BOSTON — In Exhibit No. Infinity times Infinity of the new normal in the NBA and in everyday life, the Golden State Warriors comedown from another win amidst one of the more heart-touching, emotional moments in their team’s history was a stark reminder that those moments cannot be taken for granted while their team and the rest of the league feel the effects of another pandemic wave.
Steph Curry played in his first game after setting the NBA’s all-time record for career threes, pouring in 30 points — including five more triples — in Golden State’s 111-107 hard-fought victory over the Boston Celtics at TD Garden on Friday night. His current backcourt mate, Jordan Poole, did not play as he was put in the NBA’s COVID protocol, along with four members of the Celtics who were played in the protocol today: Al Horford, Grant Williams, Jabari Parker and Juancho Hernangomez.
The surreal experience of breaking the threes mark while playing at Madison Square Garden, and the buzz that surrounded the league’s best coming to another basketball hotbed, soon gave way to more precautions, discussions and uncertainty about COVID-19, which has infected a number of players over the past couple of weeks as the spread of the Omicron variant of the virus rages.
Obviously, there’s a little PTSD from everybody from what we went through [with Covid] last year,” Curry said soon after the game and addressing Poole’s absence. “Trying to make sure we stay on top of the research and the experts that know what they’re talking about.”
After a couple of minutes of feeling the game out, Curry introduced himself to the contest in grand style, nailing a three while getting fouled on the left corner as part of a four-point play. Those were the first four of his 16 first-quarter points in leading the Warriors to a 34-26 lead after one.
Forward Andrew Wiggins then pulled a Steph in the second, scoring 18 second-quarter points — including 4-of-5 from three — as Golden State built a 20-point lead on their way to a 68-54 lead at the half.
He’s really talented, and now he’s very comfortable with the style of play,” Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said about Wiggins, in his second season with Golden State. “He’s comfortable with his teammates. We’ve found spots where we would like him to get the ball. It’s the value of continuity. They love what he brings, his approach and his demeanor.
Eighteen of those points for the Warriors in the first half came off the bench, and the unit combined for 40 points in the contest.