Stephen Curry opened this season with another high-scoring performance against the New Orleans Pelicans, highlighted by a stellar opening quarter.
He won’t have to wait too long to face them again.
The superstar looks to push Golden State to 3-0 on Saturday night and help the Warriors extend their recent dominance over New Orleans.
Curry didn’t let the pomp over the Warriors’ NBA title celebration get in the way Tuesday as he scored 40 points in a 111-95 victory against the Pelicans, the second-most by a reigning MVP in a season opener. He tallied 24 points in the first period while connecting on seven of his first nine shots, including four 3-pointers.
Curry has scored at least 39 points in each of his last three games against New Orleans, including the final two contests in an opening-round playoff sweep in April. He has multiple games of 39-plus points against only one other team, four versus Portland.
"Some of those shots that Steph made, it doesn’t matter who’s out there, that’s just who he is," said New Orleans coach Alvin Gentry, an assistant for Golden State last season.
Curry followed with a game-high 25 points in a 112-92 victory in Houston on Friday in a matchup with James Harden, who finished second in last season’s MVP voting. Harden had 16 points on 4-of-18 shooting and went 1 of 10 from 3-point range.
"The best players in this league learn every year how to get a little bit better, a little bit more efficient," Curry said. "I’m just trying to follow suit."
Klay Thompson was on the court for 24 minutes due to an ailing back, and how much he’ll play in the second of a back-to-back is unclear. Andrew Bogut is not traveling with the team because of a concussion he suffered in the season opener, and coach Steve Kerr is back home while continuing to recover from back surgery.
Bogut also got stitches for a cut above his right eye following Golden State’s 15th win in the last 16 meetings, including the playoffs. The Warriors have won nine of their last 10 visits to New Orleans (0-2) but have needed overtime to earn two of their past three victories there.
They’ll next try to spoil the Pelicans’ home opener while sending them to their worst start since dropping their first eight games in 2004-05.
New Orleans has had plenty of time to rest since a 112-94 loss to Portland on Wednesday. The Pelicans allowed the Blazers’ starting backcourt to score a combined 58 points with C.J. McCollum tallying a career-high 37.
They were also outscored 43-18 in the opening quarter.
"Tonight we fought like crazy and competed, but we’ve got to get off to better starts," Gentry said. "We were playing uphill the rest of the game. Then it has to be a perfect storm to come back. But I liked the fight."
Anthony Davis had 25 points and 10 rebounds after missing 16 of 20 shots while finishing with 18 points and six boards against Golden State.
He averaged 30.9 points on 56.9 percent shooting and 12.3 rebounds in the previous seven matchups, including the playoffs.