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News » Curry keys victory, may start at point

Curry keys victory, may start at point

Curry keys victory, may start at pointMost of Thursday night's pregame discussion was about Stephen Curry's surprising shooting woes.

Most of the postgame talk was about the rookie's best professional game to date.

Mired in a preseason-long shooting slump, Curry broke out a little with his jumper and a lot with everything else in the Warriors' 126-92 win over New Orleans at Oracle Arena. He had 14 points on 6-of-13 shooting, 10 assists, six rebounds and six steals.

"I thought the difference in the game was Curry," coach Don Nelson said. "When we inserted him into the game, we immediately started moving the ball better, pushing the ball better and doing all of the things I've been wanting us to do.

"The little guy is good, and it's going to be hard to keep him out of the lineup."

The fifth starter has been a question throughout the preseason, but Nelson said "as far as I'm concerned, he won the job tonight."

That's a far cry from how Nelson felt before the game about Curry, a career 41.2 percent three-point shooter at Davidson College who came into the preseason finale having made 19 percent of his threes and 34.8 percent of his field-goal attempts.

"I thought it was a fluke for the first few weeks," Nelson said before the game. "Even Wednesday, I said nothing for a while, then I made a couple of simple suggestions, but nothing seems to work. I'm wondering about the weight-lifting. Your triceps are very important in shooting, and maybe they're fatigued because of lifting.

"I'm just guessing. I don't know if that's even a factor, but I don't know what else it would be?"

Curry has said he needed to adjust to coming off the bench and finding a way to keep his rhythm from pregame warm ups. When he started the second half, his hypothesis was proven.

The Warriors turned a two-point halftime lead into an 88-70 blowout in the third quarter behind the play of Curry. With about nine minutes left in the third, Curry intercepted a pass, then used a hesitation skip to open a lane for a left-handed behind-the-back pass to Ellis.

During Curry's 38 minutes, the Warriors outscored New Orleans by 43 points. Curry and Ellis played together for 26 minutes and outscored the Hornets, who didn't play starting point guard Chris Paul, by 31 during the stretch.

Ellis' days as a full-time point guard might be numbered. Nelson started C.J. Watson to open the game and Curry in the second half, hoping that Ellis would be freed up to run off more screens as the shooting guard.

"A lot of people suspect it anyway, but it might be better to just let Ellis play the 2," Nelson said late Wednesday on the " Warriors Weekly Radio Show." "I think he's more effective there. He might be a different Monta that way, and maybe asking him to play point guard was too much."

Nelson addressed the situation again hours before Ellis went 8-for-14 for 18 points as primarily a shooting guard.

"I think he's done all right at point guard, but we're trying to figure out what's best for everybody and where they can play at their highest levels," Nelson said. "He'll still handle the point some."

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: October 23, 2009


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