Stephen Curry is off to shaky shooting start by his standards. Following his 3-for-12 effort from downtown on Monday, he's shooting just 36.5 percent from 3 and 44 percent from the field for the season, which would both register as career-low marks by appreciable margins (we're not counting the five games he played in last season).
But, man, did Curry dial up his old form at the right time against the Lakers, who let a 19-point lead evaporate before watching Curry put the nail in their coffin with this vintage step-back 3-pointer over Anthony Davis.
That is so nasty. I know it's old hat for Curry, but it never gets old for anyone else to watch him get into his bag then hop right back out with the smoothest transition from handle to shot in history, and that's to say nothing of the inhuman balance that is required to stay square and centered through all this action. That triple put the Warriors up five with just over a minute to play, and though Curry missed two more chances to extend the lead, they never trailed again in a 115-113 victory.
It's been a strange Curry experience this season. As mentioned, he's not shooting like he usually does, and what's more, he is not aggressively hunting his shot but for specific stretches of games. He's even passing up what look to be open jumpers if he were willing to pull his typical hair trigger off the dribble. For lack of a better explanation, he's playing it cool at times. Perhaps too cool.
Steve Kerr won't just let Curry create the majority of the offense from the jump, and Curry has been waiting too long, or at least until the very last second, to put his foot on the gas -- all of which is wildly frustrating. On Monday, Curry scored 19 of his 26 points in the second half, and eight of those points came over the final 3:40 of the fourth quarter.
Down the stretch, there was a noticeable pep in Curry's step. He was attacking earlier, before double teams could come or just handling his way out of pressure. He shot 3s with little-to-no space. He got into the lane. He gave up the ball and went right back for the handoff. Kerr finally dialed up a steady diet of Curry-Draymond pick and rolls and it got the Warriors a bucket, or at least a great shot, nearly every time.
It was nearly too little too late, but when you have Curry you always have a chance. That shot over Davis was remarkable. And it pushed the Warriors, frustrating as they might feel, to 7-6 on the season after a brutally tough stretch of games. Considering the way this season started, they'll take that record at this juncture all day long.