Last Sunday, Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker flexed his rising confidence a little bit, lofting a 28-footer just before halftime against the Memphis Grizzlies and turning his back to the ball while it was in the air, not even bothering to look to see if it splashed through. This can be a dangerous game — shouts to Nick Young — but it worked in the Kentucky product's favor in this case:
During Saturday's visit to Oracle Arena, though, reigning MVP and resident high priest of shooting swag Stephen Curry decided to show the rook, and the rest of his Suns teammates, just how it's done:
After allowing 30-plus points to the lowly Suns in both the second and third quarters, the Golden State Warriors found themselves facing a nine-point deficit entering the fourth. Curry — who had sat for the final seven minutes and 55 seconds of the third after picking up his fourth personal foul, and who's become somewhat accustomed to taking whole fourth quarters off during the Warriors' magical run over these past two seasons — re-entered to start the frame and promptly sparked a classic Golden State run, with this confidence-drenched turnaway triple capping a quick 7-0 spurt that had the Dubs back within two points less than 60 seconds into the fourth.
To their credit, despite entering the evening at 17-48 and doing little but playing out the string of a dismal campaign, the Suns didn't fold, with just-returned-from-injury guard Brandon Knight pouring in 10 of his team-high 30 points in the fourth quarter to keep Phoenix in the fight. In the end, though, as has been the case so many times before, the Warriors just had too much firepower down the stretch, ripping off a 14-0 run to take a late double-digit lead before Curry iced it, this time with a sweet behind-the-back feed to thank Shaun Livingston for his defensive work on Knight:
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The Suns' surge fell short, as Golden State held on for a 123-116 win. The Warriors now stand at 59-6, the best record in NBA history through 65 games and one game ahead of the pace set by the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls en route to setting the all-time record for most wins in a season by going 72-10. Golden State extended its NBA-record winning streak at Oracle to 48 games, improving to a perfect 30-0 at home this season.
The Warriors outscored Phoenix 37-21 in the fourth quarter, with reserve big man Marreese Speights coming up big (11 points and fourth rebounds in the fourth, part of a 25-point, nine-board outburst in just 18 minutes off the bench) and Curry once again proving too tough to stop, dropping 15 of his game-high 35 points in the last stanza:
It was Curry's 32nd game of 30 or more points this season, and his 23rd game of at least 35 points, both of which are league highs, and he continues to hold the edge over James Harden of the Houston Rockets in the race for the NBA's scoring title. All of which is to say: When you've got it flowing like Steph does this season, it's almost surprising that he doesn't turn away with the ball in the air more often. Why keep your eyes peeled when you already know how the story's going to end?
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