Steph explodes for 50 points and 10 assists, reminding his protege Trae Young who reigns supreme

A night like this was inevitable. After 12 seasons, three championships and two MVPs, the pattern is now predictable.

Stephen Curry came into Monday’s game against Atlanta shooting 37.4 percent from 3 and just 42 percent from the field. Those pedestrian percentages weren’t going to stick.

Curry has never shot below 41 percent from 3 in a season. And never worse than 45 percent from the field. So a progression to the mean was coming. And Curry has a way of vanquishing cold spells with heatwaves.

Last night Curry chose the Atlanta Hawks and his protege Trae Young as the victims.

Curry detonated on the Hawks with 50 points in 35 minutes. He made half of his 28 shots, including nine 3-pointers, in the Warriors’ 127-113 win.

“I mean, yeah, it was pretty much that Stephen had 50,” Trae Young said. “That’s a lot. He was plus-31.”

I want to focus in on the Candace Parker tweet, which for the record came BEFORE the game started.

In the postseason a year ago the media and fans alike were labeling Young as the next Curry, or at least comparing their games. I don’t know Curry personally but he is an all-time great and they all think alike. The common denominator being a fire for competition and winning.

I can’t imagine Curry gracefully sitting at home, while Young was lighting up the Eastern Conference and being pushed as the next Curry. In a long NBA season there are games all time greats have circled on the calendar as the ones they’re going to take a bit more serious than others. I think Curry had this one on his list.

Monday was not just Curry finding his historic shooting form. It was his stroke joining his floor game to produce one of his most complete games.

This was the 10th game of his career with at least 50 points. But it was the first time he has had 10 assists to go with it. His seven rebounds on Monday were also tied for the most he’s ever had while scoring at least 50. He also had three steals and a block — the first time he’s ever tallied both in a game he reached the 50-point plateau.

it is early but a game like this, to go along with a league best 9-1 record has Curry as a league MVP favorite.

But the value to the Warriors has never been higher because he’s the most complete he’s ever been.

“Yeah. It should be. You keep learning from years past and keep adding on different layers to who I am as a person and a basketball player and all of that,” said Curry. “Maybe Andre is like the Wizard of Oz in the locker room in terms of his presence and all that. But I feel like I have a lot to offer as well on that front.”

The Warriors are 9-1 for a multitude of reasons. One isn’t because Curry has gone scorched Earth from 3. He did against the Hawks in Game 10. He did against the Clippers in the second game of the season. But those are the only real Curry takeovers.

The Warriors are here because of their defense. And that is in part due to how well Curry is playing on that end.

The loss of Kent Bazemore and Kelly Oubre to free agency, and the insertion of Jordan Poole into the starting lineup, added to Curry’s defensive burden. That left him the No. 2 perimeter defender in the starting lineup behind Andrew Wiggins. He couldn’t hide on a small forward as often. And to his credit he has held his own better than he ever has.

Through 10 games, Curry has defended the third-most shots on the team, behind Wiggins and Draymond Green, and allowing just 39.8 percent shooting. He’s not a stopper, but he’s doing better than holding his own. Curry has always been an asset to the Warriors’ defense. Now he’s leveled up to defend harder guards and is still proving to be a plus.

He was always great at following the scheme. But he’s cut down on his reaching significantly. He’s getting into ballhandlers, using his strength to negate any quickness advantage. And he’s been relentless. He’s had way fewer moments where he loses his man or gets caught in between.

“Very underrated defender,” Damion Lee said. “His hands, obviously, and his positioning to be a good defender. He’s stronger than you would think. A lot of people look at him and think, ‘OK, 6-3 and whatever he weighs.’ But he’s a lot stronger than most people think. He puts effort into the defense just as much as he does offense.”

The Warriors are also here because of their depth. And this is in part due to how well Curry is helping it all mesh together. With added shooting in the rotation, the Warriors are back to their ball-whipping, body-moving ways. Sometimes they even overpass, drunk on the vibes. But it all centers on him. His gravity. His aggressiveness. His energy.

This Warrior team is far from its final form, assuming Klay Thompson and James Wiseman both return to full strength by years end. The Warriors were expected to be back in the playoff picture this year, but nobody had them coming out the game 9-1.

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