When Stephen Curry was coming of age as an NBA All-Star, Chris Paul was something of a bully brother to him. He was stronger than Curry. More savvy. A supremely tough matchup for Curry as he was still building his own strength and figuring out how to apply it best, literally and figuratively. 

Paul's Clippers eliminated the Warriors in the 2014 playoffs. 

And that was the last of Paul having the upper hand. 

The next season, Curry won the first of his two MVPs while leading the Warriors to 67 wins and the first of their four championships over the next eight years. In 2018, Golden State eliminated Paul's Rockets, who had a 3-2 series lead, for good measure. 

Fast forward to Monday night. Curry's Warriors defeated Paul's Suns, 123-112. Curry had 23 points on an efficient 7-of-13 shooting clip, including 4 of 6 on threes. 

One of Curry's buckets was a tough and-one along the baseline, on which he more or less bullied Paul -- after appearing to be pinned in the corner -- on his way to the hoop. After the finish, Curry appeared to say, "This ain't 2014 no more."

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You don't have to be Sherlock Holmes to figure out what Curry references here. Again, 2014 was the last time Paul got one over on Curry and the Warriors. It's not subtle. 

And yet, Paul pulled an excellent bit in the locker room when he acted like he genuinely had no idea what happened in 2014. 

Yeah, this is the good stuff. Curry knew exactly what he was saying, and once he was informed of it, so did Paul. The only thing that makes this a little strange is that Curry has long supplanted Paul atop the point guard hierarchy. This hasn't even been a conversation for almost a decade. Curry is sort of stating the obvious here. 

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My guess is Curry isn't just drawing attention to the fact that he beat Paul on the play, but rather, how he beat him. By out-muscling him. Curry takes a special pride in his strength, which is a legitimate part of his game these days. 

Indeed, Curry has always been supremely skilled. He was capable of dumping any defender with his slick handle, even back in 2014. In fact, one of his most famous moves ever also came at the expense of Paul, also along the baseline, back when Paul was still a Clipper. 

Again, Curry has always had the razzle-dazzle in his bag. What he did on Monday, keeping his dribble alive, bodying Paul and leveraging his way along the baseline for a finish through contact, that's a more recent addition to Curry's arsenal. That kind of bully ball wasn't there in 2014. 

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Either way, Curry going at Paul, or vice versa, is always going to be a good time. 

Oh, and one more thing: As currently seeded, the No. 4 Suns and No. 5 Warriors are slotted to play each other in the first round of the playoffs.