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Steph Curry turns 35, carrying weight of Warriors’ hopes on his shoulders

SAN FRANCISCO — Donte DiVincenzo was a Stephen Curry hater before this season.

It was nothing personal, he assures. It was resentment born from respect. Curry’s quickness and skill give even the league’s most dogged defenders trouble. It’s why teams often double- or triple-team him just to try to slow his roll.

“I really didn’t like him when I wasn’t here. I had to chase him all around the court,” DiVincenzo said. “He was quiet, I didn’t understand him at all… but when I got here, he’s amazing.”

After years of cowering in fear whenever Curry launched a shot, now DiVincenzo gets to watch in awe and reap the rewards.

“It’s fun to watch,” he said of his teammate’s sweet shooting. “Sometimes I’m looking at some of the shots and I’m like, ‘There’s no way’ and they don’t even touch the rim. Every time it leaves his hand, I think it’s good.”

Curry has shown no signs of taking his foot off the gas in his 14th NBA season. He’s still willing the Warriors to necessary wins amid a subpar title defense. But with the postseason on the horizon and Golden State’s spot not yet a lock, the question arises: Can Curry, who turned 35 on Tuesday, do his heaviest lifting yet?

Curry has set out to do what few have accomplished. He and the rest of the Warriors eye the franchise’s fifth title in nine years. The Warriors have yet to win more than five straight games this season. The NBA world is waiting for them to make a run, but with 13 games remaining, it seems unlikely that will come this regular season.

Still, the Warriors have maintained that, when healthy and complete, no team stands a chance against them in a seven-game series. The Warriors will need Curry to deliver his absolute best if they want to turn their words into action come the postseason.

All signs point to Curry being able to do just that.

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Curry has managed to extend his prime into his mid-30s because of his ever-changing, year-round training regimen.

Coach Steve Kerr has lauded Curry as “the best-conditioned athlete that I’ve ever been around in the NBA.”

Even better than Michael Jordan? It appears so.

“There’s just no one who combines the work ethic, with the skillset and the ability to put all that together in this package of incredible endurance and quickness” like Curry, Kerr said.

Curry missed a month of action due to injury twice this season. He partially dislocated his shoulder in December, then damaged two ligaments in his lower leg in February.

Despite the significant layoffs, Curry didn’t skip a beat in either of his returns.

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