Earlier this week, after watching Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors beat the Brooklyn Nets, our own James Herbert mused that to watch them this season is to jump into a time machine. As if to prove his point, Curry came out on Thursday night and put together another stunning performance that was reminiscent of his MVP days.
He was playing all the hits: relentless off-ball movement, audacious 3-point attempts, flashy passing. In the end he finished with 40 points, four rebounds and six assists on 15-of-27 from the field and 9-of-16 from 3-point land in the Warriors’ 104-89 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers. This was his fourth 40-point game already this season, and the 38th time in his career he’s hit at least nine 3-pointers. Per ESPN Stats and Info, he now has more nine 3-pointer games since April (10) than any other player in NBA their entire NBA career.
That alone would earn him headlines, but Curry always finds a way to make each performance special in some way. On Thursday night, he did so by outscoring the Cavaliers by himself in the fourth quarter (20-8) as he led the Warriors to a 13-point comeback.
Down by 13 entering the fourth quarter, Curry started off the frame with a triple and never looked back. He led the Warriors on a 17-0 run, scored 13 of those points by himself. His movement and shooting was picking the Cavaliers apart, and when they started overplaying to prevent him from getting any looks outside, he just went backdoor and got himself a few layups.
There’s a zone that Curry gets into sometimes where he’s just operating on a different level from everyone else, and the fourth quarter against the Cavs definitely qualified. It’s an absolute joy to watch him when he gets going like that, and every time you do you realize we’re never going to see something like this again.
After his 40 points versus the Cavs, Curry is now up to 29.4 points per game, which puts him in front of Kevin Durant for the league lead. There’s still a long way to go, of course, but Curry has a real chance to win his second straight scoring title, and his third overall — something only nine other players have done.