- Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP
The Golden State Warriors used a 15-2 run midway through the third quarter in beating the Oklahoma City Thunder, 118-91, on Tuesday night and evening the Western Conference Finals at one game apiece.
But we should clarify here: It was Stephen Curry who led the 15-2 run that put Game 2 out of reach, because it was Curry who – in two minutes, 11 seconds – scored 15 straight points, and he did it after he injured the elbow in his shooting arm.
Let’s walk through the sequence, which in real time seemed to happen so fast that if you changed the channel for even a second you would have missed it.
With 7:22 remaining in the third quarter, Andre Roberson of the Thunder made a layup that cut the Warriors’ lead to 64-57. On the other end, Draymond Green found Curry for an open 3-pointer that Curry drained. Then Curry stole the ball from Kevin Durant and was promptly fouled by Durant on another 3-point attempt. Durant gave the ref a piece of his mind and received a technical foul. This means four free throws for Curry, and Curry hit all four. In 36 seconds, he had scored seven points and pushed the Warriors’ lead to 14 (71-57).
Durant hit a jumper, but the Warriors responded when Green again found Curry for an open 3-pointer. This time, Curry turned and stared down Serge Ibaka as the ball was still in midair. There is heating up, and then there is Stephen Curry.
On the other end of the court, Durant turned the ball over. Curry came down the court in transition and hit a very, very long field goal with his foot on the 3-point line. Timeout, OKC.
After the timeout, Green blocked Thunder big man Enes Kanter. Maybe you are sensing a pattern. Curry went down the court and hit another 3-ball. Warriors 79, Thunder 59.
With 5:11 remaining in the third quarter, the game was over.
And this all came after Curry dived into the seats trying to save a ball. He landed on his elbow, which led to a huge welt, an injury that didn’t seem to bother Curry at all.
The Thunder may have Durant and Westbrook, and they will be more than pleased to return to their home court with the series tied, 1-1. But there is simply nothing to be done when Curry catches fire like this. If he stays this hot for the rest of the playoffs, nobody is taking down the Warriors.