The greatest shooter in the game, Steph Curry, had an enigmatic night against the Los Angeles Lakers, after going a lackluster 5-for-21 from the field and 2-for-8 from the perimeter.
Curry still managed a triple-double, and the bench’s support willed the Golden State Warriors over the purple and gold 121-114.
Chef Curry With The Pot
Curry finished the game with 21 points, 10 assists, and 10 rebounds. The feat gave Curry his eighth career triple-double on opening night; it was his first triple-double performance since January 2016.
Regardless of how it looked, that’s how you start a season.
“I played like trash,” Curry said on TNT postgame.
It might have felt that way while watching, but the contributions of the Golden State bench were compelling. Nemanja Bjelica stood out with 15 points, 11 rebounds and four assists. Damion Lee contributed 15 points, and Andre Iguodala returned to the Warriors with 12 points.
Still, Curry was the difference maker.
“It’s a huge lift,” Draymond Green said in the postgame press conference. “We’ve relied on him so much, and we’re still going to rely on him a lot. When he can have a night like he did tonight, not get it going, we still come out with a win; that’s great.
“He still continued to do everything else. Still continued to draw the double, rebounded the ball, he did everything he needed to do to help us win except what we’re accustomed to, which is making shots. But I don’t know, that will happen.”
Curry showed why he is one of the NBA’s elite athletes by everything for which he isn’t known. He created space for his teammates by taking defenders on a journey around the floor.
“It means a lot to know that you can make the right play, see the attention, and whether it’s a double-team, triple-team, get rid of it,” Curry said. “And everybody is either a threat to shoot or is going to make the right play, move the ball, high IQ; it’s huge.
“I think we always talk about the strength-in-numbers mentality, and how we play and try to create offense is predicated on me drawing attention, moving the ball. If everybody buys into the fact we don’t know who it’s going to be every night; we don’t know [whether] it’s going to be their game, but everybody is going to contribute to that style, it should be a good season.”
The Lake Show
However, the Lakers’ two frontmen showed up. LeBron James racked 34 points, 11 rebounds and five assists. Anthony Davis scored 33 points, 11 rebounds and two blocks.
But Westbrook continued his preseason underwhelming. Westbrook finished with eight points on 4-for-13 shooting and four turnovers. He had a team-worst plus/minus of minus-23 in 35 minutes.
However, in proper leadership form, James has continued to lift his teammate.
“I told Russ to go home and watch a comedy,” James said during the postgame press conference. “Do something that can put a smile on his face. He’s so hard on himself. I told him, ‘Don’t be so hard on yourself. It’s one game.’ ”
The loss gave James, Davis and Westbrook a unique stat line: all three lost in their Lakers debut. James lost against the Portland Trail Blazers in 2018, Davis against the LA Clippers in 2019; now Westbrook against the Warriors.
With the depth of talent in the West, especially while Kyrie Irving is out in Brooklyn and Ben Simmons is having a tantrum in Philadelphia, the Warriors made a significant statement.