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Curry spices up Warriors' attack

Updated: 2013-10-17 07:14
By Sun Xiaochen ( China Daily)

Golden State expects big things from sharpshooting point guard

Stephen Curry made the most of his three-day trip to Beijing.

The 25-year-old Golden State Warriors guard enjoyed a trip to the Great Wall, received a huge ovation at the stadium which hosted the 2008 Olympics tournament and capped it all off with superb performance in the NBA Global Games showdown against the Los Angeles Lakers.

"It has been an awesome trip so far," Curry said after leading the Warriors to a 100-95 victory in the first of two preseason games in China on Tuesday night.

Relatively unknown until hitting a record 272 three-pointers in a single season last year, Curry never imagined his popularity in China could be mentioned in the same breath as superstar Kobe Bryant, who sat out Tuesday night's game as he recovers from Achilles tendon surgery.

Curry spices up Warriors' attack

Sprinkled amid raucous chants of "Kobe Kobe!" in the packed 18,000-seat MasterCard Center, the yelling of Curry's name drew his attention.

"I'm so excited about the atmosphere today," said Curry, who contributed 24 points (14 in the last quarter) and seven rebounds to steer the Warriors' comeback from an 11-point deficit in the third.

"The chant for me sounded good, but we all know how great Kobe is. Until I get a couple of rings and get to his level, I just worry about getting better and winning some games and just let the fans chant for who they want to."

Joining his Chinese supporters in the crowd were Curry's parents, wife and daughter, who are all visiting China for the first time and appeared to be even more enthusiastic about their exposure to Chinese culture than the star guard.

They followed Curry to a primary school for a charity ping-pong event on Monday after taking a family photo at the Great Wall.

"I am thankful we had the opportunity to bring them over ... and they love it," said Curry. "Every time you travel to a new country you have never seen before, you take in the culture. It's a great opportunity for our whole family."

Sightseeing aside, Curry's primary focus during this trip is finding ways to gel with new teammates like Andre Iguodala, who joined the Warriors via a three-team trade in July.

"There is still room for new guys to get comfortable with new teammates. Coach (Mark Jackson) has put in some great new plays and we just have to keep practicing," said Curry. "Our goal for the new season is to advance to the Western Conference finals and beyond."

The Warriors ended their playoff run last season with a 4-2 loss to the San Antonio Spurs in the Western semis. But it was still the team's best result over the past six years.

Head coach Jackson said a vastly-improved Curry, who has become stronger and more willing to attack the rim after summer workouts, now must bear the burden of greater expectations.

"He came back a month earlier to work out and he wants to get to the free-throw line more and cut down his turnovers. We expect tremendous things from him in the coming season," said Jackson.

(China Daily 10/17/2013 page23)