On Sunday night, the Golden State Warriors hosted the Denver Nuggets for Game 4 of their first round playoff matchup.
The game went back and forth, and at halftime, the Warriors held a 56-44 lead.
At that point of the game, however, the star of the night was Warriors center Andrew Bogut. At the half, Bogut had 12 points, four rebounds and a couple of blocks. Oh yeah, and this posterizing dunk on Nuggets center JaVale McGee.
But the second half of the game was a completely different story. Bogut, the star of the first half, failed to score another point in the second half of the game. The Warriors needed some energy. They needed someone to step up and put points on the board. And guess who answered the call.
Curry, who was just 1-for-3 from the field in the first half, went on a scoring spree in the third quarter and helped the Warriors put the game well out of reach for Denver. He ignited the Oracle Arena crowd by scoring 22 points on 8-of-10 shooting all in just the third period. And don’t forget that he knocked down 5-of-7 shots from behind the arc during the stretch too.
It was amazing to watch. Curry was taking shots with the degree of difficulty so high, you would have had to watch it to believe it. Whether it was a deep 3-pointer with a defender draped all over him, or a fastbreak pull-up jumper from beyond the arc, Curry was knocking it down. He couldn’t be stopped.
Not only was Oracle Arena buzzing and screaming during Curry’s amazing stretch, so was social media. Here are some tweets from people around the league, as they talked about the “Baby-faced assassin” and his incredible shooting display.
ESPN NBA Insider Chris Palmer:
Steph Curry was mentioned on social media 55,000 times an hour during the 2nd half.
— chris palmer (@ESPNChrisPalmer) April 29, 2013
Sportscenter weighed in too:
Steph Curry is TAKING OVER. 19 points in LAST 5:11. 26 for the game.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) April 29, 2013
As did Cleveland Browns cornerback Joe Haden:
Curry is a beast!!! — Joe Haden (@joehaden23) April 29, 2013
And the renowned Skip Bayless of ESPN even weighed in on Curry’s performance. Looks like he is a step ahead of us all.
Denver just got a Steph infection. About to be 3-1 GState. Spurs await.
— Skip Bayless (@RealSkipBayless) April 29, 2013
At this point in time, there should be no doubt in anybody’s mind that Curry is a superstar. After erupting for 30 points and 13 assists in Golden State’s Game 2 victory, he came right back to score 29 points and dish out 11 assists in their Game 3 win. As for Game 4, Curry prevailed yet again, this time scoring 31 points, dishing out seven assists and grabbing three rebounds, while knocking down six 3-pointers, all en route to a Warriors blowout win.
There was a scary moment in the second half, however, when Curry went up for a rebound and collided with Nuggets forward Corey Brewer, who poked the sharpshooter in the eye during the play. Curry would sit out for a while but eventually came back onto the court and once again proved his ability to fight through and play through the pain. Not sure what was worse for him, the eye injury or dealing with his lingering ankle all night; but either way, he put up one hell of a performance.
The Warriors now hold a 3-1 series lead over the Nuggets who now have their backs pinned against the wall and are desperate for any kind of help. Denver has had no answer for Curry and his hot shooting Warriors squad over the past three games and they have dug themselves into a deep hole.
With the way that Golden State is playing, I fully believe that they will storm into the Pepsi Center on Tuesday night and take care of their business. I believe that they will defeat the Denver Nuggets on their home court and advance to the Western Conference semifinals, where they will have the San Antonio Spurs waiting for them.