Curry named Western Conference Player of the Month

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Curry named Western Conference Player of the Month

Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry has been named the Kia NBA Western Conference Player of the Month for games played in February, the league announced today. The reigning MVP led the Warriors to a 9-1 month (7-1 on the road) with averages of 36.7 points, 7.3 assists, 5.6 rebounds and 1.90 steals while hitting 54.9 percent from the field and 53.6 percent from three-point range, becoming the first player to average at least 36 points in a single month (min. 10 games) since Kobe Bryant in March 2007 (40.3 points) and the first Warrior to do so since Rick Barry in February 1967 (39.7). Curry, who also won the award in October/November, is the first player in franchise history to be named Player of the Month twice in one season, earning his fifth career monthly honor.

Curry’s month was highlighted by a pair of 51-point performances (Feb. 3 at Washington & Feb. 25 at Orlando), making him the first player since LeBron James in February 2009 to tally multiple 50-point games in a single month. The 6’3” guard earned Western Conference Player of the Week honors for games played from Feb. 22-28, a stretch that saw him tie the single-game NBA record for three-point field goals with 12 on Feb. 27 at Oklahoma City—equaling the record on a 37-foot game-winner with 0.6 seconds remaining in overtime—and break his own single-season three-point record (currently at 288 threes) in addition to setting a new NBA-mark for consecutive regular-season games with a three-pointer, which now stands at 129-straight games. Curry closed the month by becoming the first Warrior since Barry in 1967 to score at least 40 points in three-straight games and led all players with four 40-point performances in February.

The Warriors earned their franchise-record 29th road win on Feb. 27 at Oklahoma City, eclipsing the previous mark of 28 set last season, and have won 43-straight regular-season home games, one shy of the NBA record. Golden State currently owns a 54-5 record, the best mark in NBA history through 59 games, and clinched a playoff berth on Feb. 27, becoming the first team to clinch a spot in the postseason in February since the 1987-88 Lakers.

Curry is on pace to become the first Warrior to lead the league in scoring since Barry in 1966-67, averaging an NBA-best 30.7 points to go with 6.6 assists, 5.3 rebounds and 2.11 steals. After averaging 23.8 points ­during his MVP campaign in 2014-15, the seventh-year guard has increased his scoring average by 6.9 points this season, seeing the highest year-over-year scoring average of any reigning MVP in league history. Curry is on pace to hit better than 50 percent from the field (.515), 40 percent from three-point range (.468, third in the NBA) and 90 percent from the free throw line (.908, second).

In addition to Curry, only Chris Mullin (January 1989 & November 1990) and Bernard King (January 1981) have earned Player of the Month honors for the Warriors since the NBA began giving out the award in 1979.

Cleveland’s LeBron James earned the accolade in the Eastern Conference.  

Golden State Warriors media services

Rewind: Warriors continue to show why they are masters of self-correction

Rewind: Warriors continue to show why they are masters of self-correction

OAKLAND – Stephen Curry paused, scanning his memory, and came up empty.

Draymond Green sank into deep thought, taking even more time before conceding he was “stumped.”

Neither could remember the last time the Warriors lost consecutive regular-season games, perhaps because it was 19 months ago.

The Warriors are specialists at self-correction, and that was the case again Saturday night when, following a tough loss two nights earlier, they stepped onto the floor at Oracle Arena and played one of their more effective games this season.

Their 138-109 smacking of the Phoenix Suns was a rather comprehensive effort, with some players performing superbly and others merely well. The scoring load was shared among Curry (31 points), Klay Thompson (26) and Kevin Durant (20), while everyone brought something useful to the proceedings.

“It didn’t turn out to be a great night on the stat sheet,” coach Steve Kerr said, noting the Warriors committed 17 turnovers, off which the Suns scored 25 points. “But maybe around the nine-minute mark in the first quarter until about two minutes of the second quarter, we were fantastic.”

The Warriors (17-3) trailed by as much as six in the first before going on a 25-4 run, taking an 18-point lead, and taking command early in the second quarter. Though they stumbled enough for Phoenix to get as close as eight in the second half, there never was a sense the Warriors were facing real trouble.

With Curry and Thompson leading the scoring charge, forwards Draymond Green and Durant excelled in playmaking roles, combining for 21 assists, the most in a game by two Warriors starting forwards since 1970, when Elias Sports Bureau began tracking starters.

“It’s a little unorthodox, but our guards are great shooters, so playing them off the ball and getting the ball to KD and Draymond seems to work well,” Kerr said. “And those guys seem to enjoy playing that way.”

The victory extended to 106 their NBA-record number of regular-season games without consecutive losses. The Warriors last lost back-to-back regular-season games in April 2015, dropping games at San Antonio and then New Orleans.

So long ago that neither Curry nor Green could remember.

“Um . . . let’s see . . . I think it was my second year in the league,” Green finally guessed, wrongly.

It was his third season, and the first under Kerr.

“There’s a resiliency to our team that, obviously in this league, anything can happen,” Curry said. “So for us to be able to correct mistakes and find ways to bounce back quickly and not have multiple games in a row where we don’t show up to play says a lot about the character we have on this team.”

Though Green cited the team’s heightened focus after a loss, there is one thread that runs through Curry and Thompson and Green. All three have been dismissed at some point and, therefore, carry a burning desire to validate their status.

Perhaps no one on the team carries that edge more than Curry.

“I’d be interested the see the numbers of Steph, after we lost,” Green said. “He has incredible games after we lost. It’s just a focus level, guys really lock in and come out and do what it takes to win the next game.

“I think guys do get a little pissed off as well, which definitely helps. That is probably the biggest thing. Guys get mad about it, and it carries over.”

Perhaps feeling Phoenix was poised for a run in the third quarter, Curry rang up 20 points in that 12-minute stretch, hiking the lead beyond the reach of the Suns. It was the 16th time he has scored at least 20 points in a quarter.

There would be no ending of this underappreciated streak. Not on this night, and not with Curry and his friends on watch.

Instant Replay: Warriors' offense hits on all cylinders in win over Suns

Instant Replay: Warriors' offense hits on all cylinders in win over Suns

BOX SCORE

OAKLAND – Scorching the nets with a season-best 62.8-percent shooting, the Warriors rolled to a 138-109 rout of the Phoenix Suns before a sellout crowd Saturday night at Oracle Arena.

Five Warriors scored in double figures, led by Stephen Curry with 31 points. Klay Thompson poured in 26 points, Kevin Durant had 20, while David West and JaVale McGee came off the bench for 11 each, season highs for both.

Forwards Draymond Green and Durant had quietly monstrous games. Green put up nine points, a game-high 13 assists, five rebounds and three steals. In addition to his scoring, Durant also submitted eight assists, four rebounds and three blocks.

The Warriors (17-3) recorded 37 assists, the 14th time they have reached at least 30. No other team has done it more than four times.

Guards Eric Bledsoe (27 points) and Devin Booker (21) combined for 48 points to lead Phoenix (6-14) scorers.

STANDOUT PERFORMERS

This night belonged to many Warriors, but mostly to Curry and Thompson.

Curry’s line: 31 points (10-of-15 from the field, including 5-of-7 from deep, 6-of-6 from the line), two rebounds, two assists and a steal. He played 30 minutes and finished plus-15.

Thompson’s line: 26 points (10-of-17, 6-of-7), five rebounds, three assists and two steals. He played 34 minutes and was plus-24.

TURNING POINT

When the Suns took a 26-25 lead on an Alex Len dunk with 2:57 left in the first quarter, the Warriors responded with a 25-4 run that yielded a 48-30 lead with 9:25 remaining the second quarter.

When Phoenix battled back, getting as close as eight (68-60) early in the second half, the Warriors recovered with a 15-4 run to go up 19 (83-64) with 7:07 left in the third quarter.

The Suns drew no closer than 20 in the fourth quarter.

INJURY UPDATE

Warriors: No injuries listed. C Anderson Varejao was a healthy inactive. C Damian Jones is on assignment with Santa Cruz of the D-League.

Suns: F T.J. Warren (head injury) was listed as out. F Derrick Jones Jr. is on assignment with Northern Arizona of the D-League.

WHAT’S NEXT

The Warriors return to action Monday night, when they face the Indiana Pacers at Oracle Arena. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:40.