Stephen Curry was somewhat laboring through his return following an extended absence after a knee injury. Sure he scored 23 points in regulation and flashed his classic flair around the rim, but he just wasn't the same Steph Curry. He made just 2-of-13 three-point attempts during regulation, with a number of shots way off.
Then came an overtime performance for the ages.
Whatever rust was on Curry melted off in the extra period as he went into NBA Jam mode. He didn't just get rolling, he re-wrote the NBA record book and wrecked the entire city of Portland in the process.
He started the scoring in OT with a simple shot near the rim. Then he hit a three.
Those two baskets opened the flood gates and a tidal wave of classic Stephen Curry came pouring through.
He did it all during the scoring barrage, even getting down low for an offensive put back he had no business making.
It seemed as if Curry played with a touch of uncertainty during regulation. He was back, but he wasn't really sure if he was back. That uncertainty flew out the window and he made sure everyone in the building knew it after he buried a deep three.
He scored the first 12 points for the Warriors in overtime. Portland had matched Golden State toe-for-toe and huge shot for huge shot up to that point. But there is no player or team in the league that can match en fuego Curry.
And of course, Curry put the exclamation point on it all with a dagger. The shot sealed the game for the Warriors and gave Golden State its edge back. The Warriors were no longer a wounded, vulnerable team. They are once again the world beaters they were all season and Steph is here to make sure everyone knows it.
The only thing that rose quicker in overtime than Curry's point total was the Warriors confidence level. They proved they could win without Curry, but it was different. By the end of overtime, they were back to oozing confidence, celebrating shots before they went in and once again the big, bad bully in town.
Curry's effort wasn't just impressive, it was historic. He scored 17 points during overtime, the most any player has ever scored during an overtime period in NBA history.
Stephen Curry's 17 points in OT are the most ever scored in overtime of ANY game (regular season or postseason) pic.twitter.com/f2y089uOGZ— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) May 10, 2016
As Game 4 played on, questions about Curry and the Warriors seemingly increased. Was he healthy, could they shake off the rust and many more. Then Curry turned in arguably the five best minutes of his already illustrious career and suddenly Golden State had all of the answers.
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Stephen Curry's MVP season was on another level
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