By Shawn Whelchel
AP photo: Golden State Warriors Stephen Curry who led the Warriors in scoring in game four over the Portland Trailblazers is jubilant to be back in the line up
For fans of the Golden State Warriors, watching star point guard Stephen Curry drop 40 points on an opponent is something that could happen on any given night. But last night’s performance from the unanimous MVP of the league carried with it the type of legendary ethos that put’s him in the conversation with the likes of Michael Jordan and other playoff legends.
Returning for the first time since spraining his MCL in Game 4 of the Houston series, Curry was at the forefront of a resurgent effort from the Golden State Warriors, as he would score an NBA-record 17 points in overtime to notch a 132-125 win, giving his squad a commanding 3-1 series lead.
Curry was only supposed to play sparingly, if that, in his first return to action. But a uncharacteristic ejection from guard Shaun Livingston thrust him back into the thick of it in the second half. Curry didn’t disappoint, going on to secure yet another personal record while stomping any notion of momentum from a scrappy Portland team in the series standings.
Golden State trailed for most of the game, taking their first lead late in the third quarter. The two team’s exchanged baskets in a close contest until a late Harrison Barnes triple forced overtime.
From there on, it was the Curry show, as the sharpshooter went to work all over the court to put his first mark on the series. After giving his team the lead with a layup with just over two minutes to go, Curry would come down the court to nail a three from the top of the key, pounding his chest while stating “I’m back” to the Portland crowd.
Portland would be unable to make up the difference, being sent to the fringe of elimination following the loss.
Damian Lillard played big for Portland again, scoring 36 points on 9-for-30 shooting, with five of his buckets coming from behind the arc. Nearly all Portland starters would end up in double-figures besides Maurice Harkless, who finished with 8 points.
The game was a scrappy showcase from both teams who seemed to refuse to quit. But it was yet another notch in Steph Curry’s legendary belt, and showed how dangerous a team the Warriors are on the court with their healthy MVP knocking down buckets.
Should Curry be fully recovered from his knee injury-and by the looks of things last night it appears he is- last night may have been a dagger in Portland’s season.