SAN FRANCISCO — With more than 18,000 fans standing on their feet, Steph Curry gave each and every one of them something to cheer about Monday night at Chase Center. The final result was a 116-113 Warriors win over the Sacramento Kings, ending Golden State’s five-game losing streak and giving them seven straight victories against their Northern California rivals.
Take a bow, Steph.
For the umpteenth time in his career, Curry absolutely willed the Warriors (4-7) to a win behind an electric 47-point performance. When it looked like the Warriors were going to be on the wrong side of the scoreboard again, Curry was there to change that. He started the game red-hot, and then only got better as it went on.
There still is plenty to clean up for the reigning champions. If there’s going to be an early-season turning point, this win could be it. And they know who to thank.
Here are three takeaways from a much-needed Warriors win.
One thing was for certain following the Warriors’ 0-5 road trip. Changes were coming. The rotation was going to look different, and Steve Kerr gave us our first look of it Monday night.
The new-look rotation certainly came with surprises. The biggest was the fact that Anthony Lamb was one of the first players off the bench. While James Wiseman, JaMychal Green and Moses Moody all sat on the bench for the entire first quarter, Kerr gave early minutes to Lamb and fellow two-way player Ty Jerome.
Moody didn’t enter until the 6:31 mark in the second quarter. Wiseman and Green didn’t play a single second.
No matter how different the rotations looked, the same issues hampered the Warriors right away. The starters raced out to a 22-15 lead through the first seven-and-a-half minutes. Starting with Lamb replacing Kevon Looney and Jordan Poole coming in for Klay Thompson, Golden State was outscored 16-7 to end the first quarter.
Of all the changes, the biggest was how the Warriors started the second half. Looney took a seat, and Poole was in with the starters. That group raced out to a 13-4 advantage before Looney replaced Draymond Green. In more ways than one, the Warriors went small against the Kings.
Kerr’s inclination to do so certainly will be something to watch going forward.
Curry made his first seven shots, including his first four 3-pointers. By the time the Warriors had 45 points on the scoreboard, he had scored 20 of them.
All of that sounds great. The reality is, Curry shouldn’t have to play like he’s going for a second unanimous MVP to keep the Warriors in a game against the Kings or any other team. At halftime, Curry was up to 22 points while going 8-for-10 from the field and 4-for-5 from deep. The rest of his teammates went 13-for-35 from the field in the first half, and made only one of their 11 3-point attempts.
Curry has been nothing short of spectacular this season. On Monday night, there were no words for the show that he gave Dub Nation. Try to think of one. It still won’t fit what we all witnessed from the all-time great.
Simply put, there wasn’t a way Curry was going to let the Warriors lose this game. The eye test said so, as did the box score. Here’s your proof.
Steph wound up scoring 47 points, including 17 in the fourth. Curry made 17 of his 24 shots, went 7-for-12 from beyond the arc and for good measure, he also added eight rebounds and eight assists.
Oh, and he didn’t commit a single turnover.
While Curry wowed Chase Center with every shot he took and every 3-pointer that splashed through the nets, Wiggins was his right-hand man doing everything he could to end the Warriors’ five-game losing streak.
Especially when it mattered most in the fourth quarter.
Always flying up and down the court as a lockdown defender, Wiggins went into scoring mode when nobody besides Curry could. How great was he? In the fourth quarter he scored 13 points, making all five of his shots and all three of his 3-pointers. Each triple felt more like a home run, with the roar of the crowd shaking the arena.
There’s no questioning who the Warriors’ two-best players are right now. That’s No. 30 and No. 22. They need more to follow.
But with them playing like this, a whole lot more wins should be on the way.