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Warriors’ slump sunk? Curry, Thompson light up from 3-point range in win

Warriors’ slump sunk? Curry, Thompson light up from 3-point range in win

The Splash Brothers were back Tuesday night, looking like they never left.

Stephen Curry nailing back-to-back threes in the first, and a 28-foot three, and slashing through the heart of the Pistons’ defense for a crafty finish at the basket.

Klay Thompson scoring in the paint, knocking down mid-range jumpers and splashing threes of his own while Chase Center erupts.

For the first time in three years, the Splash Brothers, as we know them, are together again, dominating the perimeter with their lights-out shooting. Their combined 39 points (31 in the first half) helped the Golden State Warriors open their seven-game homestand with a 102-86 rout of the Detroit Pistons.

Granted, Curry and Thompson didn’t have a huge scoring night, but they were efficient — a more than welcome sign during a rough patch where the Warriors offense struggled shooting from the field and Curry, in particular, has gone through the roughest and longest dry spell in his career. For the first time in 10 games, Curry shot 50 percent or more from the field (6-of-11, 4-of-8 from 3).

Rough shooting stretches are nothing new to Curry but the degree and the length of this stretch in particular were unusual. However, according to Curry’s trainer, Brandon Payne, the two-time MVP impacts the game even when he’s missing shots.

“I think ‘slump’ is probably a strong word because if you really look at his overall impact on the game, it’s still as strong as it’s ever been,” Payne says. “He’s still impacting the way opposing teams defend him and the team and how other guys get open. He’s still making a big impact on winning games.”

Despite his recent cold shooting, Curry is second in the NBA in plus-minus for the season. His season-long net rating of 14.7 (second in the league) has dipped to 9.7 (110th) over the last 10 games, but he’s still helping teammates, averaging 6.6 assists per game in addition to drawing defensive attention.

Andrew Wiggins is one of many first-hand witnesses to how Curry impacts the game in multiple ways. Against Detroit, Curry was orchestrating shots for himself and others — a symphony of splash.

“Steph is someone that controls the offense,” Wiggins said postgame. “A lot of the attention is towards Steph, because we know what he can do already, but with all of then out there, it makes the game easy for everybody.”

For Thompson, it was a given that he would be rusty after a two-year absence. However, shooters shoot and for them, the only way for them to get in rhythm is to keep shooting.

That’s exactly what Thompson did against Detroit. He showed that while not only he can still hit threes, he could also score in the paint and hit the occasional mid-range jumper. Thompson driving the lane is the surprise of his return for everyone except Thompson himself.

“I always had it in my bag,” he said. “I have been able to put the ball on the floor since high school. My strength is obviously catching, shooting, and cutting. But now as I’m getting older, I try to use my strength, try to get to the free-throw line a little more. It gets me in rhythm. I think that I have been able to attack the rim. It’s just not my forte like shooting but it’s in my bag.”



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