Curry has been one of the best point guards in the league this season – arguably just behind Chris Paul as the very best in the league. He is third in the league in assists with 8.9 and leads all point guards in scoring with 23.6 points. Ironically, his biggest issue thus far has been his tendency to turn the ball over at an extremely high rate at times. He is second in the league among all starting point guards with 3.8 turnovers per game, and had another dreadful game in that department against Dallas with eight turnovers.
He stepped up when it mattered the most and had a hand in the final 19 points his team scored in the last six minutes of the contest, scoring 14 points and assisting in two other key baskets. Oh, and he hit the game-winning shot, too:
With the shot clock and game clock virtually identical in a tie game, Mark Jackson decided not to call a timeout to prevent the Mavericks from making defensive adjustments. Curry dribbled down the court with Jose Calderon guarding him – an ideal situation for Golden State. Andrew Bogut then curiously came up to set a screen with about 10 seconds remaining, allowing Shawn Marion – Dallas’ best perimeter defender – to switch onto Curry. It didn’t matter, as Curry managed to use a quick fake to get Marion up in the air with 3.7 seconds remaining on the clock.
Shot. Bang. Game.
Except it wasn’t game quite yet. There was still 1.5 seconds left on the clock to give the Mavericks one last chance for a desperation shot. Curry, however, assumed that Dallas still had a timeout left. So he turned and celebrated with Nemanja Nedovic, who came onto the court to give Curry a chest bump. With Andrew Bogut urging him to come back on the court to play defense, Curry finally realized what he had done and ran back towards Jose Calderon, who was briefly wide open and threw up a heave from beyond half court to no avail. Former player Jay Williams saw it all go down and couldn’t believe what he saw:
Shouldn’t that be a technical on Golden State if the ball is still in play & a player off the GS’s bench runs on the floor???
— Jay Williams (@RealJayWilliams) December 12, 2013
Not hating at all. I thought that shot by Curry was sick but Dallas never called a timeout & the ball was still in play. — Jay Williams (@RealJayWilliams) December 12, 2013
Yes. Williams is absolutely right in his assessment that Nedovic had no business being on the court with the game still in play. Curry also should have been aware of the other team’s situation with virtually no time remaining in the game. To be fair, he was clearly hyped from hitting the biggest regular-season shot of his career to date – he has never hit a game-winning shot in the NBA. At the end of the day, it didn’t cost the Warriors. Nedovic knew what he did and had this to say after the game:
— Nemanja Nedovic (@nedovic1624) December 12, 2013
Curry ended his night with 33 points, four rebounds, 10 assists, three steals and eight turnovers. The turnovers can be overlooked on this night because of the end result, but it will be an ongoing concern for the Warriors until he can consistently take better care of the ball.
James Park is the chief blogger of Sheridan Hoops. You can find him on twitter @SheridanBlog.