Stephen Curry wasn't going to shoot. But as the final seconds ticked away Saturday night on the Warriors' 124-112 win over the Toronto Raptors, the referee told him he needed to shoot or it would be a turnover since the shot clock was about the expire.
So Curry shot. From 32 feet. All net.
"I didn't even see him take it," guard Anthony Morrow said. "One of those nights."
Curry's 3-pointer capped a 35-point night for the rookie and left the Warriors two shy of the franchise record for 3s made in a game (the Warriors have made 18 in a game three times, most recently against Minnesota in January 2007).
Knocking down 3-pointers has been a common occurance lately for the undersized Warriors. In the first 50 games, the Warriors made 10 3-pointers in a game only five times. In the past 15 games, they have done it 12 times.
The Warriors are shooting 45.9 percent from that distance in those 15 games. Saturday, they were 16 for 27. The 3-point shot was a large reason the Warriors snapped their six-game losing streak Saturday and got their first win in March.
"There is usually four guys that can comfortably shoot 3s on the floor," Curry said. "That makes it hard for a defense to guard all of them, especially when the same guys can put it on the floor and get to the basket. It's tough to defend, and we are knocking them down."
Monta Ellis, shooting 32.3 percent from 3-point range entering Saturday's game, knocked down a career-high
"I felt good before I even came to the arena," Ellis said after scoring 31 points. "It was one of those nights for everybody. It wasn't just me. It was everybody."
Ellis and Curry dominated on both ends.
On offense, Curry and Ellis combined for 66 points on 25-for-43 shooting. Curry had 10 assists and six rebounds. He scored 16 points in the fourth quarter.
On defense, Ellis made a big contribution. Toronto guard Jose Calderon had 22 points and seven 3-pointers through three quarters. With Ellis defending him in the fourth, Calderon had two points.
Ellis (two steals on the night) and Curry (four steals) spearheaded a scrappy defense that finished with 11 takeaways.
And with forward Anthony Tolliver containing Raptors big man Chris Bosh — who finished with 24 points but was hardly dominant — the Warriors didn't come close to blowing a double-digit, fourth-quarter lead again.
Curry scored seven straight points during one stretch, including 3-pointer that put the Warriors up 111-98.
Then after an Ellis bank shot, Curry chased down a loose ball and saved it as he fell out of bounds. It went right to forward Corey Maggette, who converted it into a fast-break layup.
Notes: Coach Don Nelson is six victories from becoming the NBA's all-time winningest coach. "... Toronto guard Marco Belinelli, a former Warrior, finished scoreless in seven minutes of action. He missed his only two attempts, both 3-pointers, and had two steals