(Photographs by Ezra Shaw & Ray Chavez)
By Connor Buestad | email@example.com
The magician that is Steph Curry made another jaw-dropping buzzer beater on Tuesday night in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals. And just like in Game 6 of the Warriors’ second round series in Memphis, it punctuated a key turning point in the game, not to mention how it effectively ripped out the heart of the opponent.
In hindsight, Tuesday night’s end-of-the-half dagger by Steph was much more garden variety than the 62-foot bomb we saw last Friday night in Memphis, but it was equally as meaningful. There is a good chance Mark Jackson was yelling “there goes that man again,” while Curry stood and soaked in the frenzied roar of the Oracle crowd to end the first half, but it was tough to hear the man.
As of late, the Dubs seem to be making a habit of toying with opponents, then going on NBA Jam-esque runs to blow teams out of the water. Last night’s second quarter seemed to be one of those times. With Andrew Bogut in foul trouble and the Warriors down 14 points with half-time looming, the Golden State stormed all the way back to end the half with a mini lineup of Steph, Klay Thompson, Shaun Livingston, Harrison Barnes, and Draymond Green (no one over 6'7"). The second quarter barrage was culminated by a beautiful dribble-step-back jumper by Curry that set Oracle Arena on fire.
Despite fielding over-rated chants from a typically lively Oakland crowd, MVP runner up James Harden still clearly exhibited his star status as he put on a show of his own in the second half to keep things interesting. Even so, Harden’s 28 paled in comparison to Steph’s 34 (including six 3’s). If Tuesday is any indication, 37-year-old Jason “The Jet” Terry and the Rockets will continue to be at Steph’s mercy throughout the series.
Game 2 is back at Oracle on Thursday, and Charmin-soft Dwight Howard is already complaining about his sore knee, which is music to any e40/Dubs fan’s ears. In five tries this year, Houston has had a serious problem stopping Golden State, losing each and every time. And unless Trevor Ariza and James Harden collectively go NBA Jam-he's-on-fire-mode, Thursday could be more of the same.