Let’s get the particulars out of the way first. The Knicks beat Golden State 109-105, staying within arms reach of the Pacers for the two seed out East. They were led by Carmelo Anthony’s 35 points, J.R. Smith’s 26 and Tyson Chandler’s 16 points and 28 rebounds. Let the record show, however, this will forever be known as the night Stephen Curry lost his damn mind in Madison Square Garden.
Already short-handed without the team’s double-double machine in David Lee being suspended for his square dance the night before, for the Warriors to have a fighting chance it was going to take a fine shooting night from Curry. He did one better and put together a performance already etched in Garden history. When you mention Curry and MSG, mention him with these games and names.
1. Kobe Bryant (Feb. 2, 2009) - 61 points, 19-31 FG, 20-20 FT *
2. Michael Jordan – (March 28, 1995) - 55 points, 21-37 FG, 10-11 FT
3. Stephen Curry (Feb. 27, 2013) - 54 points, 6 rebounds, 7 assits, 3 steals, 18-28 FG, 11-13 3PT, 7-7 FT
4. LeBron James – (Feb. 4, 2009) - 52 points, 9 rebounds, 11 assists, 17-33 FG, 16-19 FT
Not exactly the worst company to be apart of, you know?
Take this into consideration, too. Curry started the game 2-6, erupted for 23 in the second quarter and finished the game 16-22 from the floor. And what’ll go down as the most underrated stat from the entire game was Steph played all 48 minutes. Curry was in such dominant command of the game there were times when the Warriors would run down on fast break and him passing to an open teammate for layup felt like the lower percentage shot.
The ball was on a string and the hoop was bigger than a New York City subway rat-dog. Had Jarrett Jack – a guy whose praises I sung the other day, and deservedly so – not put on a dribbling clinic and hoisted erratic shots in the game’s waning minutes, who knows, we’re looking at 60+ if Curry gets this party to overtime.
Credit the Knicks for hanging on as Curry damn-near blew the roof off the building and had Twitter in gridlock traffic. They won the game, walked away with a +25 margin in second chance points (27-2!) and took advantage of Golden State on the glass. I can’t imagine what it’s like being a Knicks fan in one of these games though. It has to be sheer, unadulterated torture. The world’s most famous arena has historically been an opposing superstar’s playground, evidenced by the names above.
This isn’t proclaiming Curry is a superstar because he’s not (yet), but the talent is so evident it’s scary.** I’m also not saying opposing superstars treat MSG like that hot girl from school that got around with all the popular guys but could never settle down with one (until Melo), even though the proof is in the pudding.
All I’m saying are these two random thoughts. One, the coaches who didn’t vote for Curry for this year’s All Star Game should be forced to wear a dunce cap for at least the next three games. Two, within the past 36 hours, Curry has shattered George Hill’s ankles into smithereens, got tossed around like a rag doll by Roy Hibbert, put together one of the four best, non-Knick individual performances in Madison Square Garden history and averaged 44.5 points in the process. Three out of four ain’t bad. Even if the Warriors did lose both games.
Get Steph Curry and the Warriors to the playoffs. Just trust me on this one, America. The last thing we’ll be is disappointed.
* – Pau Gasol also had 31-14-5 that game. Don’t get me started on Pau that ’09-’10 season.
** – With undeniable talent comes nationally televised games. With nationally televised games comes performances like these. With performances like Wednesday night…you see where I’m going with this. I’m dead ass serious. Please let this guy have shaken the black cloud that hovered over his ankles those first couple of years.