February 24, 2024

Steph Curry’s late 3-pointer propels Warriors to victory over Suns: How big is this win for Golden State?

Steph Curry once again provided the late-game heroics.

The Warriors superstar point guard drained a 3-pointer with 0.7 seconds remaining, propelling Golden State to a 113-112 win over the Phoenix Suns on Saturday.

With the Suns up 112-110 with 3.3 seconds to go, Warriors guard Brandin Podziemski inbounded the ball. Suns guard Bradley Beal tried to steal it. Instead, Curry grabbed it, spun around and launched the 33-foot shot from beyond the arc. Curry scored 30 points on 10-of-22 shooting from the floor and recorded nine 3s.

This was a second straight detonation game for Curry. He made 11 3s to close the road trip in Indiana, scoring 42 points and followed it up with nine 3s and the game-winner against the Suns. That’s 20 3s in two games. He also had nine rebounds and six assists against the Suns. He was a plus-10 in a one-point win.

Saturday’s game was the first time the Warriors and Suns squared off since Dec. 12, when Draymond Green hit Jusuf Nurkić, resulting in the Golden State forward getting suspended. Green and Nurkic traded back-and-forth taunts during Saturday’s contest. After the game, Nurkić said that Green “didn’t learn anything.”

“He’s going to hit somebody else again,” Nurkić said. “Take back everything I said. He don’t deserve a chance.”

Green responded to Nurkić’s postgame comments.

“If he wants me to walk around quiet like him I’m never gonna do that,” Green said. “Quiet guys don’t win.”

The Warriors improved to 25-25 and are 11th in the Western Conference standings.

What was most impressive about that Steph performance?

Maybe the degree of difficulty on that game-winning shot. Beal overplayed it and went for the steal. Podziemski’s pass veered to the right to elude Beal. That meant Curry had to one-hand snag a low bounce pass with his left hand, spin, plant and shoot in a 3.3-second time frame with Devin Booker flying in his direction. He made it with 0.7 still on the clock. — Anthony Slater, Warriors beat writer

How big a win is this for the Warriors?

Every win they can gather right now is massive. They’re 25-25 through 50 games, on the edge of the Play-In bracket and still five games out of the sixth seed, which is their ultimate target. There is little time to waste. They probably need to go something like 22-10 or perhaps better in the stretch run to escape the Play-In bracket.

Draymond Green’s return, Jonathan Kuminga’s arrival and Curry’s continued greatness has them playing their best basketball of the season, but late-game wins are necessary for any of it to ultimately matter. They’ve already lost a handful in the closing seconds this season. — Slater

Required reading

(Photo: Lachlan Cunningham / Getty Images)