Stephen Curry continues to find new ways to amaze. Curry battled through a sprained left ankle and scored 31 points in the Golden State Warriors' 115-101 Game 4 victory over the Denver Nuggets, with 22 of those coming in an NBA Jam "He's on fire!" shooting display in the third quarter.
Curry had taken just three shots in the first half and appeared visibly slowed by the ankle injury. He admitted to TNT that the ankle was really bothering him and that he had taken a painkilling shot before the game to help cope. Warriors head coach Mark Jackson pulled Curry on several occasions in the first half and admitted that he was close to shutting down his star guard due to the early struggles. Jackson stuck with Curry though, and his decision was rewarded.
"He (Curry) captured the moment," Jackson said. "He embraced the moment. It was almost like he had been waiting for this his entire career. He wasn't going to allow his body to tell him he was too hurt to match the moment."
Curry's third quarter performance was certainly something to behold, as he made seven-straight shots at one point. That stretch included four three-pointers, including one heat check that sent the already frenetic Oracle Arena crowd into bedlam. He finished the quarter 8-of-11 overall and 5-of-8 from three, with one of the misses being a half court heave at the buzzer. Here's Curry's shot chart from the third:
Curry has been brilliant this series ever since a rough Game 1 when he shot 7-of-20. In the last three games, he has averaged 30.0 points on 55.4 percent shooting and 14-of-28 from three. He has made 18 three-pointers overall this series, which is more than the Celtics, Grizzlies, Lakers and Bulls.
The only thing that slowed Curry in the second half on Sunday was a poke to the eye which caused some serious swelling and forced him to the bench for several minutes. But he hopes that the injuries won't be too big of a problem going forward, and he was happy to deliver so many big plays in such a crucial victory.
"It's huge," Curry said. "It was a big stage and we had a great opportunity to protect hour home court and go up 3-1 and seize control of the series. Every play that leads up to winning is huge for us. I'm just trying to do my part."
Quotes via NBA.com.