Steph Curry

What we learned as Steph erupts from deep in Warriors' win vs. Pacers

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Stephen Curry offered up another reminder of why he’s considered by most to be the greatest shooter in NBA history, scoring 42 points and canning a season-high 11 3-pointers as the Warriors wrapped up a fantastic road trip, beating the Indiana Pacers 131-109 on Thursday.

One day after one of his least productive games of the 2023-24 NBA season, Curry unleashed a flurry from the outside against the Pacers (29-24) at Gainbridge Fieldhouse. The two-time NBA MVP and scoring champ connected on his first seven shots beyond the arc, the most Curry has made to begin a game in his career. He shot 15 of 22 overall and 11 of 16 on 3s as the Warriors (24-25) finished their road trip 4-1.

Jonathan Kuminga kept rolling with his 29th consecutive game in double figures with 18 points. Andrew Wiggins came off the bench and had 11 points and five assists.

Draymond Green added eight points, eight rebounds and five assists. Brandin Podziemski, starting in place of Klay Thompson (illness), had nine points, seven boards and seven assists.

A few hours after the Warriors shipped Cory Joseph to the Pacers in exchange for a second-round draft pick and money, Curry and Golden State cashed in to cap an impressive road trip. The Warriors began the day one game behind the Utah Jazz for the final play-in tournament spot in the Western Conference. Utah faced the Phoenix Suns later Thursday night.

Playing on the second half of a back-to-back while the Pacers were coming off a day off, the Warriors looked like the much fresher team from the jump and never trailed. While both teams aggressively attacked the rim early, Curry’s red-hot shooting from the outside helped Golden State pull away for the comfortable win.

Next up is a home game at Chase Center against the Suns and former Warriors star Kevin Durant on Saturday.

Here are the takeaways from Thursday’s victory:

What a difference a day makes

About 24 hours after a terrible first quarter in Philadelphia when they were limited to 15 points, the Warriors came out on fire against the Pacers and tripled that output in the first 12 minutes.

Curry obviously led the charge with his outstanding shooting in the first quarter, but it wasn’t just him who came out strong. Kuminga and Wiggins combined for 15 points while Dario Saric had six in the period.

The 45 points were the most by the Warriors in any quarter this season and marked the seventh time this season that they’ve put up 40 or more in a single quarter.

As a team, Golden State shot a whopping 73.9 percent (17 of 23) in the first quarter, while they also dished out 13 assists and held a huge rebounding advantage.

That it came on the second half of a back-to-back made the Warriors’ opening more impressive.

Defense does it again

In addition to all the offensive wizardry, the Warriors continued their recent defensive surge that has been a major factor in getting the season back on track.

Facing the NBA’s top-scoring team, the Warriors held the Pacers to 14 points below their season average. It’s the 10th time this season that Indiana has been held under 110 points.

Golden State out-rebounded the Pacers 58-36 and forced 14 turnovers. The Warriors also powered up and blocked seven shots. Over their last five games, the Warriors have had 38 blocks.

Tyrese Haliburton, Indiana’s prolific scorer, wasn’t much of a factor and was held to five points.

GQ combo gives Dubs a good look

Gui Santos and Lester Quinones, two seldom-used players this season, picked up their most extensive and significant minutes during the road trip and continued that upward trend against the Pacers.

Santos tallied career-highs in points (13), rebounds (eight) and 3-pointers (two), while Quinones dished out a career-high five assists to go with six points and five rebounds.

Regardless of the numbers they put up, the duo played a pivotal role by allowing coach Steve Kerr to alter his rotations and give some of his regulars a rest. Plus, any playing time the youngsters can get now should benefit them and the team down the road.

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