Stephen Curry leaps up to score during the first half of the Miami Heat vs Golden State Warriors game at Oracle Arena on Monday, November 6th, 2017. (Mira Laing/Special to S.F. Examiner)

Stephen Curry leaps up to score during the first half of the Miami Heat vs Golden State Warriors game at Oracle Arena on Monday, November 6th, 2017. (Mira Laing/Special to S.F. Examiner)

Warriors fall flat on Curry Eve

OAKLAND — Before the Golden State Warriors slumped to a 111-100 loss to the Charlotte Hornets on Friday night, Stephen Curry took a quick break from his pregame shooting routine. Standing in front of the Warriors’ bench, Curry one-hopped a pass to his dad, Dell, who was leaning up against the scorer’s table at center court.

Just like last February when the elder Curry banked in a 3-pointer, the ex-NBA marksman and Hornets broadcaster hoisted another long-range effort. This one too went off the glass but rimmed out.

His son, soaking up the scene, doubled over in laughter and amazement as Dell almost did it again.

Amid his nearly-month long layoff, Curry has never lost his perspective, his sense of humor or his boundless joy.

“He’s just Steph,” head coach Steve Kerr said. “When he’s around, everybody feels better. I mean, he’s just a great teammate and a great person.”

“He’s a settling influence,” Kerr continued. “It’s good to have him in the building but it’s more fun to have him on the floor.”

For much of the outing against the Hornets, his teammates didn’t share that zeal. At times on Friday night, as has happened on occasion this month, the Warriors looked bored. They played flat.

The offense, held to 100 points or fewer for the third time in four games, badly needed Curry’s enthusiasm and his gravity.

When the two-time MVP returns against the Memphis Grizzlies, Kerr will have him on a yet-to-be-determined minutes restriction. The coach knows there’s no limiting what Curry does with that time on the floor.

“Anything’s possible,” Kerr said. “Who knows? With Steph nothing would shock me. He might make 10 shots in a row. He might. He might miss 10 in a row to start with and then make eight.”

Stephen Curry is on the verge of rejoining the Warriors. (Mira Laing/Special to S.F. Examiner)

Kerr recalled the time Curry returned from a four-game absence in the 2016 Western Conference Semifinals to drop 40 points — including 17 in overtime — on the Portland Trail Blazers.

“He came back and he was like 0-for-11 to start the game,” Kerr said. “Then he made his 12th shot and he shimmied back down the court. It was one of my favorite Steph moments. The ultimate display of confidence. 1-for-12 — he’s shimmying. It’s awesome.”

Against the Hornets, Draymond delivered a typically-active performance, cluttering the box score with eight points, 11 rebounds, 16 assists and three blocks, but as a group, the Warriors never hit that extra gear.

Kevin Durant poured in 27 points but he needed 19 field-goal attempts to get there.

“Our energy wasn’t really on point like it should have been,” Durant conceded. “I think it was okay [but] we couldn’t take it up to another level and they made shoots as well.”

Klay Thompson epitomized the night, starting with a burst before fading into a malaise. Thompson scored 13 points in the first six minutes before tallying just 11 in his final half an hour on the floor.

All the Warriors are thrilled about impending return of the Baby-Faced Assassin.

“Anytime Steph Curry’s in the building, he’s a threat,” his backup Shaun Livingston said after shoot around. “So, just to have that option, to have that weapon — it’s like having a nuclear missile. Like for real.”

Durant summed up the moment best, speaking to Curry the offensive force and Golden State tone-setter.

“I’m very excited, man,” Durant said. “He’s our leader. He’s our point guard. He kind of runs the show out there, so we’ve definitely been missing him. We have so many quick scoring spurts because of his movement, his 3-point shooting, his ball handling [and] his vision. So, we’ll definitely be another team, a different team, when he comes back. We’re excited about having him healthy again. I’m excited he gets to play the game he loves again. I could tell he was anxious.”

kbuscheck@sfexaminer.comGolden State WarriorsKevin DurantNBAShaun LivingstonStephen CurrySteve Kerr

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at

Just Posted

Outdoor dining, as seen here at Mama’s on Washington Square in North Beach in September, is expected to resume in San Franisco this week. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
SF to reopen outdoor dining, personal services

San Francisco will allow outdoor dining and other limited business activity to… Continue reading

Patients line up in their cars to receive a shot at The City’s first mass COVID-19 vaccination site at City College of San Francisco on Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Legislation would require SF to create a public COVID-19 vaccine plan — fast

San Francisco’s Department of Public Health would have to come up with… Continue reading

Ian Jameson (center) organized a group of tenant rights activists and assembled at the El Monte City Hall to demand that the City Council there pass an eviction moratorium barring all evictions during the coronavirus pandemic on Sunday, March 29, 2020. (Jason Armond / Los Angeles Times)
California would extend eviction protections to June 30 under proposal

Legislation released Monday would also subsidize rent for low-income tenants

William DeMeritt appears in Marin Theatre Co. and Round House Theatre’s timely production of “The Catastrophist.” (Courtesy Marin Theatre Co.)
Marin Theatre’s ‘Catastrophist’ couldn’t be more relevant

‘Review’ takes on New York art world, post 9/11

A statue of Florence Nightingale outside the Laguna Honda Hospital is one of only two statues of women in The City. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
S.F. still falling short of goal to represent women in public art

City has few streets or public facilities not named after men

Most Read