SAN FRANCISCO -- Golden State Warriors superstar Stephen Curry scored 40 points in 25 minutes in Thursday night's 143-123 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Curry's dazzling offensive performance offered fans both a reminder of the former MVP's talent and a glimpse at just how dominant he could be on certain nights as the Warriors go through a transition season without Kevin Durant and, for most of the season, Klay Thompson, who continues rehabbing a torn left ACL.
"Hopefully it looks like that every night," Curry said after shooting 14-for-19 from the field. "But like I said coming into camp, I have the same mentality every time I set foot on the floor. It doesn't mean I'm shooting every possession, but I'm trying to make plays and do what I'm comfortable doing and that's just playing my style of basketball and being aggressive and confident. Hopefully that vibe is contagious. I don't know what it will look like every night, but I'm going to play that exact same way and just try to do what I do."
Curry noted that Warriors coach Steve Kerr hasn't told him he's going to have to do even more this season as the team retools, but Kerr knows that whatever Golden State's new identity becomes will be formed around Curry.
"He's going to have a large offensive burden all year," Kerr said. "Just the nature of the roster and what we've lost from a scoring standpoint and a playmaking standpoint. So he's not going to play like this every night, we know that, so we got to really work to develop our identity and our efficiency and keep working with these young guys. Tonight was a good step in that direction."
Curry acknowledged afterward that he became a little emotional before the game when he realized that he would no longer be able to take his popular tunnel shots at Chase Center, the way he did at Oracle Arena in Oakland.
"I did shed a tear about the tunnel shot tonight," Curry said. "Just cause I've been thinking about it, I don't think there's an option."
Curry would end his pregame routine before every game at Oracle by firing off shots from the Warriors' tunnel that led back to their locker room. Oracle security guard Curtis Jones would pass the ball to Curry as the pair teamed up for one of the most popular pregame routines in the league over the years. After moving to the Chase Center in San Francisco for the 2019-20 season, Curry knows there is no way to replicate the old tradition in the new arena.
"It's not at the same angle [as Oracle]," Curry said. "I know I've been asked about it a couple times leading up to this year. I'll just shake Curtis' hand and we'll do a little sign; shoutout to what the routine was and keep it moving."
Speaking of new routines, Kerr used the NBA's new rule to challenge a call that a ball went out of bounds off a Warriors player late in the second quarter, and successfully had it overturned. It marked the first time for the Warriors that a call was successfully overturned. Despite the new wrinkle in the rule book, Kerr said he wished he didn't have that option.
"I don't like the rule," Kerr said. "I don't like replay at all. I think replay should be limited to the buzzer-beater at the end of every quarter if you want to review them, a buzzer-beater, that's fine. I don't like the review. They send us the rules and we've watched the videotape, so it seemed like something I might as well try just to feel it [out]. But you have to call a timeout in order to challenge, so it seems like what you have to do is make sure you're not wasting a timeout on a play that's not worth challenging.
"So that's going to be a big factor -- if it's your timeout anyway coming up, if there's a mandatory coming up that's yours or if you're on the bad end of a run and you see something that's questionable, you might as well take the timeout and review it. And that way there's no harm done if you don't get the call."
As the Warriors continue to find their new routines in a new city and arena, Kerr noted that Curry would probably rest during one of the Warriors' two games next week against the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center.
"I imagine he'll take a game off," Kerr said. "Maybe one down in L.A. and then -- I haven't talked to him about it, that's just a thought. But I think it would be good to get at least the last game up over 30 [minutes], maybe two games up over 30. Same with Draymond [Green] and D'Angelo [Russell]."
Stephen Curry scores 40 points in 25 minutes in Warriors' preseason win