Curry’s Flurry: Steph Curry Destroys Denver with 22-point 3rd Quarter as Warriors take Commanding 3-1 Series Lead

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.

Steph Curry has everyone in the Bay Area clapping lately.

Steph Curry has everyone in the Bay Area clapping lately.

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:

Playoff basketball is all about the moment: that one point in time that shifts everything or even greater, shifts player stature. If Steph Curry has been a borderline top-10 NBA player before last night’s game, he is now firmly inserted into that conversation. Playing on a bad left ankle, stiff hamstring and having been repeatedly bumped and knocked around, the 22 points he scored in the 3rd quarter of last night’s game 4 were simply historical. At one time thought to be a one-trick (shot) pony, he showed the full array of his ever-expanding talents and the home-court MVP chants gained legitimacy: we can attest he’s certainly the MVP of this series. This has been his team since the all-star break (and snub) but this is close to becoming his playoffs.
Of course the second part to the inside/outside dynamic that the GSW brings to post-season basketball was Andrew Bogut. Figuring that the Nuggets would once again bring a strong-side trap, the Warriors responded by bringing Bogut to the top of the key. That gave him an unimpeded look at the entirety of the paint.  He could then decide whether to go to the basket or pass after contact. With Kenneth Faried still slowed by the ankle and neither Koufos or McGee able to respond in a timely manner and Bogut’s new-found spring evident, the GSW fans were treated to a number of poster-style-dunks (one on McGee in particular) and dominant center play. Denver switched away from that at the start of the second half but by then the damage had been done.
Three other players of note: Carl Landry’s ability to hit the elbow jumper with or without Bogut in the game, Draymond Green hitting big shots, rebounding and being a defensive wrecking ball (the box score doesn’t do him any justice at all) and Jarrett Jack whose fearless play and incredibly efficient offense was as clutch as a player can be in the biggest stage of them all. The crowd was deafening, the Dubs appear to be getting more and more confident with each passing moment and coach Mark Jackson has elevated his coaching status in a way that is somehow both surprising and not surprising.
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One thought on “Curry’s Flurry: Steph Curry Destroys Denver with 22-point 3rd Quarter as Warriors take Commanding 3-1 Series Lead

  1. […] of Steph Curry. The former Davidson College guard has had some great playoff games, including a 22-point third quarter in game 4 of the series.  He struggled a little bit in Golden State’s last game against Denver, but he is still […]

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