Stephen Curry returned from injury to inspire the Warriors to an impressive 132-125 overtime victory over Portland Trailblazers.
Playing in his first game since suffering a Grade 1 MCL sprain in the first round two weeks ago, the soon-to-be two-time MVP proved to be just that. Behind a game-high 40 points, including an NBA-record 17 in overtime, to go along with eight assists and nine rebounds, Curry led the golden State Warriors to a 132-125 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Monday night and a 3-1 series lead in the Western Conference semifinals.Curry shot 16-of-32 from the field, 5-of-16 from three-point range, and played 37 minutes, which was much more than originally expected after Shaun Livingston who has played tremendously in Curry’s absence was ejected for back-to-back technical fouls late in the first half.But it wasn’t smooth sailing from the get-go. As expected, it took Curry a little while to find his footing. He started 0-of-10 from beyond the arc and the Warriors struggled early. The Blazers jumped out to a 16-2 lead in the first quarter and held on to it to go into the half with a 67-57 lead.
“I don’t think anybody could have predicted the explosion,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “I figured he’d find his stroke and make a few shots, but that was crazy”.Stephen Curry felt the vibe though,saying he was happy to be finally back on court after the injury, “I love this game, I love playing and love competing. And really, really missed being out there with my teammates,” Curry said. “To help our team get a win tonight and in that fashion, that was a good feeling in that moment to be back on the floor and playing.”To be expected,” he said. “I pride myself in the work I put in in the offseason to get through the 82-game schedule and be fresh for the playoffs. I was off my feet for a week and some change. You obviously lose a little bit but deep down when I got the work the last four days and broke a sweat and put the time in, that helped me get through these 38 minutes”.
For Portland, Damian Lillard scored a team-high 36 points but shot just 9-of-30 from the field and 5-of-18 from three-point range. C.J. McCollum put up 24 points on 9-of-23 shooting.
In the other game, Dwayne Wade scored 30 points Monday night, including a layup that sent the game to overtime and finished off Miami’s frantic comeback from a nine-point deficit, and the Heat defeated the Toronto Raptors, 94-87, at Miami in Game 4 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series.The series is tied 2-2, heading to Toronto for Game 5 on Wednesday.