Warriors Notes: Steve Curry drops 38 in big win over the Thunder

The Warriors survived a late Monday night scare to claim a 128-120 victory over the Thunder at the Paycom Center in downtown Oklahoma City.

The Warriors held a comfortable double-digit lead through the first half and most of the third quarter, and had to dig after the Thunder pulled a two-yard lead in the fourth quarter.

Stephen Curry led the way, scoring 38 points. Klay Thompson put up 28 points, while Andrew Wiggins and Jordan Poole each added 15.

The Warriors shot 51.1 percent from the field, including 42.6 percent from outside the arc.

Here are three notes from Golden State’s third straight win and the first game of a three-game road trip in the Western Conference:

Steve happens

Curry enjoyed some iconic games in Oklahoma City — perhaps the most notable being his 35-foot double-bang in February 2016 — and he was great tonight.

Not only were they 38 points, 12-of-20, including 8-of-14 from deep. There were 12 assists, eight rebounds, and a blocked shot, as well as 17 over the course of 37 minutes. He forced his 3-pointer with 2:35 left in an OKC timeout and reignited Golden State’s stagnant offense.

Far from those mundane details, Curry was a picture of control and composure. When on the ground, warriors tended to own the building.

Curry was especially important in the fourth quarter, effectively putting the Thunder to sleep for a night when he passed Wilt Chamberlain to become the franchise’s all-time leader in field goals made.

Non-Steve minutes were problematic

The Warriors led 94-85 in the fourth quarter, which head coach Steve Kerr opened by giving Curry his usual rest. But instead of the usual six minutes, he only got a four-minute break.

This is because the Thunder opened the fourth with a 13-6 run, closing the gap to 100-98 with 8:22 remaining.

That forced an early return for Curry. With a winning streak coming against the hot Timberwolves (11-4 over the last 15 games) and the conference-leading Nuggets, Kerr has set a high priority in this game.

Kerr spoke during a pre-game press conference about how well he played off the bench. He was right. Reserves have improved. The early fourth quarter was an unwanted throwback to some of their work early in the season.

Back to the Basketball Warriors from the past

Since failing to register at least 30 assists in four straight games this month, the Warriors are re-familiarizing themselves with the concept of effective passing.

They wasted no time against the Thunder, tallying 15 assists in the first quarter—a season-high for any quarter—to take a 38-20 lead going into the second quarter. Golden State finished with 37 assists.

This comes on the heels of a 40-assist game in a win over the Raptors last Friday and an accumulation of 33 assists in a win over the Grizzlies last Wednesday. Average over the last three games: 36.7 assists per.

Related: Game vs. Thunder The beginning of an important extension for warriors

Golden State averaged 27.3 assists in the aforementioned four-half period during which it went 2-2. They are 3-0 in their last three matches.

Furthermore, this offense is very similar to the one the Warriors have generally played during their five consecutive runs to the NBA Finals.

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