A back-and-forth battle in Game 1 of the NBA Western Conference Finals led to a surprising early-series deficit for the Golden State Warriors. And, for a time Wednesday, it looked as if Game 2 was headed for another photo finish in the Warriors' showdown with the Oklahoma City Thunder.
But then, about halfway through the third quarter, Warriors MVP Stephen Curry got a little mad. He began to take more shots and held his follow-through a little longer.
And in a blink, the battle became a blowout, as Curry shot and splashed and stared his way to 15 points in 118 seconds, boosting his club to a 20-point lead after three quarters, and, ultimately, a 118-91 win.
It all started with Curry’s 27-foot hurl with 7:09 remaining in the third quarter -- and with Curry and Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant getting increasingly tangled and testy. In the next 36 seconds, Curry took four free throws -- hitting them all, leaving Durant fuming.
Then Chef Curry really began to cook. He hit two 3-pointers and a deep 2-pointer in the span of 56 seconds, from an average of 24.7 feet from the hoop.
But the highlight came with 6:07 to go in the third, when Warriors forward Draymond Green found Curry on the left wing. Curry (1) let the trey fly, (2) pivoted on his left foot to stare down the Thunder's Serge Ibaka, (3) revolved around to watch the ball float through the net, and (4) trotted back up-court.
In that one minute and 58 seconds, Curry poured in 15 points. The Thunder scored 2. During that brief period, Curry was on pace to score over 360 points in a full 48-minute game.
With the MVP showing off that shooting form, the game became ugly. Quickly. But that’s just how things go in Oracle Arena -- when the Warriors are always just one rising-tempered Curry away from a blowout victory.