Video-game version of Steph Curry finally reappears in Warriors' drubbing of Bucks
In the Warriors' 117-92 victory against the Bucks, Curry shot himself out of his slump
OAKLAND, Calif. -- Someone Oracle Arena hadnât seen in some time finally showed up to the Warriorsâ 117-92 victory against the Bucks on Saturday night. The video-game version of Steph Curry reappeared.
For the first time since Feb. 25, Curry made over half of his 3-pointers in a game. He entered Saturday 25 of 96 from deep in his past nine games. Against the Bucks, Curry went 6 of 8 from beyond the arc. He finished with 28 points in 30 minutes.
His night ended with a mini celebratory shower, courtesy of Draymond Green.
It wasnât merely the fact that Curry finally made shots Saturday. It was also the way that he did.
With the clock winding down at the end of the first quarter, Curry shook free of Matthew Dellavedova, who is firmly positioned near the top of Oracleâs âmost hated playersâ list, with a nifty stepback near the corner. Curryâs 3 swished through the net with 1.5 seconds showing on the game clock.
This is when it finally felt like he was back:
That wasnât his only moment of late-quarter magic. At the end of the second quarter, with just over 30 seconds remaining, Curry gathered an inbound pass from underneath his own hoop and sprinted up the floor. Instead of running out the clock and leaving the Bucks with barely any time for a last-second shot, Curry got greedy. He wanted to create a 2-for-1 opportunity, even though the Bucks seemingly did exactly that for themselves by scoring with 32 seconds left.
For gamers who frequent the NBA 2K franchise, this is a familiar and almost automatic tactic. For real-life basketball players, this is not -- not with that little time remaining. For Curry, it worked.
Almost immediately after crossing halfcourt, he launched a shot from the Warriorsâ logo. And he drilled it.
The Warriors then forced a stop, but Curryâs full-court heave came after the buzzer sounded and rimmed out. So in that sense, his plan wasnât flawless.
After the game, he described his thought process before he pulled up from the spot he âzeroed inâ on -- the halfcourt logo. He called it a âdecent shot that went in.â For the record, roughly five seconds transpired between the Bucksâ bucket and the moment Curryâs 3 fell through the net.
Hereâs Bucks guard Malcolm Brogdon weighing in:
âIt shocked me. Even though Iâve seen it before on TV, it shocked me. I should honestly know better. I should be up more. I watched that on film. Itâs a great shot. You got to tip your hat to him.â
That 33-footer marked Curryâs fourth 3 of the first half, when he did the majority of his damage, going 4 for 6 from deep. He made both of his 3-point attempts in the third quarter, but didnât have the opportunity to see the floor in the fourth with the Warriorsâ victory already secured. And so, The Slump (it lasted long enough to have its own name, right?) ended after three quarters.
To Curryâs credit, he remained confident -- at least publicly -- throughout The Slump. He refused to use the word because he felt like it signaled a lack of confidence. He was âjust missing shotsâ in a âmake-or-miss league.â
âIâm just missing shots,â he said Tuesday, via the San Francisco Chronicle. âThereâs no two ways around it. Shots that I normally take and make arenât falling, and Iâm going to keep shooting them until they do.â
He kept shooting. And finally, they fell.
As a result, the Warriors pushed their record on the homestand to 3-0 and looked better in each victory. First, the Warriors broke out of their rut by grinding through the 76ers. Next, the Warriors ended their offensive slump with a 122-point outing against the Magic. Finally, the last part clicked: Curry joined in and unlocked himself Saturday night.
For a Warriors team that has been feeling its way through Kevin Durantâs absence and is still only 2.5 games up on the Spurs in the West, thatâs important -- because if Curry is back to being Curry, he alone solves a ton of their issues. Even on their bad days, which Saturday definitely wasnât, they can beat any team in the league so long as Curry is cooking.
After a lengthy absence, the Warriorsâ cheat code finally worked again.
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