NBA: Stephen Curry Stats Elite As He Leads Warriors In Playoffs
Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors has cemented his status as the best shooter in the NBA these days; in fact most NBA observers readily admitted that heading into the postseason.
In the first round of these playoffs, though, Curry emerged as more than just a sharpshooter in helping the Warriors upset the Denver Nuggets and nearly topple the San Antonio Spurs in Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals. He is growing into a leader and complete basketball player.
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According to basketball-reference.com, Curry ranks third in scoring among all 2013 playoff participants with 27.1 points per game, trailing only Kevin Durant (32.9) and Carmelo Anthony (28.9). He is tops in the playoffs in assists per game (9.6), and is shooting 43 percent from beyond the arc while attempting a staggering 9.6 3-pointers a game. The next highest player in attempted 3-points in unrepentant gunner James Harden of the Houston Rockets, who was bounced by the Oklahoma City Thunder in the first round.
Beyond the offensive wizardry, Curry is averaging 2.1 steals a game, good for fifth in the postseason, and making an impact on that end even if he will never be a lockdown defender or even an above-average perimeter stopper.
Last night Curry dismantled a good Spurs defense by scoring 44 points and racking up 11 assists. Against a heavily favored opponent on the road, Curry scored 22 points in the third quarter alone, including 14 consecutive points for the Warriors late in the quarter.
The Spurs eventually overcame an 18-point deficit to pull out a double overtime win thanks to a late 3-pointer by Manu Ginobili, but even in the postgame interview Ginobili brought up Curry's electric performance. "I have no clue," he said when asked how the Spurs were able to rally. "I really got to watch it to see what happened. They started missing shots. Steph was unbelievable in the third quarter."