Warriors observations: Steph Curry erupts for 47 in birthday win vs. Wizards

SAN FRANCISCO — In case anybody needed a reminder, the Warriors are a much better team when Draymond Green plays. To no surprise, that certainly was the case Monday night at Chase Center in the Warriors’ 126-112 win against the Washington Wizards.

That improved the Warriors’ record this season to 28-6 with Draymond, compared to 19-16 without him.

Green returned from a disc/back injury for the first time in over two months and immediately made his presence felt, even off the bench. Due to his minutes restriction, Steve Kerr opted to not start his star forward. In fact, Green was the third player off the bench, following Otto Porter Jr. and Moses Moody. It was the first time Green didn’t start a game he was healthy for since Game 3 of the Warriors’ first-round matchup vs. the LA Clippers in the 2014 NBA playoffs.

Over 20 minutes, Green was a game-high plus-24 with six points, six assists, seven rebounds and one steal.

Steph Curry, as he always does, stole the show and scored a game-high 47 points while going 16-for-25 from the field and 7-for-14 from long distance. Klay Thompson added 20 points, Jordan Poole also put up 20 and rookie Jonathan Kuminga — starting in place of Green — scored 12 points to go with eight rebounds.

Here are three takeaways as the Warriors came away with a win in Draymond’s return and improved to 47-22 on the season, winning their fourth straight game.

The Draymond Effect

Green entered the game at the 4:50 mark in the first quarter. The first time he had the ball in his hands, he found Curry for an open 3-pointer, just 11 seconds after entering the game. Happy 34th birthday, Steph. Two trips down later down the court, Green again assisted Curry for three more points. The next time the Warriors had the ball, Draymond drained a 3-pointer of his own.

In his first three-plus minutes of play, Green generated nine points — two assists on Curry 3-pointers and a trey on his first shot attempt. That’ll play.

Draymond played 11 minutes in the first half and eight different Warriors hit a 3-pointer. By halftime, he was a plus-12 with five points, five assists and four rebounds. That’s the Green that all of Golden State was waiting to see again.

They’re Back

Curry, Thompson and Green waited 1,005 days to finally all play on the court together. That came to fruition with 2:45 left in the second quarter.

On their first possession together, Curry made a layup that was assisted by Kevon Looney. Two tries down the floor later, vintage Draymond ran the offense and delivered a perfect pass for Klay, who was loving every second of it.

There isn’t a more beautiful brand of basketball than these three playing together, and the rest of the league knows they’re in for a nightmare when playing the Warriors with this trio on the hardwood.

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birthday boy

At 34 years old, Steph Curry continues to only get better. Question him at your own risk. Really, this was his best birthday yet. At least when it comes to playing on his birthday.

Curry’s 47 points are new career-high on the day he gets to blow the candles out. His previous best game on his birthday actually was last season when he scored 32 points. His 47 points also are his most since the calendar flipped to 2022 and his second-highest total this season.

No present was more perfect for Curry than getting his running mate in Green back, and now the real title run begins for the Warriors with their Big Three back.

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