Warriors Reporter: "It Felt Like A Playoff Environment"

Steph Curry Warriors
Photo credit USA Today Images
By CBS Sports Radio

After missing 58 games with a broken left hand, Steph Curry returned to the Warriors on Thursday, scoring 23 points in a 121-113 loss to the Toronto Raptors. While the Warriors (14-49) didn’t get the W, fans were ecstatic to see their franchise superstar return to action.

“It was fun,” San Francisco Chronicle Warriors reporter Connor Letourneau said on After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “The vibe was unlike anything we’ve seen this season. It felt like a playoff environment, just how amped that entire crowd was. The past 58 games, a lot of those people have been paying big money to watch a subpar product. To have Steph back in the building, even in a loss, meant a lot.”

Curry shot 6-of-16 from the floor, including 3-of-12 from three-point range. He also had seven rebounds and seven assists.

“He showed some signs of rust, which is understandable for a guy that hasn’t played in 156 days,” Letourneau said. “But you saw the flashes. You saw the deep three-pointers, the behind-the-back passes. You saw Steph doing Steph things. That’s really enough to get this fan base excited and eager for what next season has in store.”

Eight other Warriors played Thursday. Playing with Curry was a new experience for them.

“Not a single player that played with Steph tonight was on the playoff roster last spring, so it was a new experience for a lot of the guys,” Letourneau said. “Yes, some of them played three games with him earlier in the season, but half of the roster has turned over since then. So there was a lot of feeling each other out, learning where Steph likes his spots and things like that. But the big thing they talked about postgame was how selfless Steph is. A lot of superstars look for their own shot, but he’s really good at creating space just by being on the floor with the defensive attention he commands and then using that space to find open guys.”

Andrew Wiggins, who was acquired from Minnesota, scored 21 points on 9-of-20 shooting from the floor.

“He was downright giddy to have that kind of space to work with,” Letourneau said. “I think the next 19 games are going to be fun, just learning how to play with the kind of space that Steph provides.”