On Saturday night, Stephen Curry lit the world on fire, scoring 46 points in an overtime comeback win over the Thunder. In doing so, he tied an NBA record for most 3-pointers in a game with 12 -- on 16 attempts, by the way -- while also breaking his own NBA season record with his 288th triple of the year with still more than 29 percent of the season to play, which is a feat even Wilt Chamberlain never pulled off.
It was a simply stunning performance, even for Curry, who makes his living doing stunning things on a nightly basis. These shots had to be seen to be believed. What follows is a ranking of each of Curry's 12 3-pointers, followed by a breakdown of each shot, because science like this must be understood for the world to survive. Brace yourself.
12. The Solar Flare
Curry runs away from the basket, catches, turns, and fires in the time it takes for the light from the sun to erupt. Funny thing is, it doesn't even appear this pass was intended for Curry. Maybe that's the new way to get him open with three guys chasing him everywhere. Pass it to someone else, and let Curry go Darrelle Revis and intercept it.
11. The No Chance Proposition
Kyle Singler is not equipped to handle this one-on-one matchup. Then again, a rabid cybernetic dire wolf with laser eyes is not equipped to handle this one-on-one matchup. Curry's handle is what continues to separate him from history's greatest shooters. You just aren't supposed to be able to get this shot off so smoothly and knock it down so easily off the bounce. Not from this distance, at least.
10. The "I See What You Did There"
This one is more a testament to Steve Kerr's out-of-timeout magic than anything, because the Thunder were rolling at this point and the Warriors really needed a score, and everyone knew where they wanted to go out of the timeout. A little misdirection, a little wave of the wand, and Curry pops off a screen to find what is basically a layup for him. Every once in a while you have to get the guy a relatively easy look, and Kerr has proven great at this.
9. The "Sure, Why Not?"
There's just no way to anticipate this shot, becasue there's absolutely no rational reason for Curry to shoot it other than the fact Curry knows he can hit it. Westbrook can't believe he shot it when it's in flight, and can't believe it goes in. The quickness of the release is lab created, yes, but when Curry gets going and the Warriors need scores down the stretch of an exciting, back-and-forth game, you know he's looking for the tiniest inkling of space to tear your heart out. You can't give it to him. Westbrook did. Too late.
8. The Friendly Roll
Hey, when things are going your way, stuff like this happens. This was his first triple after returning from what, at first glance, looked to be a pretty scary ankle roll.
7. The "Nope, That Isn't Going To Work"
There's just nothing you can do when faced with a guy who can make shots falling out of bounds. That's the obvious part. The not-so-obvious part? Curry's shot-creating intelligence. Once Westbrook didn't get over the initial ball screen and Serge Ibaka had to switch, Curry could've easily pulled it out and gone one-on-one against a big, which would've been a fine decision and likely would've ended in Ibaka's destruction. But you have to mix things up when everyone in the gym knows you're looking to shoot. It pays off in the long run. Keeps you unpredictable. Here, Curry sees one pass ahead and goes to Mo Speights in the post knowing full well he's going for the immediate handoff the instant Ibaka relaxes on the entry pass. Subtle brilliance.
6. The Chef Gets To Cooking
It's overtime, but when he starts getting into the "falling down off the crossover" stuff, it's a whole other level. Again, a completely ridiculous shot, but not altogether unbelievable considering what we've seen from Curry before when his own momentum, and the momentum of a game, gets going the way it was with he and Durant on this nationally televised showdown. The building was electric, and Curry is an entertainer at heart. His trigger finger was very, very itchy by this point.
5. The Behind-The-Back Crossover
This is also vs. a 6-10 forward with arms the length of helicopter blades. You know, no big deal. Again off the dribble. This was his first three of the night. Auspicious beginning.
4. The One Fluid Motion
He just dribbles up court and then all of a sudden he's launching, and by the time you realize he's even thinking about shooting the ball is already through the net. As stated above, this is again seeing one play ahead. This is a pretty standard Warriors set that begins with a simple, routine dribble handoff, but Curry knows he's faking this particular handoff and keeping the ball the whole time. He is always, always, always setting up a shot in his mind, and as a defender, you better be trying to think right along with him, because rest assured he's not going to be taking conventional shots any time soon.
3 The Grill Shot
Steven Adams is basically standing on a ladder holding a gigantic metal sheet in front of Curry, and he still plants this shot in Adams' optical nerve. He had so many options here. Adams isolated on an island with a live dribble? This could've ended a lot worse, actually. You could argue this was sort of lazy by Curry, actually, pumping once and then basically saying, "Ah, screw it, I'm just going to launch a 28-footer without even taking a dribble and save my energy for later."
2. The Freakout
By this point, there was truly nothing any Thunder defender could do. He was hunting shots, and OKC did everything right here. Adams jumped out hard. They crowded his space as much as you can. He just has a sense of the moment, and the Warriors needed these threes. He did the same thing in Miami a few nights earlier. It doesn't happen often because the Warriors are always blowing teams out, but when they do find themselves in a close game, and they need scores, Curry just knows when it's time to start hitting moon shots. It's the ultimate answer. You spend the whole game building a lead and outplaying Golden State and then this alien shooter just decides to render all your work meaningless on a whim, and you can't do a damn thing about it.
1. The Game Winner
Finally, there are no words for this one.