The Steph Effect: Curry Crushes Thunder To Tie Series At 1-1


Wednesday, May 18th 2016, 11:55 pm
By: Brett Coppenbarger


After winning the first unanimous MVP Award in NBA history, Steph Curry made sure everyone in the basketball world new exactly why on Wednesday night. Leading his team with 28 points, the Warriors were able to beat the Thunder 118-91 to even up the Western Conference Finals at 1-1.

Related: Thunder Social Scene

For much of the first half, it was a grind it out game, with the Thunder clawing back from a small deficit to take a 47-46 lead. But that small glimmer of hope didn’t last long for OKC, and it all started with the end to the second quarter.

Serge Ibaka fouled Andre Iguodala while shooting a 3-pointer, and the veteran guard promptly drained all three attempts at the free throw line to regain the lead for Golden State. But over the last 1:47 of the quarter, the Warriors finished on a 9-to-2 run with Iguodala adding a nifty and-1 layup and an emphatic dunk to the mix as the Warriors took an eight point lead into halftime.

But that was only the start of OKC’s problems.

Despite the Warriors ending the second quarter on a bang, they did it with Curry missing his only shot attempt of the frame. Safe to say Curry’s mindset quickly changed in the third quarter.

With the intensity cranking up and the Warriors holding a 64-57 lead, Curry fought his way to splash a wide open 3-pointer in front of the OKC bench, and then on the next possession was able to get open for a three on the other side of the floor, but was fouled by Kevin Durant while attempting the shot. Durant wasn’t happy with the call and was whistled for a technical foul, which left Curry to swish four free throw attempts.

Curry was rolling, but the biggest blows were still to come.

After freeing himself up for an open 3-pointer with Ibaka defending, Curry launched a shot and immediately turned around after release to stare down Ibaka as he ran back down the court. If that was demoralizing enough, Curry did the same thing with one foot on the line the very next possession. He launched his shot, and turned to walk back down the court without even looking to see if the ball went in the basket.

In only 1:42 minutes of game action, Curry ripped off a personal 15-to-2 run as he put the Warriors up 76-59. There was still 5:47 left in the game when Billy Donovan called a timeout for his team to gather themselves, but when the reigning two-time MVP has a spurt like that, it’s nearly impossible to overcome.

Golden State finished out the rest of the third with a 9-to-7 advantage as the Warriors entered the fourth quarter with a 20-point lead. Donovan opted to pull his starters early in the fourth, as the Thunder head back to OKC with a tied series on its hands.

Curry finished with 28 points in the game, while six other Golden State players scored in double-digits.

What will be forgotten about this game is the play of Durant in the second quarter, as he scored 16 points in the frame and appeared to be in attack mode. But Golden State was able to make him work to get open the rest of the way, and without his scoring punch, the Thunder struggled to stay in the game throughout the second half. Durant finished with a game-high 29 points on 11-for-18 shooting, but also totaled eight turnovers.

Russell Westbrook scored 16 points and dished 12 assists, but never really seemed to get in much of a groove. No other Thunder player scored in double-digits, but Steven Adams added nine points and 10 rebounds. Ibaka only managed to score three points, while Kanter finished with six points and only two rebounds.

Game 3 of the series is set for Sunday at 7 p.m. 

But that was only the start of OKC’s problems.

Despite the Warriors ending the second quarter on a bang, they did it with Curry missing his only shot attempt of the frame. Safe to say Curry’s mindset quickly changed in the third quarter.

With the intensity cranking up and the Warriors holding a 64-57 lead, Curry fought his way to splash a wide open 3-pointer in front of the OKC bench, and then on the next possession was able to get open for a three on the other side of the floor, but was fouled by Kevin Durant while attempting the shot. Durant wasn’t happy with the call and was whistled for a technical foul, which left Curry to swish four free throw attempts.

Curry was rolling, but the biggest blows were still to come.

When Curry is on, what can you do? #News9Thunder

— Steve McGehee (@SteveMcGehee) May 19, 2016

After freeing himself up for an open 3-pointer with Ibaka defending, Curry launched a shot and immediately turned around after release to stare down Ibaka as he ran back down the court. If that was demoralizing enough, Curry did the same thing with one foot on the line the very next possession. He launched his shot, and turned to walk back down the court without even looking to see if the ball went in the basket.

Steph Curry stares down Serge Ibaka as soon as he shoots: https://t.co/LmGbMnTyJf

— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) May 19, 2016

In only 1:42 minutes of game action, Curry ripped off a personal 15-to-2 run as he put the Warriors up 76-59. There was still 5:47 left in the game when Billy Donovan called a timeout for his team to gather themselves, but when the reigning two-time MVP has a spurt like that, it’s nearly impossible to overcome.

Steph Curry made it rain in the 3rd quarter with 17 points ??https://t.co/q5e2iHcio2

— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) May 19, 2016

Golden State finished out the rest of the third with a 9-to-7 advantage as the Warriors entered the fourth quarter with a 20-point lead. Donovan opted to pull his starters early in the fourth, as the Thunder head back to OKC with a tied series on its hands.

Curry finished with 28 points in the game, while six other Golden State players scored in double-digits.

What will be forgotten about this game is the play of Durant in the second quarter, as he scored 16 points in the frame and appeared to be in attack mode. But Golden State was able to make him work to get open the rest of the way, and without his scoring punch, the Thunder struggled to stay in the game throughout the second half. Durant finished with a game-high 29 points on 11-for-18 shooting, but also totaled eight turnovers.

Not surprised Thunder lose by a lot. But several disturbing signs. Other than KD's hot 2nd quarter, O stunk & D lacked G1 intensity. @NEWS9

— Dean Blevins (@DeanBlevins) May 19, 2016

Russell Westbrook scored 16 points and dished 12 assists, but never really seemed to get in much of a groove. No other Thunder player scored in double-digits, but Steven Adams added nine points and 10 rebounds. Ibaka only managed to score three points, while Kanter finished with six points and only two rebounds.

#Thunder will come out much more aggressive in G3 at Peake. Dubs have taken it to them. Can't happen or no chance in series. @NEWS9

— Dean Blevins (@DeanBlevins) May 19, 2016

Game 3 of the series is set for Sunday at 7 p.m. 

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Steph Curry ripped off a personal 15-to-2 run in the third quarter to cushion the Warriors' lead going into the fourth as they went on to win Game 2 118-91. 

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