It was clear to Steve Kerr that Steph Curry didn’t reach his usual standard in the Warriors’ 117-111 loss to the Atlanta Hawks on Sunday.
It might not have been clear to many others.
Curry dropped in 37 points (on 12-of-23 shooting), adding eight rebounds, two assists and a pair of steals. Yes, the two-time NBA MVP committed eight turnovers and made just 3-of-12 3-pointers, but he also attempted 12 free throws and was aggressively driving all night.
The Warriors were plus-8 in Curry’s minutes, and outscored by 14 points in the 11:16 he didn’t play.
“He’s wincing a little bit here and there, so you could see that he’s in some pain,” Kerr said in a postgame video conference with reporters, referring to Curry’s lingering tailbone injury. “He wasn’t at his best tonight, and it’s the sign of a pretty amazing player when a guy has 37 points and you say he wasn’t at his best.
“But that’s the bar Steph has set for himself. His turnovers were obviously an issue tonight, but I thought Steph competed like crazy, and he’s giving everything he can. He did everything possible for us to win.”
Curry didn’t play in the Warriors’ historic blowout loss Friday, resting his bruised tailbone after falling on it multiple times Thursday against the Miami Heat. The 33-year-old quipped to reporters Sunday that it was “positive” he only landed on the tailbone once. Curry said the injury is “slowly” healing.
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Even if Curry wasn’t his best self Sunday, the loss to the Hawks represents another strong night of his squandered. The Warriors have, unsurprisingly, been much better with Curry on the court than off of it, but the disparity has been exacerbated during Golden State’s recent skid.
Over the last 16 games, the Warriors have been outscored by 176 points. Curry has only played in nine of those contests, but Golden State has only been outscored by six points with him on the floor. The Warriors are 4-12 in their last 16, and 3-6 in the games In which Curry has played.
“The situation is what it is, and we have a lot to improve on,” Curry said. “And there’s a challenge there that we all need to take head on. It’s uncomfortable right now. It’s frustrating for everybody, but it’ll test us to find a way to make these last  games matter and give us something to show for it towards the end of the season.”
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