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What we learned as Steph drops 49 in Warriors win over OKC originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
There are some nights where it feels like Steph Curry can't miss. Saturday night was one of them.
In the Warriors' 136-97 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder at Chase Center, Curry hit 11 3-pointers, the 22nd time he has hit 10 or more 3-pointers in a game in his career. As a team, the Warriors hit a franchise-record 27 3-pointers.
It's nights like this that make other teams shutter at the thought of facing Curry and the Warriors (35-33) in the play-in tournament. If the regular season were to end today, the team on the receiving end of Curry would be the Los Angeles Lakers.
Is anyone interested in seeing that must-win matchup?
With the win of Saturday, Golden State is the sole occupant of the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference, though the team has to stay diligent as the Memphis Grizzlies trail by just half a game.
Here are three things to know from the Warriors' win:
The scoring title race
Steph Curry and Washington's Bradley Beal have been neck and neck in the race to take the NBA's scoring title for the season, and Saturday night was no exception.
After Beal put up 50 points earlier in the night, Curry needed 22 points to hold onto the slight advantage he has over Wall. Curry did that, and then some.
Curry got the points he needed in the first quarter, scoring 24 points on 6-of-9 shooting, including 5-of-7 from three.
He finished the night with 49 points and hit 11 threes, and more impressively, he did it in just 29 minutes.
Draymond brings the offense
The Warriors are better when Draymond Green contributes to the scoring. Take Saturday's game as evidence.
Green finished 15 points on 5-of-8 shooting, including three 3-pointers, all of which were scored in the first half. He also had 13 assists, five rebounds and two blocks.
The Warriors are now 17-5 when Green scores at least eight points.
With Golden State missing Kelly Oubre Jr. and Damion lee, it's been playing just an eight-man rotation and has been missing the 22 combined points those two players give. They've been searching for scoring from others to cushion those losses and assist Curry, and they've gotten it from guys such as Juan Toscano-Anderson, Mychal Mulder and Jordan Poole. But if Green can get in the mix too, it will set the Warriors up for success as the playoffs begin.
Resting the starters
After needing to put Curry and Green back into the game late in the Warriors' first matchup against the Thunder on Thursday, the duo got to sit for the entire fourth quarter on Saturday.
With the Warriors relying on an eight-man rotation and a back-to-back against the top two teams in the West coming up, Curry and Green need as much rest as they can get.
It was also a good sign that the Warriors had a 39-point lead over OKC heading into the final frame after fumbling what should have been a blowout in the first game of the miniseries.
They corrected their shortcomings and errors from Thursday and proved that they understand what's at stake and how important these winnable games are.