Stephen Curry had 20 points and seven rebounds while adding another accomplishment to his long list, leading the Golden State Warriors past the Memphis Grizzlies 110-93 on Monday night.
Curry became just the fifth player in Warriors history to score 15,000 points during the regular season – joining the company of Wilt Chamberlain, Rick Barry, Paul Arizin and Chris Mullin.
Kevin Durant scored 23 points to go with five assists and passed Larry Bird (21,791) for 33rd place on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. Klay Thompson contributed 16 points with five rebounds.
Golden State led by as many as 25 points in the second quarter in quickly turning the game into a rout. That allowed coach Steve Kerr to rest many of his regulars as the Warriors began a busy stretch with eight games before the end of the year, including Christmas night at home against LeBron James and the Lakers.
Marc Gasol had 15 points, six rebounds and six assists for the Grizzlies, who lost their third straight and fifth in six. This marked Memphis’ final visit to Oracle Arena before the Warriors move to new Chase Center in San Francisco next season. Omri Casspi added a season-high 20 points against his former team.
Jonas Jerebko made Golden State’s only two 3s in the opening quarter and finished 16 points off the bench.
The Warriors were 17 of 18 from the free-throw line in the first half to 8 for 10 by Memphis, which trailed 61-38 at the break.
Curry’s 3-pointer at the 7:37 mark of the second quarter gave him the 10 points he needed to reach the 15,000 club.
Kerr knows the number is hardly important to his star point guard, saying: ‘He’ll probably be at 16,000 before too long, and won’t be aware of that either. He’s obviously a brilliant player and sets a great tone every night and every day at practice. For the Warriors, he just changed everything from where the team had been over the previously couple of decades. Guys like Steph don’t come around very often. He was the foundational piece to what we were seeing right now, the first piece. I think he was a major force in creating what we have today.’
Chamberlain leads the way with 17,783, followed by Barry (16,447), Arizin (16,266) and Mullin (16,235).
‘It’s a lot of points and the thing to me what’s most impressive is how he creates them. They’re not just wide-open, catch-and-shoot 3s, his creativity with the ball in his hands,’ Memphis coach J.B. Bickerstaff said. ‘The shot-making from all three levels, the left hand, the floaters, the three off the bounce, the walk across that half court line and shoot a three. He has a variety of ways he puts the ball in the basket. You can probably count on one hand how many guys that we’ve seen with the shot-making creatively and the ability that he has.’