Each NBA season is undoubtedly different, presenting its own assorted challenges and achievements. With a December 22 start date, it was obvious this NBA season was going to be unlike any other before… And that it was.
In a season defined by change, adaptability, and progress, let’s take a look at the best moments from the Warriors’ 2020-21 campaign.
Lee’s Game Winner
Although the Warriors struggled early on in the season, Damion Lee showed off his clutch gene when the team needed it most, connecting on a go-ahead 3-pointer in the final seconds of a 129-128 victory over the Bulls on December 27, marking the Dubs’ first victory of the season. Lee’s game-winner occurred with just 2.3 seconds remaining in the game, marking the first game-winning shot, in less than five seconds, of his career.
Lee came through in the clutch once more a few weeks later on January 10, sinking a pair of free throws to give the Warriors a one-point lead over the Raptors with 4.3 seconds left, and the Dubs would get a defensive stop to seal the 106-105 win.
Curry’s 62-Point Game
Stephen Curry catapulted into the new year with a career-high 62-point performance in a 137-122 Warriors win over the Portland Trail Blazers on January 3. The two-time MVP surpassed his previous high of 54 points and set a new Chase Center scoring mark. Curry’s 62 points were the most posted by any player in a single game this season, making him the fifth player in Warriors franchise history to score at least 60 points in a game, a feat previously accomplished by fellow Splash Brother Klay Thompson in 2016.
Moreover, Curry scored 31 points in each half, joining Kobe Bryant as the only players in the last 20 seasons to score at least 30 points in both the first and second halves of a game. “I had an opportunity to assert my will on the game early and create some energy,” Curry shared following his 62-point output, which became just one of several stellar scoring performances on the season.
Draymond Dished It Out
Draymond Green recorded his first triple-double of the season with 11 points, 12 rebounds and a career-high 19 assists on February 26 against the Charlotte Hornets. Green’s 19 assists were the most by a Warriors player since Baron Davis (19) in 2008 and the most assists in a triple-double for a Warriors player since Tim Hardaway (19) in 1990.
That classic Green performance came at a point in the season where Green was really dishing it out, even for his standards. Earlier that month, he posted back-to-back games of 15-plus assists as the team’s starting “center,” making him the first Warriors player since Tim Hardaway in 1995 to post consecutive games of at least 15 assists. Green, who finished the season averaging a career-best 8.9 assists per game (4th in the NBA), had the most 15-assist games in a season (7) for a non-guard in NBA history.
Wiseman and Mulder Named 2021 Rising Stars
On March 3, James Wiseman and second-year guard Mychal Mulder were selected to the 2021 NBA Rising Stars Roster, becoming the first Warrior teammates selected for the honor since 2013. Wiseman, who appeared in 39 games for the Warriors this season, averaged 11.5 points and 5.8 rebounds in 21.4 minutes per game while shooting 51.9 percent from the field. Mulder, who appeared in 60 games for the Warriors, made a continual impact through the end of the season, tallying double-figures in seven of the last 13 games including a career-high 28-point output on May 14, shooting 10-for-17 from the field and 7-for-13 from three-point range.
Curry Wins Three-Point Contest in Dramatic Fashion
Stephen Curry made his seventh appearance at NBA All-Star Weekend on March 7 in Atlanta, making a splash as the 2021 MTN DEW Three-Point Contest champion and becoming the first Warrior to win the contest since Klay Thompson in 2016. The shooutout came down to the wire with Curry making his last three shots and nine of his last 11 to edge out Utah Jazz’s Mike Conley by a single point in the final round. Curry, who posted an event-record score of 31 points in the first round, won the Three-Point Contest for the second time in his career.
After the event, Curry joined Team LeBron in a 170-150 victory over Team Durant at the 2021 All-Star Game. The Warriors guard posted 28 points, the most he’s scored in an All-Star Game, shooting 10-for-19 from the field and 8-for-16 from beyond the arc in 22 minutes of play.
Curry Set New Franchise Records
Stephen Curry dished out his 4,856th career assist on a pass to Kelly Oubre Jr. on March 15, passing Guy Rodgers (4,855) to become the franchise’s all-time assists leader and breaking a franchise record that stood for 55 years.
Curry continued to etch his name in the history books, scoring his 17,784 career point in the opening frame against the Denver Nuggets on April 12 and passing Wilt Chamberlain (17,783) to become the franchise’s all-time points leader. “To be anywhere near him in any record book or now be on top, it’s surreal and it’s wild,” Curry said regarding his accomplishment. The three-time champion finished the night with a 53 points, marking his third 50-plus point output of the season and 18th career game with at least 10 treys, the most in NBA history.
Warriors Post 50-Point Quarter
The Warriors used a 50-point third quarter to gain a 147-109 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder on April 14. Stephen Curry led the scoring effort by scratching 25 of his 42 points in the third frame, shooting 8-for-8 from the field and splashing all six of his 3-point attempts in the third quarter. Fellow veteran Draymond Green added a triple-double with 12 points, 16 assists and 10 rebounds on the night. The 50-point quarter marked the sixth time in Warriors franchise history the team scored at least 50 points in a quarter, and the third time it was accomplished in the third frame.
Fans Return to Chase Center
The Warriors welcomed Dub Nation back to Chase Center on April 23, marking the first time in 409 days fans were allowed to attend a Warriors home game. It was a victorious return to home court as the Warriors tallied a 118-97 win over the Denver Nuggets.
Warriors May Mayhem
The Warriors closed out the regular season with a six-game homestand, earning victories in each contest (6-0). Though the feat didn’t come without its challenges, as the Warriors faced the top two Western Conference teams in their final back-to-back of the season. On May 10, the Warriors earned a late 119-116 win over the Utah Jazz, the team with the best record in the NBA. Curry’s clutch shooting capped a 36-point night as the guard splashed a 3-pointer with 13.4 seconds left in regulation to give the Warriors the lead.
The team followed their feel-good victory with a 122-116 win over the Phoenix Suns on May 11. Andrew Wiggins led all scorers with 38 points, shooting 17-for-24 from the field. The six-game win streak marks the second time in Warriors franchise history the team finished the regular season with that many consecutive wins, tying the 1950-51 Philadelphia Warriors. Among all NBA teams, the Warriors possessed the best record in May (8-1) with the highest winning percentage in the league (.889).
Curry Named Back-to-Back Western Conference Player of the Month
Stephen Curry was named the NBA Western Conference Player of the Month for May on May 17, with the guard averaging an NBA-high 36.8 points on the month, adding 5.6 assists, 5.1 rebounds and 1.38 steals. Curry, who was previously named the Western Conference Player of the Month for April, is the first Warrior ever to win the award in back-to-back months. The recognition marks Curry’s ninth career monthly honor, the most in Warriors franchise history.
The two-time MVP recorded three 40-plus performances in May, splashing 11 3-pointers for 49 points against the Oklahoma City Thunder on May 8. Curry’s hot hand contributed to the team making franchise history with a record 27 made threes on the night. Curry’s performance also marked his 10th game with 40-or-more points on the season, breaking his own NBA record (6) for most games with 10-or-more 3-pointers made in a single season.
Curry completed the 2020-21 season as the league’s scoring leader for the second time in his career averaging 32.0 points, shooting 48.2 percent from the field, 42.1 percent from three-point range and 91.6 percent from the line.
Although the Warriors didn’t accomplish their goal of making the playoffs, the 2020-21 season was still filled with plenty of joyous moments, and the team will look to build on the momentum in which they finished the regular season as they seek more success next season and beyond.