Seth Curry had one of those games for the ages Friday night at the Target Center.
In his first season with the Dallas Mavericks, Curry poured in a career-high 31 points on 13-of-17 shots. However, it was a bittersweet night for Curry as the Mavs fell to the Minnesota Timberwolves 97-84.
“I’m just trying to make the right play, man, just trying to read the defense and get the best shot possible, whether that’s getting a teammate open or myself.
“I was trying to be aggressive coming off ball screens and things like that and trying to make the right play.”
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Curry’s previous career high was the 24 points he scored on Jan. 29 against the San Antonio Spurs. On Friday, Curry was in such a zone that he already had 25 points through three quarters.
In all, Curry made five more field goals than three other starters as Dirk Nowitzki, Wesley Matthews and Yogi Ferrell combined to go just 8-of-32 from the floor.
“Seth had a great individual game,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “He kept us in it from a shooting standpoint.”
Curry tallied 19 of his points in the second half when the Mavs rallied from 16 down to tie it at 75 with 7:58 remaining in the game. Unfortunately, other than the 20 points Harrison Barnes tallied, the Mavs failed to offer much offensive support.
“He had a great game,” Wesley Matthews said of Curry. “He stayed aggressive, he was taking what the defense gave him and he kept us in it and that’s what we need from him.”
For most of this season Curry has been reluctant to fire up his fair share of shots, even when he has had the hot hand. But Friday was a case where the fourth-year guard clearly needed to keep hoisting away, especially since he had the hottest hand in the building.
“He’s been great for the last month and a half,” guard Devin Harris said. “He’s been really aggressive shooting the ball great, mixing in his drives.
“He’s playing really well right now and we’ve got to ride that wave.”
The Mavs (22-35) hope Curry will bring his hot hand to American Airlines Center on Saturday night at 7:30 when they host the New Orleans Pelicans.
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“I think now he’s starting to understand I can use that weapon to get to the paint, get to the free throw line,” Harris said of Curry. “He’s doing a great job just mixing it up.”
The downside to Curry’s career game was that he couldn’t celebrate the way he wanted to – in a winning locker room.
“We fought to get back in the game, which was a good thing,” Curry said. “But we just couldn’t get over that hump and couldn’t keep them off the boards.”
At least Barnes knows Curry offers a variety of ways to score that could be very valuable to the Mavs in the final 25 games this season.
“He was phenomenal,” Barnes said. “He was able to get into the paint and he was making shots.
“It’s unfortunate that games like that have to go with a loss. I think we as a team has to do a better job of, when a guy is rolling like that, give him more support.”