He poured in 37 points and sank nine 3-pointers in the Warriors' statement win over the Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday. On Thursday, Golden State trailed the Cleveland Cavaliers by 13 points entering the fourth quarter, and Curry proceeded to score 20 points in the final frame as the Warriors exploded toward a 15-point victory. At this point he's the MVP favorite, and there's not much debate.
But, as they displayed in Friday night's 105-102 road win over the Detroit Pistons, this Warriors team is so much more than Steph.
With Curry, Draymond Green, Andre Iguodala and Otto Porter Jr. on the sidelines with various ailments (not to mention Klay Thompson and James Wiseman, who have yet to play this season), the Warriors' role players turned in an impressive, gritty performance as they improved to a league best 14-2, and 3-1 on their road trip.
"To come in here and really get contributions from everybody, it turned what would have been a good, solid road trip into an excellent road trip," Warriors coach Steve Kerr said after the win. "Just a fantastic win, and a great job by the guys who were here and active tonight."
Jordan Poole led the way with a game-high 32 points, with Andrew Wiggins adding 27. Nemanja Bjelica came off the bench with 14 points and eight rebounds, while Juan Toscano-Anderson, Gary Payton II and Chris Chiozza all logged significant minutes. Rookies Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody combined to score 10 points in 19 minutes. It was truly reminiscent of the "Strength in Numbers" mantra of the Warriors' championship 2014-15 season.
OK, I can feel the eye rolls through the screen. Yes, the win came against the 4-11 Pistons. That's certainly fair cause to downplay the Warriors' performance, but keep in mind that Detroit had won three of its last five games coming into Friday night, including victories over relatively full-strength Raptors and Pacers squads. Also, don't forget that the Warriors were on the second leg of a road back-to-back, and their third game in four nights.
"We didn't underestimate them with their record. Everybody can play in the NBA " Bjelica said after the win. "We started the game good. Of course we get some ups and downs, but we kept fighting."
Speaking of downs ... The game got pretty ugly at times, including perhaps the ugliest sequence of NBA basketball so far this season at the end of the first quarter.
But the Warriors, despite significantly altered personnel, were still able to mount one of their trademark third-quarter runs -- sparked by 10 points from Wiggins -- to build a 16-point lead heading into the final frame. Things got a little dicey toward the end of the game as the Pistons had a chance to tie it with two good 3-point looks on the final possession, but Golden State held on to secure the victory in a game that, given the circumstances, nobody would have blamed them for losing.
The win was even more impressive considering how poorly the supporting cast had played in the first three games of the road trip. Warriors not named Steph Curry went 16-for-81 from 3-point range (just under 20 percent) in preceding games against the Hornets, Nets and Cavs. On Friday night, they shot 40 percent, going 12-of-30 from deep.
Golden State has been incredibly fortunate with its lack of significant injuries so far this season, but getting through the entire year without at least a couple extended absences is virtually impossible. Games like Friday night empower the role players so that when their number is called -- whether in a random November matchup against the Pistons or a postseason elimination game -- they'll be confident and prepared to help the team win.
"I think we've got guys who know how to step up when they need to," Kerr said after the game. "Wiggs and Jordan -- knowing they had to score some points for us tonight and be the focal point offensively -- they both stepped up and did a great job. I loved the play off the bench of Chiozza and [Bjelica]. Jonathan came in at the very end of the game for defensive purposes and handled himself really well. So a lot of good stuff."