(UPDATE: I spoke with Stephen by phone Thursday night. He said the game was "surreal" and that he had never been in a zone exactly like that in his life. More to come from that interview in my column for Friday's newspaper and online). In an NBA game, 54 points is nothing short of amazing.
That's what Golden State's Stephen Curry scored Wednesday night against the New York Knicks -- and in a regulation game, although it was unfortunately in a loss.
It was the most points in the NBA this season. In fact, it was the most points scored in Madison Square Garden since Kobe Bryant scored 61 points in 2009. There was also that memorable Kobe game Dec.29, 2006, when Kobe Bryant put up 58 in a triple-overtime loss to Charlotte. I was at that game, and it remains one of the best highlights ever for the Bobcats and the most I've ever seen put up in person in a game at any level. (Deron Williams also scored 57 against Charlotte a year ago -- that's the last time someone scored 54 or more).
Curry, the former Davidson star, went 11 for 13 from three-point range. If you check out the highlights -- they are all over the Internet, including this batch from ESPN -- you can see he was pulling up for off-balance, in-transition three-pointers and making them with ridiculous ease. Here's what Golden State coach Mark Jackson had to say after the game.
Curry had scored 38 points in the game before that, so he's had 92 in his last two. The fact Steph didn't make the West all-star team was ridiculous this season, but Golden State is going to make the playoffs, and that's what Curry really wants.
His points are going to go back down to a more normal range soon -- David Lee was out for the Knicks game due to a one-game suspension, and he generally supplies a lot of the Warriors' offense. But it's great to see Curry playing at his absolute best -- ankle problems forgotten, life going well. You won't find a nicer athlete in pro sports -- that he's from Charlotte makes it all the better.