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Forget All-Star, Stephen Curry Is a Superstar

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Forget All-Star, Stephen Curry Is a Superstar
USA TODAY Sports

If Stephen Curry holds any grudges over not being selected for the 2013 NBA All-Star Game, he's not saying much about his feelings.

Then again, he doesn't have to. He's letting his play do all of the talking.

While the Golden State Warriors have stumbled their way through a 3-8 stretch over their last 11 games, Curry holds no fault for the team's lethargic play.

He entered Wednesday averaging 22.2 points, 6.8 assists, 4.8 rebounds and 1.7 steals per game over last 10 outings.

Then, he unleashed an offensive explosion against the New York Knicks (albeit in a 109-105 Warriors loss) with the type of game players seem to save for the bright lights of Madison Square Garden: career-high 54 points, 18-of-28 from the field, 11-of-13 from three (leaving him one shy of the single-game record for most made threes), seven assists, six rebounds and three steals.

His All-Star snub has never looked worse:


He played all 48 minutes, still finding enough in his legs to score 16 points, snare three rebounds and dish out three assists in the game's final period. It still wasn't enough to offset the absences of David Lee (suspended) and Andrew
Bogut (back), not when the other four Warriors starters managed a paltry 13 points on 6-of-22 shooting.

But it was clearly enough to bolster Curry's growing stock around the league.

Plagued by a nagging ankle injury that first appeared in the 2010-11 season, then effectively destroyed his (and the Warriors') 2011-12 season, Curry's finally getting a chance to prove what he can do when healthy.

His shot was never a question (he's flirted with the vaunted 50/40/90 shooting line throughout his career), but Wednesday's performance was unlike anything he'd shown before.

Certainly, the Warriors hadn't seen anything like it in recent memory:


For that matter, neither had the rest of the league:


When Curry's on fire, he's one of the toughest flames to extinguish in the NBA:


It's incredible for Warriors fans to think how close they were to never seeing his career materialize. He was the seventh player selected in the 2009 NBA draft, and the fourth guard to come off the board (after
Tyreke Evans, Ricky Rubio and Jonny Flynn).

Paul Kane/Getty Images
Flynn, the sixth overall pick, lasted just three seasons in the NBA before taking his basketball career to Australia.

The fact that he was even available at the seventh spot didn't sit well with fans lamenting the missteps of their franchises during Curry's performance:

But, as fate would have it, Curry did fall into Golden State's lap on draft night. And that's one of the biggest reasons that the Warriors could be headed to the postseason for just the second time since the 1993-94 season.

Bruce Bennett/Getty Images
Curry leads the Warriors with 21.3 points, 6.5 assists and 1.6 steals per game.

Even as he raises the bar for where his career could go, though, Wednesday night's loss was a reminder that he can't win games by himself. As was his 38-point effort in another Golden State loss on Tuesday night, that one a 108-97 defeat at the hands of the Indiana Pacers.

Losses by both the Utah Jazz and Houston Rockets maintained the Warriors' two-game cushion for the sixth seed in the Western Conference. But with only six games standing between the Warriors and the 10th seed Portland Trail Blazers, Golden State can ill afford a lengthy losing streak like the six-game streak that bracketed the All-Star break.

Curry's going to give his team a chance to win every night.

But the real key to the Warriors' playoff hopes will be the ability of his teammates to turn these gaudy individual efforts into wins.

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