The individual brilliance of Stephen Curry has often carried the Golden State Warriors to dizzying heights, but in this season, one in which the Warriors have struggled to win on the road, even Curry has his limitations.
Following a seven-game tear after his four-week injury hiatus, Curry had a middling showing in the Warriors' 133-119 road loss to the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday. He missed 10 of 15 shots while posting 16 points, eight rebounds and five assists, and wasn't able to help the Warriors (36-36) avoid their 11th consecutive road defeat. Golden State fell to 7-29 on the road overall.
The Warriors, 0-7 on the road since the All-Star break, will look to secure the first road win of their current five-game trip Monday against the Houston Rockets, against whom they are 3-0 this season with an average margin of victory of 13.7 points while scoring 121 points per game.
Curry averaged 33.7 points (on 53.5% shooting), 5.1 rebounds and 5.3 assists in his first seven games back from a leg injury. But with the Warriors playing for the third time in four days and in the second game of a back-to-back, fatigue set in, even apparently for the indomitable Curry.
"I thought the schedule caught up a little bit to Steph," Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. "Back to back, third in four nights, a lot of travel. First game he's had since he's back that he didn't shoot well.
"All in all, it felt like Steph's legs weren't quite there. It's going to happen. At 35 (years old), there are going to be some nights where especially on a back-to-back with a lot of travel involved flying cross-country, sometimes it catches up to you when you're a little older. He'll be fine."
Curry dismissed fatigue playing a role in his substandard shooting.
"That's never an excuse for anything in terms of how you play," Curry said. "You suit up and you expect to play great. Overall, we lost, so you don't even feel like talking about anything else."
The Warriors' season-long road woes have run rampant, even when Curry has been performing exceptionally. He started the road trip with a 50-point effort that included making eight 3-pointers. The Warriors dropped that game to the Los Angeles Clippers 134-126, proving that their problems are much bigger than Curry.
Following their 117-107 home loss to the New Orleans Pelicans on Sunday, the Rockets (18-53) will face the challenge of summoning the energy to play well in the second game of a back-to-back.
Having relied on an egalitarian approach to scoring during an eight-game run that featured five victories, the Rockets received a combined 65 points from their starting backcourt of Jalen Green and Kevin Porter Jr. with just one additional double-digit scorer (Tari Eason -- 10 points).
While Green posted his fourth 40-point game of the season and Porter added 25 points on 7-of-15 shooting, the remaining Rockets combined to shoot just 13 of 39 for 42 points.
"They were switching some, they were going under some, making it harder for us to turn the corner," Rockets coach Stephen Silas said. "But we actually ended up doing a pretty good job as far as getting downhill because we shot a ton of free throws (36 of 38). It wasn't like we weren't able to get into the paint."
--Field Level Media