Stephen Curry's first shot in Game 2 against the Denver Nuggets on Tuesday was an air ball. Curry then proceeded to make just one of his next five shots. But as any great shooter does, Curry kept firing.
What resulted was a dynamite performance from the fourth-year guard in a 131-117 Golden State Warriors victory that evened up their series with the Nuggets at 1-1. After the 1-of-6 start, Curry went 12 for his next 17 to finish with an overall shooting line of 13-of-23. He made 4-of-10 from downtown, finishing with a game-high 30 points.
Curry not only had an impact as a scorer, but he also played a big role as distributor, racking up 13 assists on the night. The Warriors had great success with their small ball lineup with David Lee injured, starting Jarrett Jack and Klay Thompson alongside Curry and sliding Harrison Barnes to the 4. Golden State shot 64.6 percent from the field and made 14-of-25 from three-point land, with Curry, Jack, Barnes and Thompson all having big games.
"On the offensive end, we were able to space the floor with some of these shooters," Curry said after the game. "Every play we ran, it seemed like we had good looks because the ball was moving. It forced them to react to us instead of the other way around."
This effort is just another step in the progression of Curry, who has established himself as the premier three-point shooter in the NBA. After battling ankle problems most of last year, Curry rebounded with a vengeance this year, averaging 22.9 points and setting a record for most three-point makes in a season. He has put together some other worldly performances this year, whether it be his 54-point night at Madison Square Garden or his 47-point night against the Los Angeles Lakers at the Staples Center.
Curry will be under even more pressure to perform with Lee out for the season, but he passed with flying colors on this first go-round. He and the Warriors now return to what should be a frenzied Oracle Arena for Games 3 and 4, a place where the team has had a lot of success this year. The Nuggets are sure to try and come up with some adjustments to the Warriors' small ball lineups, but if Curry gets going, efforts could be futile.
If Denver is unable to corral Curry, the only thing that may stop him in this series is injury. Curry did tweak his left ankle in the third quarter on Tuesday, but much to the relief of Warriors fans, he was able to return to the game and said afterward that he should be good to go for Friday.