The Golden State Warriors headed to New Orleans up 2-0 in their series against the Pelicans. But in last night’s Game 3, the Pelicans put their series deficit aside and showed the Warriors they weren’t out of it. Not yet.
Heading into the fourth quarter, New Orleans had a 20-point lead on the best team in the league. It looked like the Pelicans had the game in their beaks.
But Warriors star Steph Curry wasn’t about to throw in the towel.
Curry put his team on his back, leading Golden State on a 36-19 run and back to within three points. As the final seconds ticked down, he set up shop behind the arc. He took one shot at a game-tying three. It clanged off the rim. Merreese Speights picked up the rebound, kicked it out to Curry again, and from an impossible angle put up another three and was taken hard to the floor.
It didn’t matter. The shot swished in. The game was tied. With less than 3 seconds left, the Pelicans’ Tyreke Evans took desperation final shot, which missed, sending Game 3 to OT. Golden State completed the comeback, defeating New Orleans, 123-119, and taking a commanding 3-0 series lead.
Curry finished the game with 40 points. But none were bigger than the three at the end of the fourth.
''To make that shot shows everything that Steph is about,'' Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. ''His confidence level is just off the charts. He's fearless. He wants every big shot.''
Ever the leader, Curry was more interested after the game in celebrating the team accomplishment of coming back from 20 points down in the playoffs.
''You know how big of a deal it is to come back from a deficit like that in the playoffs on the road, in a game we knew was very important for us to really take control of this series,'' Curry said. ''So I think we should celebrate the accomplishment.''
The morning after the game, though, all anyone can talk about is the superhuman Steph Curry — and what might be the defining performance of the 2015 NBA postseason.
Photo: Gerald Herbert/AP