Stephen Curry posts 50, but Warriors can't capitalize in loss

ByKendra Andrews ESPN logo
Thursday, March 16, 2023

LOS ANGELES -- Stephen Curry walked to the far side of the court coming out of a timeout in the fourth quarter of the Golden State Warriors' matchup against theLA Clippers.

His lips were curled inward, and a sheepish grin was across his face. He shook his head and looked down. The Warriors were about to drop their ninth consecutive game on the road -- despite Curry having been what Golden State coach Steve Kerr called "sublime."

Curry scored 50 points on 20-of-28 shooting in Wednesday night's 134-126 loss. It was his second 50-point game of the season. The other one was back in November against the Phoenix Suns -- also in a loss. Before this season, Golden State was 8-2 in his career when he scored 50.

Curry scored 21 of his points against the Clips in the third quarter -- his 39th career 20-point quarter, the most by any player over the past 25 seasons.

"It sucks," Draymond Green said. "You just sit and think about what more could I have done to help him? When you get a guy going off like that, you need to find a way to capitalize on it. We didn't do that."

The frustration is growing for the Warriors. There is a glass-half-full point of view, with the sense that they are at least improving away from home. Kerr said he was pleased with the way his team played, but the Clippers just played better.

And as long as there are signs of life, according to Kerr, the Warriors believe in their ability to figure it out.

But at the same time, players want to see results. That hasn't happened, as Golden State is now 7-27 on the road -- the most road losses by a defending champion in NBA history.

"There is always frustration after a loss," Green said. "Yeah, I think we did play better, but at the end of the day, you've got to come out with a win. You've got to figure out a way to win."

The Warriors have allowed 124.1 points per game on the road and 111.7 at home. That 12.4-point difference in home and away games is the largest for any team in a season since the Indianapolis Olympians in 1951-52, according to ESPN Stats & Information research.

Curry listed fouling too much and allowing Los Angeles to grab too many offensive rebounds as the glaring issues Wednesday night. These are two problem areas that have been brought up throughout the season.

Why haven't the Warriors been able to fix them?

"It's a tough question just because we are trying," Curry said. "We're doing everything we can to be mindful of it, give effort, focus. But if you don't do it, you lose. Until we run out of games to solve it, we've got to keep trying."

Curry called the Warriors' home and road split "the ultimate tease." They've been able to beat nearly anyone at home, but once they leave the walls of Chase Center, they crumble, no matter how much momentum they've seemed to build in San Francisco.

The Warriors have always touted an immense confidence in their ability to figure out their problems and beat anyone, no matter the matchup. But with time running out, questions on whether they will be capable of making it over the hump are becoming more prominent.

But Curry said at least he still has that level of confidence.

With their next four games -- and seven of their final 12 regular-season tilts -- on the road, the Warriors have a tall order. Especially considering they likely will have only nine players available on Friday at theAtlanta Hawks.

Golden State is still without Andrew Wiggins and Gary Payton II. Two-way players Anthony Lamb and Ty Jerome are ineligible to play. Andre Iguodala is out indefinitely with a left wrist fracture.

Now, Green is facing a one-game suspension after picking up his 16th technical foul of the season.

It came with 40 seconds left in the first half against the Clippers when Green appeared to have thrown the ball at Russell Westbrook after Ivica Zubac scored.

"I've never said one word to Draymond, and he's never gone over the limit," Kerr said last week. "He always comes right up to the edge, and then he stops. He knows how valuable he is; I don't have to say anything to him. He knows that he can't get that next one; we need him."

The NBA has 24 hours to decide whether it wants to rescind the technical foul, bringing Green's total back to 15.

"I expect something to change," Green said. "If that's a technical, then every word you say on the court is a technical."

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