With the Golden State Warriors battling to hold on to a spot in the upcoming NBA playoffs, Stephen Curry serves as a tool of destruction against the Warriors’ opponents in the Western Conference. Curry is a cold and calculating shooter who seems to make important shots at-will, and he is a large part of why Golden State is holding strong to the sixth spot for the NBA Western Conference playoffs.
At 45-28, Golden State had only a slight lead over the three opponents battling for the final two spots in the playoffs, and on Tuesday night, Curry and the Warriors played the then 44-30 Dallas Mavericks, who were looking to take a step up from the other teams battling for those final NBA playoff spots. Instead, Curry put up 23 points and 10 assists to beat the Mavericks in an overtime thriller that knocked Dallas back down to ninth in the West, and one spot out of the playoffs for now. The win is also huge in helping the Warriors secure that 6th seed in the NBA playoffs. This performance comes only days after Stephen put up 33 points and 8 assists in a win over the Memphis Grizzlies, who are also battling it out for one of the final two playoff spots at 44-30. The Phoenix Suns are currently in the 8th spot, also at 44-30.
On top of his 23 points and 10 assists, Curry was also the man who took the final shot of the game to put the Warriors up with.1 seconds remaining on the clock. The game went back and fourth throughout the first four quarters according to Yahoo Sports, and as the final seconds of the first overtime began to tick down, both teams were locked at 120-120. With 15 seconds left, Jermaine O’Neal blocked a shot from Dallas’ Mona Ellis, who drove to the basket trying to put the Mavericks ahead in the final seconds. From there Curry took the ball down the court. Stephen worked the ball around the arc as he allowed the final seconds to run off the clock, then put himself in position to put up the game winner.
— Golden St. Warriors (@warriors) April 2, 2014
As you can see from the video, there is some debate as to whether or not O’Neal’s block should have actually been called goal-tending, but it’s a tough call, and close enough in real-time that the no-call seems like the right move by the referees.
According to ESPN, Stephen Curry is shooting 46.8% this season, just slightly above his career average of 46.6%, and he’s knocking down a whopping 41.8% from behind the three point arc. While the team as a whole is playing good basketball right now, there’s no doubt that Curry will make them a formidable opponent in the Western Conference playoffs.
[Image courtesy WarriorsWorld.net]