Curry steals the show in homecoming

Stephen Curry (right) fighting for a rebound against Charlotte Hornets. He finished as Golden State Warriors' top scorer for the fifth straight game in the 116-99 win.
Stephen Curry (right) fighting for a rebound against Charlotte Hornets. He finished as Golden State Warriors' top scorer for the fifth straight game in the 116-99 win.PHOTO: USA TODAY SPORTS

Inspired by father's half-time speech, he scores 40 points and leads Golden State to 20th straight win this season

CHARLOTTE (North Carolina) • Stephen Curry's father was honoured by the Charlotte Hornets at half-time on Wednesday night.

The son took over the spotlight from there with one of the most incredible shooting displays of his National Basketball Association (NBA) career as the Golden State Warriors remained perfect with a 116-99 win.

Curry erupted for 28 third-quarter points - including the Warriors' final 24 of the quarter - and finished with 40 points despite sitting out the entire fourth quarter.

He was 14 of 18 from the field, and eight of 11 from three-point range.

Curry said he could not have imagined a better evening, especially since the Hornets honoured his father Dell as the franchise's all-time scoring leader at half-time.

"It was special," he said of the ceremony. "I got to come out and see my dad's half-time ceremony and hear his speech. I might have got a little inspiration from that."

This was also a homecoming for the 27-year-old, who grew up in Charlotte and played high school and college ball there.

The win moved the Warriors to 20-0, adding to the best start in NBA history. The Warriors have now won 24 straight regular-season games dating to last season.

"It's getting surreal, for sure," Curry said. "It doesn't even sound right, to be honest.

"The NBA has so many great teams... so to be able to put on a run like this is special. It says a lot about our focus night in and night out.

"We don't always play our best but we find different ways to win. That's our strength. Different guys step up on different nights."

Yet, it was the reigning Most Valuable Player who led the way again, with Curry finishing as the Warriors' top scorer for the fifth straight game.

Fellow guard Klay Thompson was the only other Golden State player in double figures in scoring with 21 points, including 15 in the first quarter. Forward Draymond Green and centre Andrew Bogut had 11 rebounds each.

The Warriors took command quickly, racing to a 28-13 lead and never looking back.

They led by as many as 26.

Curry's explosion came over the final 7min 26sec of the third. He started it off with three free throws, then a drive, then came back to hit, in succession, a three-pointer, a fast-break layup, two more three-pointers, a layup, and then two more three-pointers.

"When you get on a streak like that, it's fun," he said. "I mean, you don't expect to make six out of six in the third quarter like that.

"But the shots I took, I've said it before, are the ones I practised. I've taken them plenty of times.

"You expect to make them even though some nights it's off."

At least three of the three-pointers were 30-footers.

"Steph was incredible," Warriors interim head coach Luke Walton said. "In his hometown like this, 40 points in only three quarters, I mean, that's why he's MVP of the league."

The Hornets (10-8) shot just 37.2 per cent from the field, including guard Kemba Walker's woeful two of 16.

Guard Nicolas Batum led the way with 17 points.

REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 04, 2015, with the headline 'CURRY STEALS THE SHOW IN HOMECOMING'. Print Edition | Subscribe