Stephen Curry (30) of the Golden State Warriors takes some practice shots despite being injured with a groin strain and having been involved in a morning car accident on Highway 24 on November 23, 2018 at Oracle Arena in Oakland, California. (Chris Victorio - Special to S.F. Examiner)

Stephen Curry earns Western Conference Player of the Week for second time

Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry has been named the Week 8 Western Conference Player of the Week, the NBA announced on Monday. Curry also won the award in Week 2, and is now the first Western Conference player this season to win it multiple times.

The award is his 14th career weekly recognition. The award marks the 52nd time a Warriors player has been named Player of the Week since the NBA began giving out the award in 1979.

After returning from a groin injury that kept him out 11 games, Curry returned on Dec. 1 against Detroit, with a (for him) middling five rebounds, two steals and 27 points on 10-of-21 shooting.

Over the last three games, Curry has averaged 30.7 points, kicked off by a 30-point night in a 128-11 win over Atlanta on Dec. 3. In that game, he shot 58.8 percent from the field, 60.0 percent from 3-point range hit all four tries from the free throw line, representing the 34th time he’d scored at least 30 points in a game while shooting 50/60/100—the most of any player since 1983.

In an NBA Finals rematch against the depleted Cleveland Cavaliers on Dec. 5, he scored a game-high 42 points, including a season-high nine 3-pointers to go along with a season-high-tying nine rebounds in a 129-105 win.

Curry finished off the week with a game-high-tying 20 points, to go along with eight assists and four rebounds, going 4-of-9 from 3-point range in a 105-95 victory at Milwaukee on Dec. 7.

While Curry’s drive for a third MVP award was stalled during his convalescence, it’s revved back up in earnest since his return.

When Curry won the unanimous NBA MVP in 2016, he averaged 30.1 points, 2.1 steals, 6.7 assists and 5.4 rebounds per game. He shot 50.4 percent from the field, 45.4 percent from 3 for an effective field goal percentage of 63.0 — the highest of his career.

This season, he has an effective field goal percentage of 64.7. He’s averaging 29.6 points, 5.8 assists, and 5.1 rebounds while hitting 51.3 percent from the field, 50.0 percent from three-point range and 93.2 percent from the free throw line in 33.4 minutes over 16 games (all starts).

Since his return, Curry is averaging 29.8 points per game, 5.0 assists and 5.3 rebounds, with an average plus-minus rating of plus-11.3. He’s shooting 52.4 percent from beyond the arc, 95.5 percent from the free throw line and 50.7 percent from the field.

He’ll make his first start at Oracle Arena since his injury on Monday night, when Draymond Green is expected to return to the lineup against the Minnesota Timberwolves. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

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