Stephen Curry’s night was going so poorly, he kicked over a chair on the Warriors bench in frustration.
The two-time MVP missed nine of his first 10 shots. With 5.1 seconds left and the game tied at 103, he was 5-for-20 and 3-for-13 from behind the arc.
But the Warriors were never going to let anyone else take the final shot. And why should they?
As time ticked down, Curry delivered.
Curry had Kevin Porter Jr., who had defended him well on the perimeter all game, on him with the game in the balance. To create space, he drove to his left, planted his right foot and launched himself backward for a massive step-back.
He had plenty of room to rise up into his shooting motion and convert. He ran back to the Warriors bench with a 105-103 win and his first career walk-off winner.
“That was the play,” Steve Kerr said postgame. “Get the ball to Steph and get out of the way.”
Curry finished with 22 points and 12 assists in the Warriors win. His game-winning shot prevented Golden State from dropping back-to-back games at home to the Pacers and Rockets — two of the worst teams in the NBA.
Golden State needed Curry to play 39 minutes one night after he ran around for a season-high 44 minutes in an overtime loss to Indiana. Steve Kerr said before Friday’s game that Curry looked strong, but playing Curry that many minutes still isn’t the preferred strategy for the 33-year-old.
But a win’s a win. And Golden State needed every second of Friday’s game, along with Curry’s heroics, to do it.