Saturday was a big day for the Trail Blazers’ Seth Curry. Early in the day, word got out that he had been selected to compete in the three-point shootout during NBA All-Star Weekend, alongside his brother Steph in their hometown of Charlotte.
And then, with Damian Lillard sitting out the game with some knee soreness, Curry got a rare start in the backcourt alongside CJ McCollum. He responded by going 8-13 from the field, including 4-8 from three-point range, on the way to 22 points, to go with a steal, two assists, three rebounds and a pair of blocked shots in a 120-111 win over the Atlanta Hawks.
“Felt very good,” Curry said. “Obviously with Dame out, there were more opportunities out there. Go out and do the same job and get the win any way possible.”
Curry had a ringside seat next to McCollum, who posted his first career triple-double.
“CJ was great,” Curry said.
“It’s been tough for (Curry),” Coach Terry Stotts said. “Coming off the bench and playing behind Dame and CJ and coming into a new team.
“All that -- it’s been a rough transition but I think he showed tonight what he’s capable of doing. He stepped up, I mean we needed a performance like that from him.”
Curry is still operating as if he isn’t officially in the three-point contest yet because the league hasn't made the announcement of the participants.
“It would be fun,” he said, “if I’m in it with my brother in Charlotte. It would be a dream come true to be on a stage like that – especially in Charlotte. If it happens, it will be a lot of fun for our family.”
How good would it feel to beat his brother in that contest?
“If it happens, I would love to,” he said. “He already has one in his trophy room. We are very competitive. If I’m there, it’s my goal to win it.”
And how many times have the brothers squared off in empty gyms or backyards somewhere in shooting games?
“Every day in the summer,” he said.
And who wins?
“It’s 50-50,” he said with a laugh. “50-50… There are a lot of makes.”
A lot of Trail Blazers had big nights on offense:
Maurice Harkless went 7-11 from the field and scored 16. Al-Farouq Aminu was 4-5 from the field and 7-7 from the foul line with eight rebounds and four assists, scoring 17.
Meyers Leonard played just 9:23 after sitting out the Phoenix game but made all three of his shots from the field and both foul shots to score nine points.
The only down side for Portland was that Evan Turner (left Achilles soreness) and Nik Stauskas (left knee soreness) were forced to sit out the second half. Neither injury is expected to be serious.
“The starters tonight, the box score tells it all,” Stotts said. “They did everything.. They scored, they rebounded, they assisted. They played very well at both ends of the court.”