Steph Curry Dazzles with 37 as Warriors Rout Kevin Durant, Nets to Improve to 12-2

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVNovember 17, 2021

Golden State Warriors' Stephen Curry (30) shoots over Brooklyn Nets' DeAndre' Bembry (95) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2021 in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
AP Photo/Frank Franklin II

The 2021-22 Golden State Warriors still don't know what a losing streak feels like.

Golden State cruised past the Brooklyn Nets 117-99 in Tuesday's potential NBA Finals preview at Barclays Center. Stephen Curry spearheaded the effort for the victors, who improved to 12-2 on the season and bounced back from Sunday's loss to the Charlotte Hornets.

klay thompson @KlayThompson

Bounce back Dub for the Dubs ! Love to see it ❤️ <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/roadwarriors?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#roadwarriors</a>

James Harden and Kevin Durant led the way in defeat for the Nets, who dropped to 10-5 and saw their three-game winning streak come to an end.

Notable Player Stats

  • Stephen Curry, G, GS: 37 PTS, 7 REB, 5 AST, 2 STL, 9-of-14 3PT
  • Draymond Green, F, GS: 11 PTS, 8 AST, 6 REB
  • Andrew Wiggins, F, GS: 19 PTS, 2 REB, 7-of-11 FG
  • James Harden, G, BKN: 24 PTS, 4 AST, 4 REB
  • Kevin Durant, F, BKN: 19 PTS, 5 REB, 3 AST

Curry Shines, Supporting Cast Delivers as Warriors Cruise

That Golden State entered Tuesday's game with the best record in the NBA is certainly a warning to the rest of the league since Klay Thompson and James Wiseman are working their way back and yet to play this season.

The clash with the Nets was another opportunity to make a statement, and Curry was up for the challenge. The MVP candidate poured in 19 points in the first half alone to stake his team to a five-point lead while darting through Brooklyn defenders off the bounce, relentlessly working his way through screens and draining five triples with the flick of a wrist.

It wasn't a one-man effort, though, as Andrew Wiggins caught fire to end the half.

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

Steph shimmying on the Nets after back-to-back threes 💦 <a href="https://t.co/35P9Me3sMU">pic.twitter.com/35P9Me3sMU</a>

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

WIGGINS AT THE HALFTIME BUZZER 🚨🎯 <a href="https://t.co/jW8Pnf5v8e">pic.twitter.com/jW8Pnf5v8e</a>

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

Draymond sinks the triple on KD 😤<br><br>(via <a href="https://twitter.com/NBAonTNT?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@NBAonTNT</a>) <br> <a href="https://t.co/elP3Ogz5Xr">pic.twitter.com/elP3Ogz5Xr</a>

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

Iguodala knocks it down from distance at the buzzer 😤 <a href="https://t.co/SjDOe28S3x">pic.twitter.com/SjDOe28S3x</a>

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

STEPH FROM THE LOGO. KD and Harden's reaction 💀🍿 <a href="https://t.co/OUU2Rm1IPj">pic.twitter.com/OUU2Rm1IPj</a>

He scored 13 points in the second quarter and drilled back-to-back three-pointers to end the half with the second one coming at the buzzer with a hand in his face. His secondary scoring has been critical with Thompson sidelined, and it was more of the same after he scored 28 points against the Hornets and 35 points on Wednesday against the Minnesota Timberwolves.

That momentum could have ended for the visitors when Curry picked up his fourth foul in the third quarter, but they pushed a 13-point advantage to 22 heading into the fourth.

Draymond Green facilitated, attacked the basket and drilled a three over Durant while letting his former teammate know about it. Jordan Poole got out in transition; Gary Payton II provided a spark off the bench as a scorer, rebounder and defender; and Andre Iguodala drilled a buzzer-beater three to open a commanding lead.

If the game wasn't over when the Warriors flexed their depth, it was when Curry returned in the fourth quarter and remained on fire with multiple triples from well beyond the arc. It was a vintage performance for the future Hall of Famer, and the supporting cast was dialed in as well as Golden State stayed atop the NBA.

Nets Fall Apart in 3rd Quarter

There was a time early in the season when the headlines surrounding the Nets centered on Kyrie Irving's status and their inconsistency on the court during a 2-3 start, but that changed thanks to a stretch of eight wins in nine games prior to Tuesday's high-profile showdown.

Durant has unsurprisingly carried them during the recent hot streak, and the start of this game was no different as he scored 16 points in the first half while finding his touch from the outside and working his way into the lane against smaller defenders.

Harden has been the primary facilitator, but he also provided a scoring punch thanks to his ability to get to the free-throw line. Throw in Bruce Brown doing a little bit of everything and taking advantage of the spacing playing alongside Durant and Harden creates, and it looked like Brooklyn was well on its way to another win.

Brooklyn Nets @BrooklynNets

went to the bank for four points <a href="https://t.co/cdzYRMtiqz">pic.twitter.com/cdzYRMtiqz</a>

Brooklyn Nets @BrooklynNets

Beard muscling 😤 <a href="https://t.co/RkN3DDdclU">pic.twitter.com/RkN3DDdclU</a>

Brooklyn Nets @BrooklynNets

.<a href="https://twitter.com/BruceBrown11?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@brucebrown11</a> through contact 💪 <a href="https://t.co/twt4sSa0Wj">pic.twitter.com/twt4sSa0Wj</a>

However, only three other Nets even scored in the first half, which was not enough to match Golden State's Curry-led firepower. That put the home team in comeback mode entering the second half as it played without Joe Harris and Paul Millsap.

Brooklyn missed Harris' shooting as it was outscored 35-18 in the third quarter with Iguodala hounding Durant as part of a triangle-and-two defensive approach. Durant went ice-cold and missed all eight of his field-goal attempts in the quarter, and the offense promptly fell apart.

The Nets will win plenty of games this season and are surely on the short list of realistic championship contenders, but even one poor stretch is a recipe for a loss against the red-hot Warriors.

The fourth quarter was nothing more than a formality after Brooklyn failed to match Golden State's energy on either end during the third.

What's Next?

Both teams face the Cleveland Cavaliers in their next game. Brooklyn hosts the Cavaliers on Wednesday, while the Warriors travel to Cleveland for Thursday's contest.