Steph Curry is now known as the human torch in the Bay Area. If you’ve watched any of the Denver Nuggets-Golden State Warriors series, you understand why. Smoke alarms seem to go off at random when Steph strolls by.
Curry, Jarrett Jack, Klay Thompson and Harrison Barnes have achieved an offensive fluidity that has kept Golden State two steps ahead of Denver since the opening tap of Game 2. Curry’s ability to make pin-point one-handed passes to Bogut around the hoop has allowed the Aussie to take part in the festivities as well. Steph’s ankles have both been a nagging problem since his rookie season, but he refuses to let them stop him. Curry’s left ankle, having been surgically repaired, is surrounded by a brace at all times, which keeps it from twisting once it starts to turn. The right ankle was the one he twisted badly in Game 2. The injury came on a traffic dribble, but without contact to another foot. It was the latest in a line of Curry ankle tweaks, and had Warriors fans holding their collective breath again.
Before Game 3, Curry was listed as questionable, but with the help of painkillers played a brilliant game. He did the same in Game 4 at Oracle, buoyed by the deafening home crowd. In his first home playoff games as a professional, Curry would not be denied. After a pass-first first half in which Curry’s hamstring was tightening up, due to the ankle issue, Curry spent halftime on an exercise bike with a heat wrap on the hamstring. Apparently, that was all he needed to get loose, as Curry’s 22-point third quarter (8 of 11) was magnificent, draining threes, pump-faking Nuggets out of their shorts, and leading the Warriors to a blowout win.
But before the quarter ended, Curry dealt with yet another scare. Corey Brewer’s questionable flailing of his arms toward Curry while Steph grabbed a rebound, resulted in a scratched and bruised eye, which clouded his vision. With the lead firmly in hand, Steph was only needed back on the court for a few uneventful minutes in the 4th, with the Warriors pulling out the easy 115-101 victory, getting double-digit points from six players on the roster.
Curry became the first player since Kobe Bryant to average at least 28 points and 10 assists in back-to-back-back playoff games. In Games 2, 3 and 4, Curry is averaging 30.0 points on 55% shooting from the floor, and 47% (18 of 38) from distance over all four games. Perhaps even more impressively, Curry is dicing up the Denver defense, with 10.3 assists to only 3 turnovers.
From Warrior aficionado David Barnes: