- Nick Friedell is the Chicago Bulls beat reporter for ESPN Chicago. Friedell is a graduate of the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University and joined ESPNChicago.com for its launch in April 2009.
Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry’s 11-game streak of scoring at least 30 points ended Wednesday night during a 118-114 loss to the Washington Wizards.
Curry shot 7-for-25 from the field, including a season-worst 2-for-14 from beyond the arc, and finished with 18 points. Despite the loss and the poor performance in Washington, Curry said he was proud of what he accomplished over the past month.
“It was a great run,” Curry said after the game. “It was something that hadn’t been done before. It was going to end at some point. Now you got to start another one. So it’s just a matter of the next-play mentality. Just try to get rejuvenated when we go home — to do it home, road, some big games, put a streak together. It was a special ride, for sure. And never really get too hyped up on individual streaks or accolades like that. There were some historical names that I was able to pass. And doing something at this age was pretty special.”
Curry became the first player since Kobe Bryant to score at least 30 points in 10 straight games and became the oldest player in league history — at age 33 — to score at least 30 in 11 straight games after dropping in 49 points in Monday’s win over the Philadelphia 76ers.
Curry never seemed surprised by the historic numbers he continued to put up.
“Peaking at the right time,” he said when asked why he has maintained such a high level of play over the past month. “Usually the trend of our seasons, or my seasons, getting better as each game goes, so I’m glad this season’s no different. Just trying to continue to get better and build that confidence of playing my best basketball towards the end of the season.”
Even after Wednesday’s off night, Curry is still shooting 54.9% from the field and averaging 40.8 points a game during 11 games in April.
The Wizards threw different bodies at Curry all night, trying to force other Warriors players to beat them and contesting as many of Curry’s shots as possible. It was a move that Warriors coach Steve Kerr predicted earlier in the week, and Kerr said he knows Curry will likely see more of that down the stretch.
“I thought the Wizards played well defensively,” Kerr said. “Did some good things to get the ball out of Steph’s hands. But nothing that Steph hasn’t seen before. I thought we were gassed. I thought that included Steph and everybody — we just didn’t look like we had our legs out there tonight.”
Before the game, Kerr praised Curry for his work ethic and the dedication he has shown to improving his game year after year.
“It looks like magic, but it comes from a great combination of genes and work,” Kerr said. “There’s no doubting that he comes from an incredible set of genes, given his parents being so athletic. Obviously, Dell was one of the great shooters in the history of the game and you see Seth, also one of the best shooters in the league; so there’s some genetics there, but the work ethic is what puts Steph over the top.”
Curry and the Warriors head home for a Friday matchup against the Denver Nuggets. It’ll be the first time all season that fans will be admitted into Chase Center following the restrictions that have been in place in San Francisco over the past year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Warriors can have up to 35% capacity and are paying to have every fan tested if they don’t have proof of a vaccination.
“We’re going to enjoy the atmosphere,” Curry said. “It’s definitely noticeable if you have even just 1,000 fans in the seats. It makes a huge difference in the atmosphere — and, obviously, at Chase we had three-quarters of a season opening up a new building and then getting shut down [because of the pandemic]. And we’ve had a whole season now where we haven’t had any fans, so you’re kind of sick of looking at the blue tarp. You want to see some bodies in there and we’re going to enjoy the atmosphere.”
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