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    Steph Curry erupts for 20 fourth-quarter points to stun Cavaliers: 5 observations – The Athletic

    CLEVELAND — Here are five observations from the Warriors’ 104-89 road win over the Cavaliers on Thursday night, jumping their NBA-best record to 13-2.

    1. That Steph Curry fourth quarter

    In previous years, Steph Curry wouldn’t have been out there to spark an early fourth-quarter rally because his traditional and preferred substation pattern had him on the floor the entire third quarter and resting at least the first four minutes of the fourth, most often longer.

    But Steve Kerr has tinkered with Curry’s pattern in the early part of this season, while a reluctant Curry has accepted the rearrangement (at least temporarily). It’s been done mostly to help limit Curry’s minute total when needed and give Kerr some flexibility to search for different lineup combinations that work best.

    Curry doesn’t love it because it chops up his rhythm. He comes in and out of the game twice per half now, instead of once. During the first quarter in Cleveland, he exited six minutes into the game and walked to the scorer’s table to re-enter a couple of minutes later. But there were no whistles for an extended stretch, so he sat longer than intended in a first half where the Warriors struggled.

    That’s a drawback to the new pattern. He’s more vulnerable to those longer waits since he’s subbing back into the game twice as often. But, on Friday, we were given a loud example of a new benefit. Kerr will be occasionally freed up to let him loose the entire fourth quarter.

    “Shorter run in the first half, so we knew if we played him the whole fourth, he’d only be at 35 (minutes),” Steve Kerr said.

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