After a historic April in which he set the NBA record for most 3-pointers in a month with 96, Steph Curry has carried his red-hot shooting into May. On Monday night, he put together yet another brilliant performance to lead the Golden State Warriors to a 123-108 win over the New Orleans Pelicans.
Knocking down eight more 3s, Curry finished with 41 points, four rebounds and eight assists. It was the league-leading ninth 40-point game for Curry this season, and six of them have come in the past 15 games. For the season, Curry is now averaging a career-high 31.4 points per game, which, as it stands, would give him the second scoring title of his career.
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Just like he does every night, Curry was hitting some absolutely ridiculous 3s. And then once the defense started to overcommit to run him off the line, he made them pay by getting into the paint to make plays for himself and others. Given how well he's played lately, and the Pelicans' porous 27th-ranked defense, it really wasn't a surprise he went off in this one.
While his full highlights are impressive, the best of the bunch had to be his effort late in the first quarter over Zion Williamson. The Pelicans' young star got switched out onto Curry, and got taken to school. Curry broke out a series of quick crossovers, then pulled up right in Zion's face and swished the deep triple.
Curry's continued dominance isn't just pushing the Warriors closer to a spot in the play-in tournament, it's inspiring his teammates -- and striking fear into his opponents.
"Anytime you step on the floor with Steph Curry, there's an advantage there," Warriors forward Draymond Green said after the game, via the Mercury News. "So, teams are terrified of him -- and everywhere he runs on the floor, with or without the ball, teams are terrified. That type of gravity, he pulls a lot of weight ... I wouldn't want to see a team with Steph Curry on it. We all know what he's capable of. The guy can take over a game and make it hard for any team in the NBA on any given night."
Warriors forward Juan Toscano-Anderson used a Mike Tyson analogy to explain what it's like to be on the same side as the best shooter in the game.
"If you got into a street fight and you got Mike Tyson with you, how would you feel? That's the best analogy I can give you," Toscano-Anderson said. "It makes you that much more confident. I got Steph Curry on my team, I feel good."
Every win at this stage of the season is important, but this one was doubly so given that the Warriors are trying to hold off the Pelicans in the race for the final play-in spots. The Warriors are now 33-32 on the season, which has them in a win percentage tie with the Memphis Grizzlies for eighth place in the Western Conference, and a full four games ahead of the Pels.
Golden State and New Orleans still have to play each other twice, so nothing is official yet, but that's a big margin to make up with just seven games left. The Warriors also have two games left against the Thunder, who just lost by 57 points the other night, so they're in good shape.