Stephen Curry Drops 33 as Warriors Beat Chris Paul, Suns in Christmas Day Showdown

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVDecember 26, 2021

Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry shoots over Phoenix Suns forward Jae Crowder (99) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Dec. 25, 2021, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
AP Photo/Rick Scuteri

Led by Steph Curry's big game, the Dubs defeated the Phoenix Suns 116-107, moving into the top spot in the West.

ESPN @espn

The shot release is so quick 😳 <a href="https://twitter.com/StephenCurry30?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@StephenCurry30</a> <a href="https://t.co/q44UXhkSak">pic.twitter.com/q44UXhkSak</a>

ESPN @espn

Curry step-back trey 😮 <a href="https://t.co/zhwnfD06dt">pic.twitter.com/zhwnfD06dt</a>

Curry is one three-pointer away from being the first player in NBA history to sink 3,000 for his career.

Otto Porter Jr. added 13 fourth-quarter points for the Dubs, helping to seal the win.


OTTO-MATIC! 💦<br><br>10 in the 4th for Otto Porter Jr...<a href="https://twitter.com/warriors?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@warriors</a> up 6 with 1:40 left on ABC. <a href="https://t.co/VtmUEbjtFT">pic.twitter.com/VtmUEbjtFT</a>

Steve Jones Jr. @stevejones20

Otto Porter Jr Christmas Game.

Marcus Thompson @ThompsonScribe

In a game that would be decided by who could score while the Suns sold out against Curry, the Warriors got:<br>19 from Otto Porter<br>14 from Gary Payton II<br>12 from Jonathan Kuminga

Amid a full slate of NBA games on Christmas, this was the matchup of heavyweights. After the Suns (26-6) and Dubs (27-6) split a pair of back-to-back matchups in late November and early December, this was the rubber match, at least until the two teams clash one last time during the regular season on March 30th. 

That game could decide the top seed in the Western Conference playoffs. Golden State has to be considered the front-runner to secure that distinction after Saturday's big win. 

Key Stats

Steph Curry, GSW: 33 points, six assists

Draymond Green, GSW: Eight points, seven rebounds, 10 assists

Otto Porter Jr., GSW: 19 points

Devin Booker, PHX: 13 points

Chris Paul, PHX: 21 points, eight assists

DeAndre Ayton, PHX: 18 points, seven rebounds

Curry Was In The Christmas Spirit

Curry has traditionally struggled on this holiday, averaging 13.1 points in eight previous contests.

ESPN Stats & Info @ESPNStatsInfo

Steph Curry’s 13.1 career scoring average in 8 games on Christmas Day is his lowest scoring average on any given date in his career (min. 3 games). <br><br>It is also the 2nd-lowest by any former NBA MVP winner on the holiday, ahead of only Wes Unseld (12.8) according to <a href="https://twitter.com/EliasSports?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@EliasSports</a> <a href="https://t.co/NHXRI2GvyU">pic.twitter.com/NHXRI2GvyU</a>

He ended that trend in a big way on Saturday. 

It may not have been Curry's most efficient performance ever (10-of-27 from the field, 5-of-16 from three) but he was still clearly the best player on the floor. 

Shea Serrano @SheaSerrano

steph curry is christmas<br><br>i don’t know exactly how that sentiment makes sense but i know that it does

Just call him the gift that keeps on giving. 

Booker Got Coal In His Stocking

It wasn't Booker's night. He struggled from the field (5-of-19) and from beyond the arc (1-of-5). He didn't make a huge impact as a secondary creator (three assists, two turnovers). He had the chance to sink big shots down the stretch and couldn't find the back of the net.

Nate Duncan @NateDuncanNBA

Suns failed to score the last 3 minutes, had chances with a wide open Crowder 3 and Booker 3 that could have changed things. But Warriors prevented CP from controlling the action by flying around. <a href="https://t.co/P2Xrk1Jn7A">https://t.co/P2Xrk1Jn7A</a>

It was just one of those days. 

Booker may still be getting back into the flow of things after missing a string of seven games before returning on Sunday. He had been averaging 23.3 points per game in the three contests since he returned before Saturday, shooting 53.8 percent from three in those games. 

His shot abandoned him on Christmas, though. Maybe he forgot to leave out milk and cookies. 

What's Next?

The Suns are back in action on Monday at 9 p.m. ET when they host the Memphis Grizzlies. The Warriors will host the Denver Nuggets on Tuesday at 10 p.m. ET on NBA TV.