SAN FRANCISCO — This highly hyped showdown of point guards was almost derailed before it got started, and the Warriors’ season along with it. But a collective sigh of relief was exhaled at Chase Center when Stephen Curry remained in the game after appearing to tweak his shoulder early Monday night against the Atlanta Hawks.
The shoulder proved only a minor obstacle in an otherwise monster night for the Warriors superstar as he went shot-for-shot with Hawks star guard Trae Young, and then some. Curry scored the first 10 points of the game and finished with 50, the highest scoring output by an NBA player this season, in a 127-113 offensive explosion for the Warriors’ fifth straight win.
“I want to say I haven’t seen anything like it, but I’ve been watching it for seven years, so I have,” coach Steve Kerr said afterward.
Curry had the Warriors up 10-0 when his left arm got snagged while chasing Bogdan Bogdanović around a screen set by Clint Capela around the 9 minute mark of the first quarter. Bogdanović finished the play, Steve Kerr called timeout, and Curry made a beeline for Dr. Rick Celebrini and the Warriors training staff.
Steph appeared to be in discomfort after hitting his left arm while going around a screen pic.twitter.com/P3RteUAEl6
— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) November 9, 2021
Curry remained in the game after the timeout but subbed out earlier than normal, at 6:38, and had his left shoulder wrapped in a bulky ice pack. After a brief rest, Curry returned at 3:14 and appeared back to normal, if not better than ever.
Things are going great. How r u? pic.twitter.com/NqwfjtwLKW
— Dieter Kurtenbach (@dieter) November 9, 2021
Curry sank a 30-footer as the clock ticked down and took 24 points into intermission. The Warriors needed them all as they still trailed 65-61 at halftime, despite starting the game on a 10-0 run behind Curry’s hot hand.
The Warriors fell behind by as many as 15 points in the second quarter but climbed back to within 4 by halftime.
Young nearly matched Curry shot-for-shot while scoring 21 in the first half, but Curry took control in the third quarter. He scored another 18, including all but one bucket on a 13-0 run to end the third quarter, to give the Warriors a 102-85 advantage heading into the final period.
By the end of the third quarter, Curry had secured the 51st 40-point performance of his career. He added 10 in the fourth to finish with 50. Young slowed down in the second half and finished with 28.
At 10-1, Golden State is the last one-loss team left in the NBA and owns the league’s best record.
The win was the Warriors’ fifth in a row, all by double-digits.
If the past four could be written off as not presenting Golden State with a true test, the same could not be said Monday, facing a team that made it to the Eastern Conference Finals last season on the second night of their first set of back-to-back games this season.