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Curry lights up Oracle Arena on 1st day back at school

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Stephen Curry. shown on Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2017, sprained his right ankle again on Wednesday. (Emma Marie Chiang/Special to S.F. Examiner)
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OAKLAND — On Stephen Curry’s way to Oracle Arena, where he’d drop 38 points and splash 10 triples, the two-time MVP took to Instagram to share his delight, delivering his own rendition of the comedy classic, “Billy Madison.”

“Back to school, back to school

To prove to Daddy I’m not a fool

I got my lunch packed up, my boots tied tight

I hope I don’t get in a [fight].”

The caption, on his official Instagram account, read: “Billy Madison type mood today.” It was no joke.

“I was excited. It felt like the first day of school again — for real,” Curry said after the Warriors rolled past the Memphis Grizzlies, 141-128, on Saturday night in Oakland.

The video ignited Instagram and set basketball Twitter on fire. Everyone watched it — except for head coach Steve Kerr, who relies on his wife, Margot, for those kind of things.

“I did not see [that],” Kerr said during his pregame press conference. “My wife is on Instagram and I’m not.

“So, usually, if there’s something like that she’ll show me, but we have not had a chance to collaborate on the Instagram front tonight,” the coach cracked. “So, I haven’t seen it, but I’m sure it’s funny, knowing Steph.”

Once the game began, Curry, who hadn’t played since Dec. 4, didn’t look like he’d been out for the better part of a month. In the first half, the Splash Brother was 7-for-9 from the field and 5-for-7 from 3-point range — with one of those triples coming after Zaza Pachulia found him with a through-the-legs-bounce-pass.

A night before Curry’s return, Kerr had warned “anything’s possible” — a prediction that proved prophetic.

Curry’s 10-for-13 showing from beyond the arc gives him 16 games with at least nine 3-pointers. Over the past 35 years, no other NBA player has produced more than five such outings.

The Curry effect is real. The Warriors’ 78 points in the opening two quarters was a team high for any half in 2017. The Dubs had 23 assists in the first half — 37 on the evening.

“It’s crazy what he does to the defense,” Kerr marveled. “As a coach, you try to come up with a scheme to force the ball into certain areas and shrink the floor and you’ve got all these expressions that coaches use. And Steph kind of blows all that stuff out of the water. Schemes kind of go awry when Steph’s on the floor because it’s hard to account for 35 feet of perimeter space.”

Late in the closing quarter, Curry found himself isolated on the unfortunate Marc Gasol, the Grizzlies three-time all-star center. Curry spun the Spaniard around once, then twice before Gasol finally gave up.

“It’s just plays that you make,” Curry said of the sequence that resulted in his final 3-pointer.

“There’s no thought in my head — it’s not really who you’re looking at across the court — it’s just you know you have an iso and trying to make a play.”

Curry’s impact and gravity extends far beyond the floor.

“You could hear the building tonight. Everything just looks better. The food in there is going to taste better tonight. My wife’s going to be even better looking than she already is,” Kerr said with a big grin. “My kids are going to be happy. Steph just, he has that impact. It’s the way he is.”

Curry was just glad to be back at school with his classmates.

“When I woke up this morning and just knew I was going to play basketball, that’s a great feeling to have,” Curry said. “And I think the injury puts into perspective how blessed we all are to be able to play this game and not to take for granted any opportunity you get to play the game that you love.”

kbuscheck@sfexaminer.com

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