A downright speedy slog

A bit tired but always game, Heracles, having captured three-headed Cerberus, asked if there might be a thirteenth labor. Came the response: “We want you to guard Stephen Curry.”

The hero demurred. “No way I can keep up with that SOB.”

He wasn’t kidding. In the middle of the second quarter, Curry put together a string of three treys in what seemed to me no time at all, nearly wiping out a double-digit Thunder lead. And then the gods came up with a plot complication: a minute and a half into the third quarter, Curry, after assisting on a Harrison Barnes dunk, rolled his ankle, and disappeared into the locker room for the next five minutes. No way Steph would stay gone, and sure enough, he didn’t; with 1:15 left in the third, one of those patented Curry treys gave the Warriors their first lead of the night. Kevin Durant responded to this with two treys of his own, and the Thunder were up five going into what Judge Radar called “Twelve Minutes of Hell.” With 11:33 of that 12:00 elapsed, OKC led 100-99. KD used up half the remaining time to find a spot from 26 feet back, and splashed the trey; Klay Thompson drove in for a layup, and with 0.7 second left, Andre Iguodala, drawing Durant’s fifth foul, nailed two free throws to tie it at 103, and five minutes more hell ensued.

Then, 47 seconds into the overtime period and the Thunder up by five, Steph Curry drew a foul from KD, his sixth. (Bye-bye, Kevin.) Shortly thereafter, Curry’s eleventh trey of the game — tying a career high — tied the game at 110-all; in the last second, he got his twelfth, and that was it, 121-118, a Russell Westbrook trey at the buzzer falling short. And with 24 games left, the Warriors, 53-5, have already clinched a playoff spot.

Curry’s 46 points, of course, dwarfed everyone else’s. (Durant had 37 to lead the Thunder.) Overall shooting was almost dead even, Golden State 45-95, OKC 46-96. And neither side was particularly adept from the stripe, the Warriors making 17 of 25, the Thunder 17 of 26. The commanding OKC lead in rebounding — 62-32 — was more than offset by the turnover count: the Warriors lost only 11, the Thunder 23. You almost have to wonder what it would have been like had Steph Curry not spent five minutes in the locker room getting some fresh tape around his ankle.

Coming up: three games on the West Coast in four days, Monday at Sacramento, Wednesday at the Clippers, and Thursday at, yes, Golden State. Get your prayer shawls out of storage. In the meantime:

Yep.

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