With the basketball world still digesting the implications of the Chicago Bulls' Game 1 win over the Miami Heat on Monday night, Stephen Curry force-fed them the Golden State Warriors' upset chance in their Western Conference semifinal matchup with the San Antonio Spurs.
The Warriors had staked a four-point lead over the first 24 minutes, bolstered by the play of their should-have-been All-Star who tallied 10 points and five assists before intermission.
Still the game was lacking the magical moments that his six-game showing against the Denver Nuggets has made seem a near certainty.
It didn't take long for his highlight reel to start filling up out of the break, however. He drilled a three-pointer on the Warriors' second possession of the third quarter, then added a step-back jumper on the ensuing trip.
He scored Golden State's first eight points of the period, then assisted on its next five. After a Tim Duncan free throw cut the Warriors' lead to six at the 4:10 mark, Curry embarked on an individual 14-2 run, stretching the margin to 18, at 90-72.
With a lightning-quick release, in-the-gym range and handles to free himself from tight quarters, Curry's closing in on the realm of the unguardables. Even a defensive unit as strong and cohesive as San Antonio's can only do so much when the rim starts growing with each successive shot ripping its way through.
By the end of the 12 minutes, Curry had run his stat line to a cool 32 points and eight assists.
Unfortunately for Warriors fans, though, his prolific performance couldn't put the Warriors over the top, as the Spurs came out the victors after two overtimes. Curry finished with 44 points and 11 assists after having played nearly the entire game.