After struggling to find a rhythm through the first two weeks of the season, Golden State Warriors star guard Stephen Curry exploded for a career-high 62 points in a 137-122 win over the Portland Trail Blazers on Sunday night at the Chase Center in San Francisco.
Curry went 18-for-31 from the field, 8-for-16 from beyond the arc and 18-for-19 from the free throw line to go with five rebounds and four assists in 36 minutes.
According to ESPN Stats & Information research, Curry is the first player with 62 or more points in 36 minutes or fewer since Kobe Bryant also had 62 points in 33 minutes on Dec. 20, 2005, against the Mavericks.
“It was just a brilliant performance,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “We’ve seen Steph do so many things here over the years, so many amazing nights at Oracle and now here at Chase. And it’s just a privilege to coach him, it really is. And not just because of his talent, but just because of the way he carries himself, the way he leads, and we are incredibly blessed as an organization to have Steph leading the way. What a performance tonight.”
Curry started off the game hitting from all over the floor, scoring 22 points in the first quarter. It marked the 27th time he has scored 20 or more points in a quarter during his career.
“It’s crazy,” Warriors 19-year-old rookie James Wiseman said. “It reminded me of 2K because I used to play with Steph all the time and I used to drop like 60. So just like actually watching it personally, that was phenomenal. He’s a legend, so just watching in person, it was great.”
The Blazers had no answer for Curry’s dominance as the All-Star guard found enough space to launch the patented long-range shots that have defined his career. After one 3-pointer midway through the fourth quarter, Curry held up his follow through and looked up in the seats, covered on one end of the arena by large blue tarps, trying to generate the excitement that hovered over so many of his performances at Oracle Arena in Oakland.
The game marked a return to form for the superstar, who came into Sunday’s matchup with the Blazers shooting 42 percent from the field and 32 percent from 3.
After hitting his eighth 3 of the game with just under a minute left, Curry excitedly raced down the floor with his arms down by side and was greeted by a smiling Draymond Green.
Green, who finished with just 1 point but led the team in plus-minus, praised Curry’s aggressiveness after the game.
“Steph has a tendency at times to f— around with the basketball,” he said. “There was no f—— around. Everything was a shot or attack.”
Curry received hugs from his teammates on the Warriors bench after checking out of the game for the final time. After the game ended, Blazers players offered Curry congratulations and Blazers star Damian Lillard offered a hug on his way off the floor.
“I wanted to take him out with 30 seconds left so the 42 people in the stands could give him a standing ovation,” Kerr said. “These games are eerie. You come into this beautiful building and we’re so used to our fans packing every seat and going crazy and it’s really sad — every game — home or road.
“I just feel sad for what’s happening with the pandemic and we’re blessed and lucky to play, but I look forward to the day when fans are back in our building.”