The prodigal Charlotte son, Stephen Curry, returned home and took the honors throughout the game by treating the poor Hornets like, well, like everyone else. It was yet another stunning display of offensive wizardry and deep shooting, and 40 points later — 28 in the third quarter — Curry found his way to the bench halfway through the fourth quarter, where he shared yuks with Draymond Green while the Warriors' reserves completed the 116-99 work of art.
"Steph and I were just talking over there, and we were like, wow, 20 straight, who would've thought this?" said Green.
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Steph's father took the halftime honors, or rather, was honored at the break by the Hornets for his 10 years of service as a player and his work as the team's TV analyst.
Stephen Curry's dad, Dell. (Getty Images)
Steph managed to crash the show, leaving the locker room early to see the festivities with his entire family, a rare moment when Steph was the second-most important Curry on the floor.
Steph Curry slips out of the locker room to watch his dad, Dell, be honored. pic.twitter.com/Tos8RuPyho
— Steven J. Gaither (@stevenjgaither) December 3, 2015
Other than that, Game and Win No. 20 was pretty much like the others, with the Warriors taking control, pulling away and making folks wonder when this thrill ride will end. Not only are the Warriors winning — 24 straight dating to last season, and often with authority — they're doing it on the
That was the case Wednesday in Charlotte, not that the Hornets' crowd was about to turn on a team led by Curry, born in Akron but raised on Muggsy Bogues, Larry Johnson and Alonzo Mourning. Those four, along with his father, were responsible for putting the NBA on the town's map. Dell Curry has the distinction of being the first-ever Hornet when he was chosen in the expansion draft in 1988, and somewhat surprisingly he is still the franchise's all-time leading scorer. Dell had a velvet shooting stroke that was launched quickly, and luckily for the Warriors, he usually toted along Steph and obviously left a lasting basketball impression.
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In his ceremony speech, Dell Curry said he learned to shoot because his three sisters constantly kicked him out of the house, and he wore out a path to his high school coach's barn, which had a hoop. Let the record show that somewhere in rural Virginia, that barn, if it's still standing, is partially responsible for the Warriors' 2015 championship and what we're witnessing in the new season's first two months.
Steph Curry was masterful against the Hornets, especially in that third quarter. He made 10 of 11 shots and all five of his 3-pointer attempts in the period (he finished 8 for 11 from deep). "I think I got a little spark from my dad's ceremony," he said.
He moved interim coach Luke Walton to shrug and say: "Steph was incredible getting 40 in just three quarters, and that's why he's MVP of the league."
And so: How enormous is this tour going to get? As road trips go, this one isn't particularly grueling. The Warriors won't face a single team that won a playoff game last season. There's a stop in Toronto and later Indianapolis, and anything can happen, but enough about what might happen. What about the moment?
"Doesn't even seem real," said Curry. "The NBA has so many great teams, great talent. It's special. We find different ways to win and it's the strength of our team. It's hard to celebrate this because obviously there's so much more season left to play."
He added: "All you can do is take in the moment. You don't want to take it for granted. It means we're doing some great things."
Green was asked if he remembered what it was like to lose a regular-season game, something that hasn't happened in over seven months. "I'm usually not at a loss for words, but I am with that one," he replied.
Yes, at this point, it all seems a haze right now. And yet, there were a few people in the building who knew the feeling, and they had courtside seats and rooting interest in the visiting team. Curry is a big fan of the hometown Carolina Panthers — that would be the 11-0 Panthers, the only perfect team in football — and spent a few minutes with Cam Newton.
"Two undefeated teams, trying to do big things this year," said Curry, beaming.
Where 20-0 meets 11-0. #panthers #warriors @stephencurry30 @cameron1newton
A video posted by Sporting News (@sportingnews) on Dec 2, 2015 at 6:35pm PST
Maybe the only prouder person in the place was Dell Curry. During his days as the Hornets' sharpshooting sixth man, he couldn't have imagined that the boy he brought to practice and let roam free on the court would have one more NBA title and MVP than he did. It was no accident that the Hornets held Dell Curry Night on the only date the Warriors were in town this season, turning it into a family affair. But as an unexpected bonus, Steph Curry and the Warriors came to town on a historic winning streak.
"A lot of people watched him grow up and become the player he is today," said the father. "For him to be here and be a part of this, and the way they are playing, (it) makes it extra special."
Everyone in attendance was a Curry fan, either for the father or the son, based on the amount of jerseys, both Hornets and Warriors, with the No. 30, worn by both Currys. In addition to playing high school ball in Charlotte, Curry also dragged Davidson College, located just up the road, to the NCAA Tournament.
"He was six months old when we moved here," said Dell. "He's a Charlottean. They watched him grow up, so he has fans here."
Forty points, 28 in a numbing third quarter, plenty of fourth-quarter rest and a winning streak that has reached 20 to start the season. And not a single boo. That, and a special halftime show which he managed to sneak out and watch. That was all in a night's work for Steph Curry.
"It was a cool atmosphere," he said. "To play like I did and get the win and see my dad getting honored, I couldn't ask for more."
No, not Wednesday. But these are the Warriors and they're on a roll like none other, and so there's another game and challenge and streak to stretch. Curry and the Warriors are realists and they know it'll end soon. They realize it will happen, but they're playing like they don't want it to happen, and it certainly wasn't going to happen on a night where it was all Curry, all the time.