ATLANTA — In just his second game since returning from a strained left groin, Golden State Warriors superstar Stephen Curry scored 30 points in 29 minutes in Monday night’s 128-111 win over the Atlanta Hawks.
Curry outscored the Hawks by himself in the first quarter 18-17, going 6-of-7 from the field and 4-for-5 from beyond the arc.
“Just be aggressive and pick up where I left off in the second half in Detroit,” Curry said of his mindset. “Try to get my rhythm back. It’s nice to make a couple shots early. The way we played and how we were purposeful about the shots that we were trying to get. Set the tone defensively, as well. Trying to set the tone for the game. We needed a win on the road. We didn’t want to give them any life to start the game.”
Curry’s surge in the first quarter set the tone for the rest of his teammates. They were confident he would have no problem finding a rhythm after missing 11 games because of the injury, and he rewarded that faith against a struggling Hawks team. The Warriors’ passing was crisp throughout most of the night, turning into 33 assists.
“I think with Steph, our offense is so free-flowing,” Warriors forward Kevin Durant said. “And if it’s Steph getting 18 points in the first quarter or Klay or myself, it starts off with passing the basketball. So I think, obviously, Steph scored the points, but we all had a hand in setting screens, throwing the ball to him, getting out of the way so he could be aggressive. He’s just all otherworldly when he makes those types of shots and definitely got us going tonight.”
Curry faced many questions leading up to this game about the comparisons between himself and Hawks rookie Trae Young. After their first meeting on the floor, Curry acknowledged he was tired of discussing the similarities in their respective games.
“Honestly, it’s getting old to be honest,” Curry said. “Again, he’s his own player. Like when I was a rookie, Steve Nash’s name was thrown out there a lot. You take that with respect and understand it’s flattering, but at the end of the day, that’s not going to carry you through the league. It’s what you do with the opportunity you have in front of you. So I’ve been blessed and have had a lot of success and experience in the league. Obviously, you expect Trae to kind of carve out his own lane and, again, be himself. He doesn’t have to be anybody else but himself.”
Young scored 20 points Monday but was 0-for-5 from 3-point range and racked up seven turnovers, including six in the first half — tying a franchise record for turnovers in a half. He felt similarly regarding the constant chatter from media and fans.
“For me, I really don’t listen and don’t care about the comparisons,” Young said. “For me, I just play. All I think about is my teammates and myself and how I can prepare my team to play. I don’t really care about answering any comparison questions.”
Curry was wearing tape around a sore left wrist during the game, an injury he said was bothering him prior to his return Saturday night in Detroit. He wore an ice pack on it after the game was over but did not seem concerned with it.
“It’s been something just bothering [me],” Curry said. “But it ain’t nothing to worry about.”
The Warriors play the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday night.