HOT CURRY! Warriors Guard Torches the Garden

Knicks still win, but whole crowd gets heartburn as Curry scores 54.

Knicks still win, but whole crowd gets heartburn as Curry scores 54.

Photo: Ray Stubblebine / Landov | Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2013

Golden State point Guard Steph Curry is on fire right now. Two nights ago the baby-faced assassin lit up Indiana for 38 points, and with his filthy crossover, broke several Pacers’ ankles in the process. But that was just a warm-up for for the fourth-year sharpshooter’s performance at Madison Square Garden last night. Playing without all-star power forward David Lee — and on the night of coach Mark Jackson’s Big Apple homecoming — the Warriors needed Curry to step up, and it seemed like he couldn’t miss, scoring 54 points on 18 for 28 shooting, including 11 for 13 from behind the arch. It was the highest scoring game of the year so far. Can you say en fuego?

“I felt good all night. Obviously played the whole game, so was just trying to keep my legs underneath me on the offensive end, and you know, just stick to the game on the defensive end,” Curry said. “Once I started seeing that 3-ball go down in transition, all sorts of spots on the floor, I knew it was going to be a good night.”

Only five different players have scored 50 at the Garden. You might have heard of the others: 

Kobe Bryant, February 2, 2009: 61

Michael Jordan, March 28. 1995: 55

Stephen Curry, February 28, 2013: 54

LeBron James, February 4, 2009: 52

Rip Hamilton, December 27, 2006: 51

Michael Jordan, Novemer 1, 1986: 50

LeBron James, March 5, 2008: 50

Leaving aside the fact that the Knicks D had a really rough week in early February, 2009, Curry’s showcase will go down in Garden lore. His 11 three-pointers are the second highest single-game tally in history, trailing Bryant and Donyell Marshall, who each tallied 11. The difference is that they too 18 and 19 shot, respectively, while Curry needed only 13. 

“He’s a special young player with a very unique talent,” said Knicks center Tyson Chandler. “We ran everything at him. He just got hot. There was some shots that he couldn’t have seen the rim.”

For his part, Chandler had a pretty great game himself, racking up a career high 28 boards in addition to 16 points. Carmelo Anthony added 35 for the Knickerbockers, who — oh yeah — actually won the game. 

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