Steph Curry needed 19 points Monday night versus the Denver Nuggets to surpass legend Wilt Chamberlain and set the Golden State Warriors' all-time scoring record.
So he scored 21. In the first quarter alone.
He didn't stop there, finishing with 53 to lead the Dubs past the Nuggets 116-107.
Curry, as usual, was awesome. He outscored his teammates 30-26 in the first half. He hit 10 threes. It was the ninth 50-point game of his career and his third this season. Add it to his future Hall of Fame plaque.
The win moved the Warriors to 26-28, keeping them locked in to 10th place in the Western Conference. If the Dubs are going to stay in the hunt for a playoff berth, even through the play-in tournament, they will need Curry to stay hot. It's a big ask, but the two-time MVP is the rare player up to the task.
The Nuggets dropped to 34-20 and remained fourth in the Western Conference. Jamal Murray left the game in the final minute with what appeared to be a knee injury, as the Nuggets star was in clear pain before he limped off the court.
It was a somber ending to an otherwise exciting night in San Francisco.
Steph Curry, GSW: 53 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, 10-of-18 from three
Draymond Green, GSW: 18 points, 7 rebounds, 7 assists, 4 steals
Andrew Wiggins, GSW: 17 points
Nikola Jokic, DEN: 27 points, 12 rebounds, 8 assists
Jamal Murray, DEN: 17 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals
Michael Porter Jr., DEN: 24 points, 9 rebounds, 1-of-7 from three
Curry Keeps on Cooking
Curry is singlehandedly keeping the Warriors in the postseason race, with seven straight games of 30 points. To put that in perspective, it's the longest streak of 30-point games in the NBA this season.
The Warriors have needed every point, going just 4-3 in those games, and things won't get easier. Klay Thompson was already out for the year, and with rookie center James Wiseman potentially lost for the season with a meniscus injury and Kelly Oubre Jr. having suffered a sprained wrist, the Warriors are thin.
Curry can do more than most. He's the greatest shooter in NBA history and now Golden State's franchise leader in scoring. But even he has his limits. Well, at least normally. Lately, he's been unstoppable.
Murray's Injury Made a Bad Night Worse for Denver
Murray returned after missing four games with right knee soreness and was understandably rusty. It looked like the storyline would be that the Nuggets lost to the Dubs after blowing a 14-point lead against the Boston Celtics on Sunday and their lack of composure of late:
Andy Glockner @AndyGlockner
This is partly schedule fatigue, partly "typical NBA March which is happening in April this season," and partly the Nuggets flashing some immaturity that they need to iron out for when the games really matter. The last 32 hours have not been flattering for them after much hype.
But then he drove the lane in the final minute and hit the floor hard, writhing in pain while holding his knee. In that moment, the result of the game was irrelevant.
Without Murray, the Nuggets would go from a title contender to a team that would struggle to advance deep into the playoffs in the loaded West. It would be a devastating blow for Denver, which loaded up for a run by trading for Aaron Gordon and had been red-hot before losing its last two contests.
The Nuggets will host the Miami Heat at 10 p.m. ET Wednesday. The Dubs return to the court that same night at the Oklahoma City Thunder at 9 p.m. ET.