Curry Takes His Next Superstar Step

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DENVER – On a night like many others, everything changed. Stephen Curry had these thunderclap games before, but never in the playoffs, and that moved him to a new level. Warriors owner Joe Lacob had felt vindicated by his gamble before, but never like this as he searched for the explanation of what a performance in late April means years from now.

That’s the key description: late April. May or June work, too. Curry cut up the Nuggets in the playoffs is the thing. The time when reputations are really earned by anyone hoping to gain entrance into the world of NBA stars.

Curry has definitely built the resume, even while being passed over for the All-Star Game in what had to have been a near miss. He is arguably the best shooter in the game. He finished seventh in the league in scoring. He set a single-season league record for 3-pointers. He is back in the Team USA mix.

But for true credibility, for generating buzz unlike anything that could happen in a dozen of these Tuesday nights during the regular season, there was Game 2 of the first-round series and Curry going for 30 points, 13 assists against one turnover, and three steals to lead Golden State to a 131-117 fireworks show of a victory at the Pepsi Center and a 1-1 tie in the best-of-seven matchup that moves to Oakland.

And there was also teammate Richard Jefferson in front of his locker after the game. Jefferson has played 12 seasons and is in the playoffs for the ninth time, some with long runs, so he knows this is different.

“A hundred percent,” Jefferson said. “From my experience of just being around this league, it doesn’t matter if you’re an All-Star, it doesn’t matter if you’re this or that. When you play well in the playoffs, it carries over all summer long. There’s a certain respect that goes with. It’s the same thing with guys who win championships. There’s a certain elite group, an elite club of guys, that are like, ‘Hey, I respect you. I know what you’ve done. I know what you’ve been through. You’ve been to the mountain top.’ ”

And there was Lacob, the beaming owner, outside the locker room. Lacob had invested $44 million over four years in October to sign Curry — with a concerning history of ankle problems that remained a pressing issue last season — to a contract extension. It had been obvious since early in 2012-13 and now it had become official the once-risky move was now a brilliant one.

Had the Warriors waited until July to re-sign Curry as a restricted free agent, wanting proof that he could hold up, it would have cost the franchise millions more. At the very least, Curry would have upped his asking price. At worst, another team would have gone completely over the top with an offer sheet. Golden State would have needed a millisecond to match, but at a much greater cost than an average of $11 million annually.

This was proof.

“Besides the fact that I’m getting an ulcer and my neck is killing me I’m so nervous?” Lacob said, smiling.

Yes, exactly. Besides that and all the way to an extra feeling of vindication.

“Yes,” he said.

Lacob paused and broke out in laughter.

“I don’t know what else to say,” he did say. “I think we’ve known that all year, so this is no surprise to us tonight. He’s been playing like this all year. It means more in the playoffs, certainly. But it wasn’t just him tonight.”

One night was that big of a deal, to the team and the player and the entire franchise moving forward. One night was Curry taking the next step. Things had become different even if they were the same.

43 Comments

  1. BJ says:

    Curry is earning his keep. He’s a great player and he’s getting the recognition he deserves. like the article said, he’s on his way to Super Stardom I agree. this series between GSW and DEN has been the most fun and exciting to watch fo far. They are young running and gunning teams!

    I like both these teams honestly, I hope they go far.

  2. bone says:

    man can you imagine how crazy its gonna be at oracle

  3. LCDMM says:

    Curry is the best shooter i thougt

  4. WarFan says:

    Curry was great but this was really a spectacular team performance. Best shooting perhaps ever in the playoffs. It wasn’t just that they shot 65%, bit a third of their shots were three pointers. They really shot the equivalent of 73% based on 2 point baskets.

  5. Ben Brung says:

    @ Thomas (For some reason, the page will not allow me to comment if I use “reply.”)
    When Curry has scored 30 or more this year he has only exceeded game 2’s 23 shot total 3 times. He shot 24 times to score 32, shot 31 times to score 47 & shot 28 times to score 54. Those are also stats you can look up. You are not watching a typical volume shooter so good luck if you expect Curry to shoot his team out of too many games. In the series his 3-point shooting is currently below his season average. I’m still waiting for him to heat up from downtown.

  6. devilxpress says:

    Im a warrior fan. I like curry and thompson but the things that worry me is curry is injury prone. Rember last year he miss lots of games due to injuries. Lets keep our finger cross and he he survived through another injury free season season.

    • villmatic says:

      I know what youre saying but before this year, he wouldnt wear his ankle brace(or at least not the one hes wearing now.)

  7. ARoc says:

    That was 2seasons ago.. Rose, CP3, Curry, Wall, Westbrook, Kyrie Irving

  8. ARoc says:

    Curry is one of the only guards that can hang with D Rose. He is a elite guard.. Anyone that’s knowledgeable bout bball knows he is raw. GSW was a contender back in 06 MFs, BD Stephen Jack’ LiL Monta Ellis.. & you don’t trade Monta(BD Jr) if Curry not amazing. BTW, SeeRed. Respect for beating Rose’s team with only 8men in rotation…

  9. Thomas says:

    Very good game last night, and you HAVE to give it up for steph… BUT no way he will have a game like that again in the Denver series, he will possibly have another 30 point game but for the warriors to shoot 65% again from the field would not happen and will not happen! 4 players had scored more than 20 points for the warriors… You want stats? Look it up, thats the only game this year 4 players on the warriors did that in the same game. Like I said, would not happen and will not happen again. Not taking anything away from currys performance last night, but let’s all come back to reality right now, he shot like that cus his whole team was lighting it up. And remember I’m talking about his shooting percentage cus I know he can have more 30 point games, it’s just going to take him a lot more attempts than it did last night, which can hurt his team more then benefit them

  10. theholyspectator says:

    curry will eventually leave that team..hes too good to be in that wack market..so much money is waiting for you steph, do the right thing and bounce from the warriors cuz they gonna drag you down year after year…denver got this series

    • gswarrior says:

      You are crazy. San Fran/ Bay Area is a big market with all Bay Area sports teams. Remember the Giants? World Champion market.

  11. Jintan says:

    Curry is just reaaaally good and people that doesnt think probably didnt watch a single game from GSW. Like he’s not in “Superstar level” (to me there’s only a really few in NBA, Like Lebron, Durant, Kobe, CP3, Duncan and Wade. (probably more) but Steph can get there if he keeps the good work.

  12. mee(a)t says:

    I hate myself for missing that game

  13. Whose Team Is It says:

    Klay Thompson is a heck of a shooter also. Who shoots the higher 3-point percentage though . . . (Game2: Curry 4 of 10, Klay 5 of 6)

  14. Patty says:

    CURRY IS A SUPER STAR!!!

  15. Patty says:

    STEPHEN CURRY IS AN OUTSTANDING PLAYER. WE ENJOYED WATCHING STEPHEN CURRY LAST NIGHT.

  16. matthus says:

    Not taking anything away from Curry’s performance, but he was able to do what he did because those around him were shooting well. Almost everyone on the Ws shot well which stymied Dever’s ability to double team Curry.

  17. Deegz says:

    Nuggets better bring their umbrellas to Oakland cause its gonna be raining…..3s!!! #splashbrothers

  18. Ronny j. Escamilla says:

    Denver appeared to be defenseless against Golden State’s offensive onslaught. Denver was one of the top defenses during the regular season. Not sure if Denver’s last night defensive blunder can be attributed to coaching error rather than a Golden State offensive wonder.

    • Bespoken says:

      Give credit to Denver, they fought hard as well. Anytime the lead gets to 15, they trim it to 9. GS was shooting the lights out, 65%!! Kinda like a regular season game than playoffs game. Guess Curry and Klay was watching TNT halftime when Barkley said they couldn’t keep shooting like that. Love you chuck but don’t doubt my warriors!

  19. Stephisbeast says:

    The best shooter on the planet – no doubt. What is great for that team is that Curry’s partner, Thompson, is also one of the best shooters in the NBA. Golden State is likely going to keep that duo together for a very long time. That backcourt is deadly, feel bad for Denver because when those two are on fire, like Coach Popovich said “You can’t stop them”.

  20. asdasd says:

    so happy for this kid. he’s my faourite player after kobe and kyrie. go steph, go warriors!

  21. dmh says:

    The only reason why GS and Curry aren’t getting the love yet is because this is their first time in the playoffs in forever. GS and Curry will get more attention the more they get to the playoffs and do their thing. Remember, OKC didn’t get the attention the first year in the playoffs either. Now that OKC has been in the playoffs year after year and are championship contenders, they are the nba’s darlings everywhere except for Miami and Seattle. If GS keeps on the same path, they will soon be competing for championships themselves…. Remember, even though it may not seem like it right now since Tim Duncan seems to be drinking from the magical fountain of youth, the spurs will dip down when Duncan retires. He will retire one of these years…. one of these years….. What’s his current contract and age…. yeah…. thats what I thought.

  22. W/E says:

    lol, just 1 good game…and all of sudden Curry is a superstar and the best shooter in the league…u guys are funny. you shouldnt even bother with this kid, if he ever manages to average 30 ppg then yeah ill say he is something but now, no, not even worth talking about him for having 1 good game.

    • Geh says:

      Your an idiot. Its not one game, its been the entire season! Call Me when anyone averages thirty, even Lebron! Not gonna happen. Curry is one of the best shooters in the league, and sooner or later your just gonna have to accept it.

    • Bespoken says:

      I guess you don’t even have money to get cable to watch GS games. Obviously you didn’t watch yesterday game other than highlights. Curry was unstoppable(as his usual self) and Klay was balling that makes Jack can abuse the open lane. Barnes step his game up. GS won because of Curry’s shooting(double team) and his teamates response. Just stupid poor jealous fan that cannot afford cable. 65% baby!

      • W/E says:

        Angry GS fans all over the place…u sure want a star so badly in ur team u poor fans ur so hurt that no one cares about ur team..as i said it was just 1 game, am pretty sure Curry doesnt play like this every game, he gotta put performances like this consistently every night to be considered in the elite.

    • Jay says:

      Um, they wouldn’t write an article about Curry just for his performance yesterday’s game. If you think Curry is a fluke, you clearly haven’t watched a GS game this whole season because he’s been lighting it up all season and has set the new three point record for a single season. You got to give credit where it’s due, you’re comment just comes off as ignorant and kind of dumb, Curry is a PG, he’s not supposed to be averaging 30 a game. 23 and 7 a game plus 4 treys a game is amazing, and he hasn’t even reached his prime yet.

  23. Jjbarea says:

    The fact that he was not an all star and is putting terrific numbers absolutely boggles my mind. I mean he scored 54 ponts against the Knicks… Anyone who scores over 50 I’m a game already should be an all star

  24. sanjay says:

    curry can shoot but he is not physically strong at all! i cant believe he has had 2 ankle surgeries already at such an young age! At this rate he wont last long! But he can shoot with ease period!

    • Alex says:

      The only reason that he’s had 2 surgeries is because the first one was botched. He had to go around and fix it the second time, and from all accounts so far, things are looking up.

  25. babymoney says:

    HUH??? Curry is a superstar, allstar, and the best shooter in the league right now, no doubt, but i cant agree that he is on the MVP level yet. Also i don’t understand the Chicago or Miami statement. People from different teams have won the mvp too………..dont get what you are trying to say there

    • OKCKD35 says:

      I imagine he was saying that because LBJ and Derrick Rose have won the last 4 MVP’s

    • Patty says:

      CURRY IS ON THE MVP LIST.

      CURRY IS AN OUTSTANDING PLAYER. THERE WERE NO REASONS FOR CURRY NOT TO HAVE BEEN AN ALL STAR IN 2013.

      THE NBA MADE A BIG MISTAKE NOT PUTTING CURRY ON THE ALL STAR TEAM.

      CURRY IS A SUPER STAR!!!

    • Josh says:

      How can you possibly say that Curry isn’t on the MVP list. Have you watched the NBA at all this year? You take Curry out of this lineup and they don’t even come close to the playoffs. Take LeBron off Miami they still finish 6 or 7 seed, take Melo off Knicks they still make the playoffs. How is Curry not the “most valuable player” to his team then any other player in the league? answer that.

  26. Edub says:

    he ,an should have been an All-Star. To be left out like that and for him to be playing like this. He shot the ball so easily. Him and Klay Thompson are what Mark Jackson said. “The greatest shooting backcourt in NBA HISTORY” And it’s true.

  27. Ben says:

    If he played for Chicago or Miami he’d be voted as the MVP.

  28. Disaster187 says:

    I’m a Denver fan, but Curry was terrific in this game. Love this player but I hope Denver in 6