As fate would have it, the only thing to slow down Stephen Curry Sunday night were Corey Brewer’s fingernails. Not a left ankle. Not a right ankle. Fingernails.
Curry, bothered since Game 2 with a hobbled left ankle, had to briefly come out of the game in the fourth quarter, swollen, bloodshot eye and all, when Brewer inadvertently scratched him in the right eye on a rebound. But by then, the game was well in control for Curry and the Warriors.
Thanks to an utterly dominant third quarter in which he hit shots from all over the court and maybe even a taco truck on International Boulveard, Curry led the Warriors to an easy 115-101 victory Sunday night to put the Nuggets in a stranglehold in the series with a 3-1 lead.
Curry poured in 31 points (10-of-16 FG’s, 6-of-11 3’s) on the night, but it were his 22 points in the third that electrified the Oracle crowd and put the Nuggets on the ropes. The Warriors entered halftime with a 12-point lead and thanks to Curry extended the advantage to 19 after three.
Now it’s on a larger scale the Nuggets find themselves on the ropes, being on the brink of elimination heading back to the Mile High city for Game 5.
Ty Lawson (26 points) once again tried to will his team to a win. His 15 points in the oft-mentioned third quarter were one of the primary reasons why the Nuggets were able to cut their double-digit deficit at the break down to four before Curry started doing absurd things with the basketball.
As much as Curry was the story of this game, he was largely a nonfactor in the first half with just one field goal out of three attempts in 17 minutes. That’s when Big Australia—Andrew Bogut—occupied the spotlight.
Ever since David Lee went down in Game 1, the Warriors have seen somebody outside out the usual suspects step up their game to help the team to victory. In Game 2 it was Harrison Barnes, Game 3 Carl Landry. And in Game 4 it was Bogut.
Oh, was it ever Bogut.
The Aussie dunked and ooped and dimed his way to a postseason career-high 12 points and was an stirring opening act for Curry’s show later on in the contest.
The Bogut explosion came entirely in the first half, but it was a boost the Warriors needed early to jump on the Nuggets’ throats and have the Oracle crowd reach ear-bleeding decibels, especially with Curry nonexistent early on while waiting for a pain-killing injection in his sprained left ankle to kick in.
It was the most exciting Bogut’s played in a Warriors jersey. I mean, just look at this shit:
It was the Andrew Bogut Show, sponsored by yelling and angry faces.
And then Curry took over. The end.
Golden State now looks to close out the series on Tuesday. The odds of the Nuggets coming back from a 3-1 hole aren’t good. Out of 438 best-of-seven series, only eight teams have come back from that deficit. Stats aside, with the way Curry is playing despite having the leg functionality of Mr. Bates in “Downton Abbey,” how Warriors’ supporting cast has stepped up and the fact that Denver would have to play once more in the rabid Oracle Arena atmosphere, the chances aren’t looking good anyway.
From the Twitter:
The hole in the visitor locker room wall, courtesy of Denver’s Kenneth Faried. twitpic.com/cmrju2
— Sam Amick (@sam_amick) April 29, 2013
When asked about Steph Curry, Landry says, “Steph Curry…” And just starts laughing.
— Ethan Strauss (@SherwoodStrauss) April 29, 2013
Jackson was asked if Curry became a star tonight. His response: “For those just getting to the hospital, the baby has already been born.”
— Marcus Thompson (@gswscribe) April 29, 2013
— Patrick Duggan (@PatfaceCatface) April 29, 2013