(The Sports Xchange) - For two days, Golden State guard Stephen Curry had to listen to former NBA players critique his game. From calling him just a perimeter player to saying he wouldn’t handle the tough defenses of previous eras was spouted throughout the media.
Curry responded the best way he could. The reigning league MVP poured in 46 points, including a game-winning 35-footer to lead the Warriors to a 121-118 overtime victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder Saturday at the Chesapeake Energy Arena.
“I have no idea how far it was, but I had it rolling all night,” Curry said. “Thankfully that last one went in. Confidence is high, so I just launched it.”
Curry tied an NBA record shared by Kobe Bryant (2003) and Donyell Marshall (2005) with his 12th 3-pointer of the game. He finished 12 of 16 from 3-point range. Guard Klay Thompson added 32 points as the Warriors improved their record to 53-5.
“We’re not going to quit,” Thompson said. “No matter if we’re down four with 10 seconds or up four with 10 seconds. We play all 48 minutes no matter how bad or great we’re playing.”
Curry also broke the single-season 3-pointers record he set last season. He has 288 this season, two more than his record-setting total.
Forward Kevin Durant had 37 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Thunder. Guard Russell Westbrook contributed 30 points, 13 assists and seven rebounds.
Oklahoma City (41-18) lost for the fourth time in its last five games.
“I always want to win,” Durant said. “Moral victories are for young teams. I am going to go home, enjoy me a nice meal and a nice glass of wine and I’ll be straight.”
With 4:45 left in the fourth quarter, the Thunder led by nine points. Westbrook put Oklahoma City up by 11 with a driving layup, but Curry responded with back-to-back layups.
Curry then drained a 3-pointer to cut the gap to four points. After a Durant miss, Golden State forward Draymond Green hit one of two from the free-throw line and the lead was down to 96-93 with 2:15 left.
Westbrook missed a long 3-pointer, but Thunder guard Andre Roberson tracked down the loose ball. It led to Durant going to the free-throw line and burying two shots to give Thunder a 98-93 lead.
However, Curry drained a 3-pointer from the top of the key. Thunder forward Serge Ibaka answered with a 3-pointer before Thompson hit a long 3-pointer.
The Thunder led 100-99 with 27 seconds left and Durant seemed to put the game away when he buried a 3-pointer. But a layup by Thompson and a turnover by Durant gave the Warriors a chance.
With 0.7 on the clock, Durant fouled Warriors forward Andre Iguodala, who hit two free throws to tie score and force overtime.
“I turned the ball over and fouled the shooter,” a sullen Durant said.
The Thunder scored five quick points to start overtime, but four straight points from Curry got the Warriors to within one.
Durant fouled out and the Thunder had to go the final 3:30 without him.
Ibaka gave Oklahoma City a 110-107 lead. But Curry tied the score falling down while hitting a 3-pointer.
Consecutive baskets by Roberson and Ibaka put the Thunder up 114-110 with 1:41 left in overtime. Thompson drained a 3-pointer and the Warriors were within one again.
Westbrook was fouled driving to the basket and hit two free throws. Curry, who rolled his ankle in the third quarter, then went to the foul line and made two free throws.
The Thunder kept finding ways to answer. Westbrook set up Roberson for a tough layup. Then Thompson came down and scored on a three-point play to tie the score at 118 with 29.5 seconds on the clock.
Westbrook missed a jumper, leaving time for Curry to dribble up court and size up his defender before launching a 35-footer that was nothing but net.
“We just never panic,” Thompson said. “We’ve been in too many big situations to panic. It was a total team effort. It’s hard to put into words what Steph did. Not only did he break his own (single-season) record, but he tied an NBA record. It’s the most amazing thing I’ve probably ever seen. He has the greatest range I’ve ever seen. That was a ballsy shot.”
(Story refiles to correct full name of Oklahoma City)
Compiled by Peter Rutherford