By: Ben Leonard
It seemed as if being away from the not-so friendly confines of Oracle Arena had hamstrung the Warriors, who were down 20 points at the end of the third quarter. Bench player Ryan Anderson had been dominating stellar defender Draymond Green, who had allowed 23 points to the role player at the 6:01 mark in the fourth, with Golden State down 101-84. But it didn’t matter, with the Warriors riding the third largest fourth quarter comeback in NBA playoff history to beat the Pelicans 122-118 and take a commanding 3-0 series lead.
Who else but Stephen Curry orchestrated the Warriors’ rally for the ages, scoring 40 points. The Warriors had lost all of their 358 games trailing by at least 20 going into the fourth, but it didn’t matter to Curry, who scored 15 points in overtime and the final quarter. He hit a three-pointer in the waning seconds of regulation to send the game to overtime, leaving a bitter taste in the mouths of the Pelicans and their star Anthony Davis, who missed a free throw attempt with 8.6 seconds left that would have clinched the win. To add insult to injury, Curry made the shot over the extended arms of Davis (pictured below).
Overall, it was somewhat of a rough shooting night from the field for Curry, making just 10-29 shots from the floor, but he excelled at the line and in the clutch, making 13-14 attempts from the charity stripe, including the final two to seal the win.Curry wasn’t alone in the turnaround, helped by five Warriors scoring in double digits, including star guard Klay Thompson’s 28. Shaun Livingston chipped in with 12 of his own off of the bench.
Despite all of their efforts to come back, the Warriors almost blew the game. Up 121-118 with 10 seconds left, Thompson fouled Davis off of the ball, giving him a free throw attempt, which he made, and the Pelicans the ball back. Luckily for Golden State, Davis got the ball on the next possession, tried a desperation driving layup, but Andrew Bogut’s strong defense in his face was too much to overcome. Davis bricked the shot, well too strong, and Thompson grabbed the board, who was immediately fouled, giving Curry his two free throw attempts. Davis lead the team with 29 points and 15 rebounds on Thursday, but it wasn’t enough to beat the surging Warriors. It might be early, but the Warriors look like the team of destiny.
Cover Image: (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
Article Courtesy of Ben’s work at Sports Radio Service