Down by 27 in the second half? That should be a sign to give up on the game, right? Not when you have someone like Stephen Curry on your team. The Golden State Warriors shouldn’t have been able to comeback from an awful start to their game against the Toronto Raptors, but a huge fourth from Curry and Klay Thompson paved the way for the comeback of the season and a 112-103 win.
The Raptors stayed with a big lead for quite some time. They entered the fourth quarter leading by 23, thanks to a very strong first quarter which enabled them to open a 17 point lead and rely on it for the rest of the game. But then Stephen Curry went into action. He scored 14 points in the fourth out of his 27 overall, dishing 5 assists out of his 10 throughout the game.
The difference was the three point shooting. The Raptors stopped hitting theirs after a barrage for the first two and a half quarters of the game, which included big shots from Rudy Gay, DeMar DeRozan, Kyle Lowry and especially Steve Novak, hitting three of them in the second quarter.
The Warriors went on a 64-28 run in the final 21:20 of the game, hitting 10-of-20 from beyond the arc, while forcing 8 turnovers. The Raptors went completely cold from the outside, as Lowry decided he’s going to try and stop the flood all on his own, shooting only 2-of-7 by the end of the game.
Only Stephen Curry? According to Warriors players, Jermaine O’Neal was in charge of making everything different with a great half time speech, and actually playing for the entire fourth quarter. The 35-year old finished with 11 points and 8 rebounds, shutting down the paint, something both Andrew Bogut and David Lee weren’t able to do earlier in the game. The Warriors are now 3-0 this season when O’Neal scores in double figures, which means that maybe more minutes and more plays run for him might be a welcome change than just looking for the three pointer all the time, which does make them a bit easy to defend during certain stretches of the game.
But you can’t end this segment about a Warriors comeback without Curry. He didn’t have a rare shooting night (3-of-7 from beyond the arc), but he had something more important. Curry and the Warriors will be able to hurdle over their past achievements if he becomes more than just an excellent shooter – he needs to become a consistent playmaker like the best point guards in the league. His passing and decision making in the fourth quarter, right in the middle of the comeback, showed that he’s on the right path of achieving that goal.