One week after draining a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to drop the Lakers, Pacers rookie Andrew Nembhard put together a night against Stephen Curry and the Warriors on Monday that he won't ever forget. In leading Indiana, which was playing without Tyrese Haliburton and Myles Turner, to a 112-104 victory, Nembhard dropped 31 points, 13 assists and eight rebounds on five 3-pointers in 41 minutes, all of which go down as early career highs.
Those numbers put Nembhard in some pretty elite company.
Meanwhile, Curry had his worst game of the season, finishing with 12 points on 3-of-17 shooting, including 2-of-10 from 3. It's not often that Curry gets upstaged like that by anyone, let alone a relatively obscure rookie starting just his 10th game.
The look on Curry's face after Nembhard hit one of his two fourth-quarter step-back 3s says it all.
Indeed, it was one of those nights for Nembhard. Don't get it twisted, it's not completely out of nowhere. The guy can play. He has scored in double figures in four of his past five games. He's shooting better than 40 percent from 3 for the season. He's solid with the ball and a fantastic passer. Rick Carlisle doesn't just hand out 25 minutes a game to rookies, and Nembhard, with TJ McConnell out recently and Haliburton the last two, has logged 35-plus in the last three. Still, this was a night he will have a hard time replicating any time soon, if ever.
He did everything for the Pacers, who put the ball in his hands down the stretch as though he were a superstar. And he delivered. Here Curry fights over the screen to keep Nembhard from pulling up for yet another 3, so he casually works his way downhill with Curry attached to his hip before dropping a 10-foot bank shot.
Watch the Warriors double-team Nembhard at half court, only for him to pass out of it, create a man-up advantage, get it back, beat Jonathan Kuminga into the paint, draw the help, and deliver the alley-oop assist.
Step-back 3s, tough runners in the paint, exploiting double teams -- these are the things we're used to seeing Curry do. But Monday was Nembhard's night to show out and show up one of the best to ever do it.