Steph Curry

Steph proves he's not so tired after all in Warriors' win vs. Raptors

NBC Universal, Inc.

Every member of the Warriors had a valid reason to put forth a poor performance in Toronto, no one more than the oldest man on the roster. The dude closing in on his 36th birthday who “looked tired” five days ago.

But even after a long airport delay before an early morning flight from New York to Toronto, Stephen Curry offered no excuses. He shook off the “tired” notion last Sunday. And on Friday night, he went out and set fire to it in a 120-105 victory over the Raptors.

Curry’s sheer determination – and some vociferous coaxing from coach Steve Kerr – helped the Warriors to overcome fatigue from leaving New York almost five hours behind schedule due to a reported mechanical problem at the airport.

The rest of the team followed the example set by its leaders.

“If you're going to win, you have to be resilient,” Draymond Green told reporters at Scotiabank Arena. “If your leaders are resilient, you have no choice. And Steph is one of the most resilient people I've ever seen. Steve Kerr is resilient as hell. And when have that everybody else kind of falls in line.”

After a mostly forgettable first half ended with the Warriors trailing 64-61, they came out in the third quarter and somehow kicked themselves into overdrive, with Curry at the wheel. His first 3-pointer, less than two minutes into the quarter, tied the game. His second gave them a seven-point lead. His third, 27 pushed the lead to 10 and shoved the Raptors toward sleepy town.

Suddenly, the Warriors looked like the fresher squad. They outscored the Raptors 32-19 in the third quarter – with the defense limiting Toronto to 27.8-percent shooting from the field – and the lead never dipped below seven points.

“We had an eventful day, or an eventful night,” Chris Paul said on NBC Sports Bay Area’s Warriors Postgame. “Couldn't get out of New York.

“But this team right here, it's a lot of resilient guys. We could have found every excuse in the book to come out and lay down tonight, but we’ve got a lot of guys that are not built like that.”

“Tired” Steph totaled a game-high 25 points, on 9-of-22 shooting, including 7-of-15 from deep, while also adding six rebounds and six assists to finish plus-12 over 30 minutes.

Curry scored 23 points in his first 23 minutes because that’s what it took to generate the momentum for the Warriors (32-27) to rise from ninth place in the Western Conference, one percentage point ahead of the Los Angeles Lakers (33-28), and move above .500 for the first time this season.

“Fantastic win,” Kerr said. “Last night was brutal. That's the worst travel circumstances I've ever been involved with in the NBA. I think we got in bed at 8:00 this morning. The guys slept during the day and woke up and came to the game. It was pretty rough.

“But I'm proud of the group for the way they competed and after that slow start, which was understandable, we really locked in and did a good job.”

Following their win over the Knicks on Thursday in New York, the Warriors have won both games of their last three back-to-back sets.

“No sleep, a few hours of sleep – but we got two wins in the last 24 hours and that's always great,” Green said.

It was Kerr who thought Curry “looked tired” in the wake of his heavy schedule during what for most was an All-Star break. Rather than rest his superstar in either game of the back-to-back set, the coach watched him score 56 points in 62 minutes, with 45.5-percent (15-of-33) shooting from beyond the arc.

Perhaps to emphasize his vigor, Curry also snagged a team-high 11 rebounds in New York before settling for six in Toronto.

It appears “tired” Steph is a myth. Or maybe a motivational nudge from the coach.

Up next is Boston on Sunday at TD Garden, 10 days before Curry turns 36. The Warriors probably won’t mind if Kerr, once more, suggests that the oldest dude on the roster is looking tired.

Download and follow the Dubs Talk Podcast

Contact Us