Curry dazzles again, Warriors even series with Thunder 1-1
OAKLAND, California (AP):
Once Stephen Curry finally gathered himself and got up following a scary first-quarter dive into the stands, fans inside Oracle Arena could take a breath, sit back and watch the MVP put on a spectacular shooting show.
Puffy right elbow and all.
"The elbow's fine," said Curry, who hit it first on a metal platform then later knocked it again. "It looks like it has a tennis ball on top of it. ... I should be all right."
He seemed more than fine, scoring 15 straight points in less than two minutes during one dazzling third-quarter stretch to lead the Golden State Warriors past the Oklahoma City Thunder 118-91 on Wednesday night to even the Western Conference finals at one game apiece.
"Business as usual. This is what he does," coach Steve Kerr said, before being asked how he feels during such a Curry onslaught and responding with a chuckle: "I feel great joy. It's true."
The MVP scored 28 points, making five of eight 3-pointers and shooting nine for 15 overall, while Klay Thompson added 15 points in a balanced performance by the defending champions to bounce back from just their third home defeat all season in the series opener two nights earlier.
"We responded all year long whether it was a bad loss or a sloppy win," Thompson said. "We come back sharp the next game, and it's a testament to everybody on this team."
Kevin Durant scored 29 points but just six after halftime. Russell Westbrook had 16 points and 12 assists for the Thunder, who were outrebounded for the first time in five meetings with the Warriors this season.
"They were sending three guys. I was trying to make the right pass," Durant said.
"Maybe I've just got to shoot over three people."
Game 3 is Sunday night in Oklahoma City.
Durant provided a big assist during Curry's flurry. He fouled the superstar point guard on a 3-point attempt with 6:33 to go in the third, then swatted his hand in disgust at the call and received a technical a costly four-point play.
While Durant hit a fade away jumper moments later, Curry answered by knocking down consecutive long shots, one a three, to make it 76-59 with 5:47 to go in the third.
"They were certainly very, very lively on both ends of the floor," Thunder coach Billy Donovan said. "We let Curry get loose a few times."
NBA Finals MVP Andre Iguodala missed his first five shots before a beautiful double-clutch, no-look lay-up in the final minute of the first half and then an alley-oop dunk the next time down that put the Warriors up 57-49 at halftime. He wound up with 14 points.