A friendly schedule, coupled with an 8-game home stay, saw the Golden State Warriors start the season with an 11-2 record.
In their first two games of 2021-22 they beat the Los Angeles Lakers and LA Clippers, with their recent win over the Chicago Bulls being their only other real test of the season, making tonight’s road game against the Brooklyn Nets was designated as a ‘Are the Warriors really good?’ play.
Well, after 48 minutes at the Barclays Center, the Warriors more than answered the question, clinching a 117-99 win over the Nets, behind another powerful performance by Stephen Curry.
Steph Curry in 29 minutes:
It is the fifth game of his career with more than 35 points in less than 30 minutes, the most of any player since the era of 3 points (1980). pic.twitter.com/YVhSQerNEF
– StatMuse (@statmuse) November 17, 2021
Curry burned the Nets with 37 points, seven rebounds, five assists and two steals in a ruthlessly efficient 12 of 19 from the field and 9 of 14 from the 3-point range, his fifth game this season with more than 7 scores. three. He already has three games with more than 40 points in the season.
Tonight also marked the 37th game of his career with more than 9 triples: no other player in NBA history has more than 10.
Going into the season, Curry had the fifth best odds to win the MVP, trailing Giannis Antetokounmpo, Kevin Durant, Joel Embiid and favorite Luka Doncic and this week we had Curry at No. 1 on the Sporting News MVP Scale after the first month of games.
After tonight’s performance against Kevin Durant, whom we had at No. 2 on the Ladder, Curry only solidified his position as the early favorite to win the award.
Before the start, Warriors coach Steve Kerr said the race so far was definitely between former teammates. “Yes, without a doubt, for me they have been the two best players in the league so far,” he said of Curry and Durant, who finished with 19 points on 9 of 19 shooting tonight.
MORE: Why Kevin Durant Left Warriors for Nets
Even the Barclays Center crowd was raining down MVP chants while Curry was at the free throw line early in the second quarter.
The 33-year-old won back-to-back MVPs in 2014-15 and 2015-16 and his second was the only player in NBA history to win the award with a unanimous vote. Last season, even though the Warriors finished ninth in the Western Conference (39-33) and were eliminated from the Play-In Tournament, missing the postseason, Curry finished third in the vote behind Joel Embiid and eventual winner Nikola Jokic. after leading the tournament. league in scoring at 32.0 points per game.
The Warriors now have a 12-2 record, the best in the league, to sit atop the Western Conference, with Curry scoring 28.7 points, 6.6 assists, 6.3 rebounds and 1.7 steals per game during the first 14 games of the season. season, while dropping 40.6 percent. of his three in 13.4 attempts per night.
A third MVP trophy would put Curry in a weird air as the ninth player to win more than 3 MVP trophies, joining Magic Johnson (3), Larry Bird (3), Moses Malone (3), LeBron James (4) , Wilt Chamberlain (4), Michael Jordan (5), Bill Russell (5) and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (6).
It’s still very early in the season to hand out trophies, but Curry is doing everything he can to separate himself from the pack.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.