Stephen Curry aims to pace Warriors past sputtering Thunder

NBA Basketball

Stephen Curry doesn’t wow Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr much anymore.

“I’ve been watching this stuff for a decade,” Kerr said.

Entering Wednesday night’s road game against the Oklahoma City Thunder, Curry is on one of the hottest streaks of his career as he propels Golden State in its playoff push.

The Warriors enter Wednesday’s game in 10th place in the Western Conference, a game ahead of the New Orleans Pelicans for the final spot in the play-in field.

Golden State has won three of its past four games, with victories over the Milwaukee Bucks and Denver Nuggets during that stretch.

Conversely, Oklahoma City lost its seventh straight game in a 106-96 defeat to the Utah Jazz on Tuesday.

Curry has 30 or more points in seven consecutive games since he returned from a tailbone injury. During that span, he is averaging 38.4 points per game and is shooting 53.5 percent from the floor.

Curry is coming off a 53-point performance in Monday’s win over the Nuggets. In the first quarter, he passed Wilt Chamberlain to become the Warriors’ franchise scoring leader.

“To be anywhere near him in any record book or now be on top, it’s surreal,” Curry said. “And it’s wild. Because if you grow up in the game of basketball and you hear his name, you know it’s something extremely special, no matter what it is.”

Wednesday’s game is the first of a season-long five-game trip for Golden State. Eleven of Golden State’s last 18 games come against teams on the outside looking in of the playoff race going into Wednesday’s action.

While the Warriors have started to heat up lately, the Thunder have struggled.

During this losing streak, their longest since the franchise’s first season in Oklahoma City in 2008-09, the Thunder have lost by an average of nearly 26 points per game.

After missing seven games in the league’s concussion protocol, Luguentz Dort has been one of the bright spots over the past two games.

Dort scored a career-high 42 points on Tuesday, 16 better than his previous high in a regular-season game.

Dort scored 18 points in the fourth quarter as Oklahoma City trimmed what once was a 25-point deficit in the fourth to seven in the final minutes.

He also helped slow Utah’s Donovan Mitchell.

“There’s guys that get 40 in the NBA on certain nights, but I’m not sure there’s a guy that guards a guy like Mitchell as effectively as he did (too),” Thunder coach Mark Daigneault said.

Dort has developed a reputation as a strong defender since joining the league as an undrafted free agent last season. He figures to need another big game — especially on defense — if Oklahoma City is to break its streak Wednesday.

The meeting is the first of three this season between the teams and the only one in Oklahoma City. The teams will meet again in back-to-back games in early May in San Francisco.

–Field Level Media

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