Stephen Curry’s body of work has grown so substantial that his personal bests mean something. Things tend to get outrageous quickly when the reigning MVP starts to outpace his career marks, as was the case in a 51-point performance Tuesday night against the Wizards. Golden State held off Washington for a 134–121 victory for its 45th win this season.
Curry heated up right from the start with a 25-point first quarter. Curry lined up his first field goal attempt in Washington—a sidestep three-pointer—with just over nine minutes remaining in the first period. It bounced gently through the rim. He wouldn’t miss until he had tallied 17 points on six total shots, which was Curry’s only errant attempt in the quarter. After a short rest, the Warriors’ superstar guard picked up to go 4-of-4 from the field in the second quarter and finish with a career-best 36 in the first half.
The reigning MVP fell just one short of the record for three-pointers in an NBA game with 11 (he had eight at halftime.) Curry matched his career-high of 11 threes, but just missed a career-high 54 points set Feb. 27, 2013 at the New York Knicks. Wednesday was the second time dropping 50 points this season having scored 53 against the New Orleans Pelicans on Oct. 31.
First-time All-Star Draymond Green set a team record with his NBA-leading 10th triple double this season, posting 12 points, 10 rebounds and 12 assists. Klay Thompson added 24 points for Golden State.
Photos: NBA’s active 50-point scorers
The NBA’s Active 50-Point Scorers
Lost in Curry’s near-record performance was a 41-point game by Wizards point guard John Wall who led a second-half comeback.
Washington trimmed a double-digit Golden State lead in the third quarter with a change in its coverage on Curry—a different matchup (with Garrett Temple answering the call) and well-applied pressure.
It ultimately wasn’t enough as Washington fell to 21–26.
Curry received a well-deserved “splash bath” from Green after the game.
Wednesday marked the eighth straight win for Golden State who improved to 45–4.