Los Angeles, Monday @PeopleSports11
Stephen Curry silenced his critics with a 35-point display as the Golden State Warriors thrashed the Houston Rockets 126-85 to take a 2-1 series lead in the NBA Western Conference finals on Sunday.
Curry, targeted relentlessly by Houston as the Rockets levelled the series in game two, overcame a sluggish first-half display to lead a Warriors blowout in game three.
The two-time NBA Most Valuable Player exploded for 18 points alone in a devastating spurt of scoring in the third quarter that took the game away from Houston.
The reigning champion Warriors now have the opportunity to take a commanding 3-1 lead with a further victory in front of their home fans in game four on Tuesday as they chase a fourth straight NBA finals appearance.
Curry was relieved to have rediscovered his scoring touch, even if he had been unfazed by the criticism of his game two performance.
“That’s what I expected to do. My approach to every game is the same, you don’t get too high on the highs, or too low on the lows,” Curry said afterwards. “He added: “I’m just thankful I managed to hit some shots tonight, eventually.
But there’s a long way to go. I’m just going to stay focused on that.”
Warriors coach Steve Kerr meanwhile said he had never doubted Curry even after a shaky first half display.
“We’ve seen this so many times with Steph. All it takes is one. I was never concerned. This guy’s a two-time MVP and he bounces back from bad games as well as anybody I’ve ever seen. It didn’t surprise me,” Kerr said.
The win was a record 16th straight playoff victory at home for the Warriors at Oracle Arena. Perhaps more significantly, the 41-point margin of defeat was Houston’s heaviest in a playoff game.