The Golden State Warriors' Stephen Curry and the Atlanta Hawks' Trae Young, two of the top offensive players in the league, will go head-to-head on Friday when the teams complete their season series in Atlanta.
Curry is averaging 30.1 points and is coming off a 50-point performance in Wednesday's 134-126 road loss to the Los Angeles Clippers. Young scored 41 in Monday's 136-115 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves and is averaging 25.3 points.
Curry was 20 of 28 from the floor against the Clippers and was 8 of 14 on 3-pointers. Curry scored 21 points in the third quarter, tied his season high in points and wound up with the 12th regular-season 50-point game of his career. He has now made a 3-pointer in an NBA-record 233 consecutive regular-season games dating back to Dec. 1, 2018, at Detroit.
"It's nice to play and shoot well. It's what I expect to do every night," Curry said. "No matter what the stat sheet looks like after the game, it's just frustrating when you can't get over the hump and figure out a way to get a win."
Golden State coach Steve Kerr said, "Steph was sublime. It was incredible to watch him play. It was a great, great game. We just came up short."
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The Warriors' Draymond Green received his 16th technical foul of the season during the loss and won't play Friday unless it is rescinded by the NBA.
Klay Thompson had an off-night with only 15 points, but he's averaging 22.3 points and scored 38 against Phoenix on Monday. He scored 54 against Atlanta in the first meeting this season when the Warriors prevailed 143-141 in double overtime on Jan. 2.
Young was the bright spot in the one-sided loss to the Timberwolves. The Hawks got behind early, trailed 76-51 at halftime and never trimmed the lead into single digits.
"We started the game out wrong," Young said. "I think that just set the tone. I've got to do better to start the game."
Young had 30 points and 14 assists against the Warriors in January. Golden State played without Curry that night. The Hawks have won three straight against the Warriors in Atlanta.
Young has three 40-point games, 23 games with 30-plus points this season and 33 double-doubles.
Young is averaging 21.6 points in eight career games against Golden State. Curry is averaging 23.4 points in 19 games against Atlanta.
Atlanta's defense has been a problem the last two games. The Hawks have allowed a combined 270 points and have given up 120-plus points in four of their last five games.
"It starts with aggression and being more aggressive defensively," Atlanta coach Quin Snyder said.
The game carries plenty of playoff drama. The Warriors are No. 6 in the Western Conference, one game behind the Clippers and one game ahead of the Minnesota Timberwolves. The Hawks are No. 8 in the East, three games behind the Miami Heat and only one game ahead of Toronto.
The Warriors are playing the second leg of a five-game road trip. Golden State has been a different team on the road, posting a 7-27 record, a .206 winning percentage. The Warriors are 29-7 at home, an .806 winning percentage. That's the seventh-largest disparity in league history and largest differential since the 1988-89 Denver Nuggets.
--Field Level Media