Give the Charlotte Hornets some sympathy. Only one week after hanging with the Golden State Warriors, they visited Oracle Arena and took a beating. The Hornets played a part in their own demise — they were not exactly defending on a string or in a rhythm offensively — but there’s no team in the NBA that could have contained the Splash Brothers on Wednesday. The 126-111 final score might not look that bad, but that’s only because the Hornets outscored the Warriors by 10 points in the meaningless final frame.
In the first quarter alone, Stephen Curry scored 18 of his 39 points, making six 3-pointers and dishing six assists as his team built a 20-point lead. By halftime, Curry and Klay Thompson had 26 points apiece, combining for 13 3-pointers and almost outscoring Charlotte by themselves. Curry finished 11 for 15 from deep despite not playing in the fourth quarter, and Thompson had 29 points while shooting 6 for 10 from behind the arc.
Steph gonna Steph
Remember all the consternation about Curry having a relatively uninspiring start to the season? This was a huge topic of discussion as recently as a few weeks ago. Curry has been playing like the guy who won back-to-back Most Valuable Player awards for awhile now, and it’s notable that he started the game so aggressively after missing Sunday’s matchup with the Portland Trail Blazers because of the stomach flu. It was as if he were still in the zone from Saturday’s 43-point performance against the Los Angeles Clippers.
Steph Curry’s last two games: 82 points on 29-of-43 shooting. He’s made 20 of his 30 threes. He’s sat out the fourth quarter of both games.
— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) February 2, 2017
Had Curry played at all in the final frame, he would have had a good shot at breaking his own NBA record of 13 treys in a game. If only the Hornets had kept it closer.
What a preposterous collection of talent
Golden State scored 41 points in the first quarter and Kevin Durant scored only three of them. The Warriors made 21 3s, and Durant shot only 1 for 7 from long range. This is hilarious to me, but it’s also why some people screamed that it was “unfair” that a 73-win team added another one of the best players in NBA history. The fact that Golden State can score 108 points through three quarters with Durant having a quiet night is mind blowing.
The defense isn’t bad, either
Need a reminder that Golden State is the best offensive and defensive team in the league? It held All-Star guard Kemba Walker to seven points on 1-of-5 shooting, with four assists and three turnovers. Charlotte shot an ugly 9 for 30 from 3-point range, and it wasn’t merely because the Warriors were demoralizing them with their own 3-point bombs. Golden State is consistently taking its opponent out of its comfort zone, and on a team that relies so heavily on Walker’s playmaking, its strategy was obvious here.
The 3s stood out, but let’s focus on the passes that led to those 3s (and layups, dunks, etc.). This was something Warriors coach Steve Kerr’s dreams of — they had 35 assists on 47 field goals, with Curry, Thompson and Durant recording eight each. For Thompson, this tied a career high.
Source: CBS Sports Headlines / Stephen Curry makes 11 3-pointers, Warriors humiliate Hornets: Takeaways