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SAN FRANCISCO — Stephen Curry twirled an arm in the air to acknowledge a small cheering section of family members in a near-empty arena, then gleefully disappeared down a tunnel to celebrate his best scoring night yet.
Curry let it fly from way out under pressure with a minute-plus left for another perfect swish on the way to a career-high 62 points, and the Golden State Warriors beat Portland 137-122 on Sunday night to split the two-game set with the Trail Blazers.
Curry delivered the highest-scoring game in the NBA this season, finishing 18 for 31 and 8 of 16 on 3-pointers after beginning with a 21-point first quarter. He had his 10th career 30-point half to help the Warriors take a 66-54 at the break, then doubled his total exactly with his teammates telling him his count at every chance.
One small blemish in his brilliant night: Curry had his streak of free throws snapped at a franchise-record 80 in the first. The run dated to March 29, 2019, vs. Memphis.
“And then he just choked. It’s just incredible,” cracked coach Steve Kerr.
Against Portland, Curry made a career-high 18 on his most attempts yet at 19.
“He did a little bit of everything,” Trail Blazers coach Terry Stotts said. “… It was a great performance by a great player.”
Curry boogied. He smacked the floor and screamed in delight. The two-time MVP closed his eyes and showed off a open-mouthed grin as brother-in-law and teammate Damion Lee poured water over his head — this kind of night was a long time coming after a broken left hand limited Curry to five games in the cornavirus-shortened 2019-20 season.
Damian Lillard scored 32 points for Portland, and CJ McCollum added 28. McCollum shot 2 for 8 from deep after his 25 3-pointers over the initial five games left him and Curry as the only players to ever do so.
After Portland’s 25-point win Friday night, the Warriors were embarrassed and determined to be more aggressive and defend better after the Blazers came out firing to finish 20 of 43 from deep — and they looked more energetic on the defensive end. Portland shot 14 of 43 on 3s Sunday
Curry did it all on the other end. When he sat down for good in the waning seconds and received hugs from teammates, the piped in crowd noise seemed extra loud in an arena devoid of real fans.
“We’ve seen Steph do so many things here over the years, so many amazing nights at Oracle and now here at Chase. It’s just a privilege to coach him, it really is,” Kerr said.
“Sheeeesh @StephenCurry30!!” injured Splash Brother Klay Thompson posted on Twitter with a fire emoji. “Welcome to the club big bro #62.”
Draymond Green had eight assists and scored one point playing his second game of the season with his minutes increased from just below 18 to 28. Green is still finding his wind. His return Friday marked his first game since Feb. 27 against the Lakers and a stretch of 309 days. He had been sidelined the first four games by a right foot injury after being delayed starting training camp because he had the coronavirus.
Warriors No. 2 overall draft pick James Wiseman had 12 points, a career-best 11 rebounds and two blocks. He took a flagrant foul from McCollum in the third.