When Golden State’s Steph Curry proclaimed Oracle Arena as his personal domain late in the third quarter of Sunday’s Western Conference Finals win over Houston, his choir boy image took a backseat to his fiery side for just a few moments.
This was the dam break that the Rockets had feared, with Curry scoring 13 points in less than three minutes in the kind of way that only he can while sending Houston to a 126-85 Game 3 loss. A drive past James Harden for an easy bucket and a 15-point lead. A clever back-cut that Kevin Durant noticed in time to deliver the timely pass for a hanging, reverse lay-up.
A three-pointer from the right wing that sent the locals into a frenzy. An isolation three up top over James Harden, with Curry toying with his fellow star before pulling up from long range and giving a trademark shimmy on his way down the floor.
But after Curry finished at the rim yet again and pushed the lead to 24, a side of him emerged that isn’t often seen in the public spectrum.
“This is my f…. house,” he yelled while pointing to the floor.
The man isn’t wrong.
After three days of questions about what was wrong with the two-time MVP, Curry – who had hit just two of 13 three-pointers in the series coming in – erupted for 35 points while hitting 13 of 23 shots (five of 12 from three-point range). He had 18 points during the third quarter alone, with Curry hitting all seven of his shots and both of his threes during that period. And after the Rockets headed West with so much hope after taking Game 2 and tying the series 1-1, they were given a harsh reminder that the Warriors are simply a different team at home during the playoffs. In fact, the 41-point margin was the Warriors’ largest playoff victory ever.