee and Eric Paschall came off the bench chasing everything that moved while finding a few buckets.
The result was a vastly improved defense, especially early, and the Warriors playing at a level they have maintain to become a winning team.
Cleaning the glass
For the first time this season, the Warriors grabbed more rebounds than their opponent, posting a 60-51 edge.
One small stat for a night, one giant leap toward improving their chances to win.
Rather than an individual channeling Andre Drummond and inhaling a week’s worth of rebounds, it was team effort, with eight different Warriors grabbing at least three. Bazemore had eight and Wiggins had seven.
James Wiseman pulled down a career-high 11, which along with 12 points gave him his first NBA double-double.