Stephen Curry started the game on the bench for Golden State, but he sure didn’t finish it there.
Curry torched Portland Monday night for an NBA playoff overtime record 17 points to lead Golden State to a 132-125 victory and a win from the Western Conference Finals.
Curry finished the game with 40 points, nine rebounds and eight assists and showed visible rust early, missing his first nine threes, after being out with a knee injury the first three games of the series.
After the game, Curry said:
“I’m a little sore to be expected. I was off my feet for about a week and half, and change. You obviously lose a little bit but deep down when I got that good work in the last four days, broke a sweat, put the time in, that helped me get those 38 minutes.”
Golden State got off to a slow start without their point guard, shooting just 1-for-12 to start the game, missing 9 in a row at one point. Klay Thompson ended the game with 23 points, along with four rebounds and two assists, missing his first five shots of the game, and finshing the first half on only 1-for-7 shooting.
Forward Draymond Green swatted away seven blocks, a career high, and also chipped in 21 points, four steals, five assists and nine rebounds.
Curry entered the game with Golden State was down 16-2, making an immediate positive impact for Golden State and sparking a 16-10 run.
Golden State appeared to get their shooting grove back at the start of the second quarter and was right back into the game. Marreese Speights, who had 11 points and three rebounds went 3-for-3 from three, with two of those in the second fueling a quick 10-0 run to get the score within three and bring Golden State right back into the game.
With 1:36 left in the half Sean Livingston, who scored four and assisted only once, was ejected after a contested layup were he was clobbered hard on the head. Not happy after the non-call, Livingston berated official Scott Foster running up the floor, resulting in two technicals and the first ejection of Livingston’s 11-year NBA career. Livingston had started every game in Curry’s absence.
Fresh momentum for Portland led to two threes, and a Mason Plumlee driving dunk, igniting a 16-9 run to close out the half, giving Portland a 10-point lead into the half.
Golden State would contain Portland’s high-scoring back court in the third quarter, outscoring the Blazers by 11. A Curry assist to Thompson late in the third would give Golden State their first lead of the night.
Things would get tight in the fourth quarter as Damian Lillard — 36 points, six rebounds and 10 assists — and C.J. McCollum — 24 points, three assists, two boards — showed they would not go down easily. Lillard, who came in averaging 34.4 points per game against the Dubs this season, drained three from beyond the arc in the fourth quarter while McCollum poured in two.
The late barrage would get Portland into overtime before eventually succumbing to the deadly and historic scoring display in overtime by Curry, who scored all but two of 19 Golden State points in overtime:
“I really really missed being out there with my teammates and to help our team get a win tonight in that kind of fashion, that was a good feeling in that moment to be back on the floor playing.”
Curry hit went 3-for-3 from distance in the extra time, sinking all six of his shot attempts to go with two free throws.
Head coach Steve Kerr was dumbfounded by Curry’s overtime:
“I expected a lot of rust. I don’t think any one could have predicted that, I figured he’d find his stroke and make a few shots, but I mean that was crazy.”
The Warriors look to close out Portland in Game 5 Wednesday night at Oracle Arena.