Warriors

Warriors 'witnessing greatness' as Steph Curry goes off to beat Pelicans

Warriors 'witnessing greatness' as Steph Curry goes off to beat Pelicans

OAKLAND -- Stephen Curry came off a double screen inching closer to the 3-point line but still well beyond it. The Warriors point guard still couldn’t find open space.

New Orleans Pelicans big man Anthony Davis came bearing down, with a long arm aimed to disrupt his shooting motion.

That sure seemed like a low percentage shot. Not for Steph. Not during a torrid third quarter when he simply couldn’t miss.

If that was a heat check, it proved Curry still was scalding. Jaws dropped when that one went through, as part of a surge that lifted the Warriors to a 147-140 win over the Pelicans at Oracle Arena.

Curry had 41 points on the night, with 23 in a third quarter when he went 7 of 8 from beyond the arc.

Many of those were fantasy shots for most. They are practiced, often choreographed and at times perfected by the NBA’s finest distance shooter.

“Sometimes, when you get hot like that, you can’t see anything but the rim,” Curry said. “You just try to stay on balance and get to your spot, wherever that is. Again, these are shots I work on. I have confidence in them. I know my teammates do.”

Kevin Durant is a rare talent in his own right, and even he has to stop and applaud.

“He’s a once-in-a-generation, once-in-a-lifetime talent, and his movements are so smooth that he makes it look so easy,” Durant said, after scoring 30 points of his own. “When he’s knocking down those shots, it’s just a joy to see.”

Curry was virtually unstoppable in the second half, securing his sixth 40-point game of the season by hitting 11 of 22 shots, including 9 of 17 from 3-point range.

The Warriors matched a franchise record with 24 three-pointers made on a franchise-record 49 attempts. They’ve ramped up their 3-point efforts lately, something opposing teams have done while trying to beat Golden State in a season that has featured more close games then usual for the defending champs.

[RELATED: Warriors, Pelicans break Golden State's own 3-point record]

Warriors coach Steve Kerr cited No. 30 being healthy again for this 3-point surge.

“Steph just changes the whole equation,” Kerr said. “It really does come down to Steph being back, because the tempo goes back up. He shot 17 threes tonight. That’s the difference. He’s going to get a ton of them up.”

Some of them are standard, open shots taken close to the 3-point line. Others, however, would seem wacky taken by most everyone else.

Curry going on crazy runs is commonplace around these parts, but even other sharpshooters still marvel at his shots and their at-times shocking degree of difficulty.

“It’s incredible,” fellow guard Klay Thompson said. “Pull up off the dribble from 30-plus feet -- it’s insane. I’m witnessing greatness.”

Steph Curry omits LeBron James, Kevin Durant from all-time starting five

Steph Curry omits LeBron James, Kevin Durant from all-time starting five

When Stephen Curry's career is all said and done, there's a good chance many of the current younger generations of NBA fans will include him in their all-time starting five. They have seen the game evolve in front of their very own eyes, and no player was more responsible for that transition than the greatest shooter ever.

But Curry's career isn't over yet. Not even close. And as things currently stand, even he wouldn't include himself in his all-time starting five.

On the most recent episode of Showtime's "All the Smoke" with Stephen Jackson and Matt Barnes, Curry was asked which five players he would nominate for that lofty designation, and it's pretty tough to disagree with his selections.

Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Tim Duncan and Shaquille O'Neal? Safe to say that squad would be tough to beat. Of course, if there's one thing that the five-man unit is lacking, it's probably a lack of perimeter shooting. Maybe that's how Curry eventually fits in.

It's worth noting that Curry didn't include LeBron James on his list. Of course, if reported rivalries are to be believed, perhaps that explains the omission. Same goes for Kevin Durant, who recently left Curry out of his top-six hardest players to guard in the league. Are these sour grapes being thrown back and forth?

[RELATED: Steph admits he wanted Knicks to draft him instead of Dubs]

It's certainly possible in the modern NBA, but a far more likely explanation is that James and Durant, like Curry, aren't finished yet.

Warriors send Jacob Evans down to G League in order to regain rhythm

Warriors send Jacob Evans down to G League in order to regain rhythm

SAN FRANCISCO -- Jacob Evans has held out hope for improvement for much of the season. For the time being, he'll try to reach the goal in the G League.

The Warriors guard's latest odyssey to Santa Cruz is expected to last until Sunday, providing Evans an opportunity to get more on-court time during an injury-plagued season. 

"This will give him a chance to play bigger minutes," Warriors coach Steve Kerr. "To develop a rhythm."

With the demotion, Evans will miss Friday's matchup against the Indiana Pacers in San Francisco. Instead, he will play Friday evening against the Wisconsin Herd at Kaiser Permanente Arena and Sunday's matchup against the South Bay Lakers. He'll then rejoin the Warriors on the team's upcoming five-game road trip, which starts Tuesday against the Philadelphia 76ers. 

Evans' second season in the NBA has been marred by injury.  A week into the season, he strained his left adductor, costing him 21 games. Last week, he missed three more games after suffering a concussion. All the while, he's shooting just 31 percent from the field and has been supplanted in the rotation by rookie Jordan Poole.

"These last few weeks have been tough, even before injury," Kerr said. He hasn't really been able to get himself going, we haven't been able to help him get going. We feel like this is a perfect time for him to get some playing time."

[RELATED: Warriors' Paschall credits rise to Jay Wright at 'Coaching Corps']

Evans was drafted in 2018 for his defensive acumen. He's struggled to find offensive success this season, averaging just four points despite averaging 10 more minutes per game. However, Kerr remains confident in Evans' long-term development. 

"He's a big, strong, smart defender. He's picked up a lot in his year and a half in the league," Kerr said. "So he's a guy I can trust and count on defensively. But like everybody in this disjointed season, it's been tough for him to find a niche."