Stephen Curry has a shooter's touch -- of course -- but this was downright ridiculous.
Golden State's marksman took his game from outside the arc to inside the paint in the fourth quarter of the Warriors' thrilling 110-108 home win over the Nuggets on Friday night.
Operating one-on-one against Kenneth Faried at roughly the five minute mark of the final period, Curry executed a sharp right-to-left crossover to get into the paint from the right corner. Passively planning his attack, Curry kept dribbling across the paint before casually tossing up a left-handed scoop shot past Wilson Chandler, a high-arcing try that softly bounced off the rim, around and finally in. That audacious attempt was followed in short order by another scoop floater, this time from straight down the lane, past Corey Brewer and over the top of a helping Chandler.
The technique involved in both shots was exquisite, as was the confidence. It's one thing to pull out the bag of tricks in a mid-February snoozer; it's another to crank up the difficulty level down the stretch of a tense playoff game. Curry finished with a team-high 29 points (on eight-for-17 shooting), 11 assists and six rebounds, one game after spraining his left ankle.
Golden State held on for the win despite a crazy final sequence, which saw the Warriors commit a five-second violation and miss a free throw in the game's final 10 seconds. A desperation Andre Iguodala half-court heave that would have delivered a Denver win rimmed off at the buzzer. Ty Lawson, who finished with a game-high 35 points (on 11-for-22 shooting) and 10 assists, also committed a crucial turnover in the game's closing seconds on what could have been a game-deciding possession for the Nuggets.
The Warriors, the Western Conference's No. 6 seed, now hold a 2-1 series lead over the Nuggets, the No. 3 seed. Game 4 is set for Oracle Arena on Sunday.
Video via YouTube user NBA