Steve Curry scored 50 points for the 11th time in his NBA career, but his efforts weren’t enough for a struggling Golden State Warriors team against the Phoenix Suns as the defending champions fell 130-119.
The Warriors are now 6-9 on the season and have not won it from eight games on the road – a worrying sign as the team looks to win its fifth title since 2015.
This is the longest losing streak by a defending champion since the Chicago Bulls in the 1998/99 season, according to ESPN, and the Warriors’ longest road losing streak at the start of the season since 1989/90.
“We will never panic, there is no point in panic,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr told reporters after Wednesday’s game.
“What we have to do is stay with him and find him. But in order to find her, we have to get everyone on board, on the same page in terms of just worrying about winning – and that’s it.
“I saw a lot of hanging heads tonight,” he added. “I think we feel sorry for ourselves.”
Despite the loss, it was a historic night for Curry, who was 17-of-28 from the field and 7-of-11 from three-point range along with grabbing nine rebounds and six assists.
In the process, he passed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and tied Allen Iverson for the ninth-most 50-plus points in NBA history.
Klay Thompson scored 19 points and Andrew Wiggins 14, while the Suns, by contrast, had a more balanced offense as their five starters scored double figures.
Cameron Payne scored 29 points — including six three-pointers — while Devin Booker and Mikal Bridges, who finished just three times with nine assists and nine rebounds, added 27 and 23 points, respectively.
Phoenix, without an injury to Chris Paul for the fourth game in a row, and facing free-goal Curry, dominated much of the competition and led by a comfortable 14-point lead at the end of the third quarter.
“It’s important to have a team,” Booker said of distributing points evenly across the team. “It gives you longevity and will get us through a season.”
The win saw the Suns, who are second behind the Portland Trail Blazers in the Western standings, improve to 9-5 this season.
They next visit the Utah Jazz on Friday while the Warriors welcome the New York Knicks.