OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Stephen Curry made a sensational return from injury by scoring 38 points with a season-high 10 3-pointers, and the Golden State Warriors beat the Memphis Grizzlies 141-128 on Saturday night.
Curry shot 13 for 17 and 10 of 13 from deep in 26 minutes for his ninth 30-point game this season after missing 11 games with a sprained right ankle. His mere presence brought an energy to the Warriors and all of Oracle Arena, and he spent much of the fourth quarter pacing, gesturing in delight while cheering his teammates with a towel draped over his head.
Kevin Durant added 20 points, nine assists and five rebounds, and Klay Thompson scored 21 points as the Warriors wrapped up nearly three weeks at home in California. Zaza Pachulia scored a season-best 17 points and also had eight rebounds and six assists.
Marc Gasol led six Memphis players in double figures with 27 points on 10-for-13 shooting.
With his parents, wife and two daughters in attendance, Curry got his first points on a layup at 10:27 that put the Warriors out front 7-0 and led to a Memphis timeout. He hit a 3-pointer at 9:52 before Memphis scored its first points.
Curry received roars from the sellout crowd during pregame introductions, and Durant threw his right arm into the air to cheer his pal’s comeback.
Curry pounded his chest after a 3-pointer late in the second that put the Warriors up 64-57.
In the game’s closing minutes, he hit a 3-pointer, held his follow-through and jubilantly hopped up and down on his left foot. This marked Curry’s ninth career game with 10 or more 3s, most by any player in NBA history.
“Sometimes the absence of a month of basketball gives you a little more excitement and energy, and I know he feels that way and it’ll probably do the same thing with our crowd and with our team, too,” coach Steve Kerr said before the game.
Curry was all smiles during pregame warmups. He hoisted his signature tunnel shot, signed a few quick autographs when daughter Riley arrived to greet him and briefly held his arm around her before turning around to do his customary hallway sprint. His little girl cleared the way, and off her dad went to the locker room.
“Solid,” Curry said with a grin of his sprint.
He’s healthy at last – and it showed immediately.
Kerr had hoped to play his two-time MVP 20-25 minutes, and Curry conferred with the coaching staff during a timeout with 4:36 left in the third before staying in the game to hit another 3 just 30 seconds later. Curry sat down to cheers with 2:55 left in the third his team up 103-87.
Memphis lost here 97-84 on Dec. 20, then watched the Warriors match their season high for points in a half this season by leading 78-67 at the break.