Stephen Curry scored 39 points on Friday night, shooting 13-for-28 from the field with six three-pointers… and it wasn’t enough.
It wasn’t enough in the traditional sense that Golden State lost, 117-112 in overtime, to the Memphis Grizzlies. It also wasn’t enough in the sense that Curry taking 28 of Golden State’s 94 field goal attempts was too low of a ratio. And it certainly wasn’t enough Curry in the biggest moments of the season.
Yes, the Grizzlies were keying on Curry defensively, because, duh. But Curry’s last field goal attempt in regulation was a three-pointer that he made with 5:34 left, cutting Memphis’ lead to 91-85. In overtime, Curry only got two shots off — a jumper for a 103-101 lead, 66 seconds in, and a missed three with 1:53 left. But Justin Toscano-Anderson got an offensive rebound off that one and Jordan Poole connected from downtown to give Golden State a 109-107 lead.
In the last 10 minutes of a do-or-die game — five in the fourth quarter and five in overtime — the man who is quite possibly the best shooter in NBA history got two shots.
At the halfway point of that stretch was the first of two incomprehensible sequences. Draymond Green is a lot of things, but not the guy you want taking the shot with your season on the line. He didn’t even seem to want to shoot in a wide open lane, and maybe he would’ve been better off kicking low to Jordan Poole once the help defense came, because he wound up putting up one hell of a brick.
Then, in overtime, Ja Morant scored two of his 35 points on a drive to put Memphis up, 112-109, with 48.3 seconds left. On the ensuing possession, Golden State seemed to be actively avoiding getting the ball to Curry, until Poole lost the ball out of bounds.
At that point, down by three with 27.9 seconds left, you have to foul. You cannot risk not getting the stop and having it be a two-possession game without enough time to do anything about it. Plus, you have Stephen Freakin’ Curry, so maybe you can hit threes and extend the game further. Plus, Golden State had a foul to give, and using that would allow the chance to go for a steal on the inbounds pass, and…
Golden State let Memphis run the clock all the way down and Morant drove the lane to make it a five-point game with 4.5 ticks remaining. Poole did hit a three at the other end, but with Memphis able to advance the ball on a timeout and Golden State’s foul to give becoming a hinderance, that was pretty much that.
They couldn’t even foul right anyway! Poole got Desmond Bane on his way to a dunk, and the three-point play provided the final margin.
Tina Charles scored 34 points to get the Washington Mystics their first win of the season, a resounding 101-72 thumping of the New York Liberty. Charles was just two points shy of her career high, making 4-of-7 three-pointers.
Charles, the Liberty’s all-time leading scorer, went to high school at Christ the King in Queens, and was traded to Washington on April 15 of last year. She opted out of the 2020 season due to medical concerns amid the pandemic, so this was her first game against her former club.
Nazem Kadri got an eight-game suspension for his dirty hit on Justin Faulk. In the playoffs, that’s a huge number. Good. You just kind of have to wonder why Tom Wilson keeps getting away with his nonsense.
And, yes, Wilson was at it again on Friday night, with a gratuitous whack at Nick Ritchie after Charlie Coyle’s goal made it 3-0 Bruins.
Real vintage, Dale Hunter-style bullshit. The Capitals wound up getting a power play out of the Bruins’ retaliation, but Washington still lost, 4-1, so we’re one Boston win away from Wilson being out of all of our lives until October.