The Warriors made the commitment to ride with Curry as the future of their franchise when they traded away Monta Ellis last season (h/t ESPN), and a huge performance (despite the fact that Golden State lost to New York 109-105) proves the organization made the right move.
Curry was lights-out under the bright lights of Madison Square Garden, shooting 18-of-28 from the field, 11-of-13 from the three-point line and 7-of-7 from the free-throw stripe for a whopping 54 points.
Add in his seven assists, six rebounds and three steals, and it was clear that Curry didn’t leave a drop of effort in the tank Wednesday.
Golden State may have lost the game—falling to 33-25 on the season—but with David Lee suspended (h/t Yahoo! Sports) and Andrew Bogut still out injured (h/t NBA.com), the overmatched Warriors team followed the lead of their top shooter and kept fighting throughout the game.
Warriors head coach Mark Jackson told the Associated Press (h/t ESPN) about Curry’s stellar performance Wednesday night:
We were short-handed and we needed a performance like that to have a chance. He put on a clinic. Knocked down shots. Made plays. Carried us. Led us in rebounding. He did it all. I've seen a lot of great performances in this building and his goes up there. I've seen a lot. I've seen a lot, but that shooting performance was a thing of beauty.
What many fans forget is that Curry is only 24 years old and already in his fourth season in the NBA. There is still so much room for improvement, and the glass ceiling on a talented star as young as Curry is as high as almost any player in the NBA.
Can Stephen Curry lead Golden State to a championship?
Curry looks natural shooting the ball from anywhere, and against any defender, but his skill goes beyond just shooting. With a knack for finding the open teammate with a pass and the willingness to fight for a rebound, this is the kind of pugnacious player that Jackson and the Warriors love.
Golden State was smart to not trade Curry when it had the chance, and the team is being rewarded for its long-term investment in the talented point guard.
Now the Warriors must turn their focus to getting healthy and making a deep postseason run.