Stephen Curry hit a shot Thursday night that sent the NBA world reeling -- but that's nothing new. The guard hit a falling, highly contested three-pointer in the left corner with just seconds left that sent the Golden State Warriors' playoff matchup with the New Orleans Pelicans into overtime.
That amazing shot allowed the top-seeded Warriors to pull out at 123-119 win in overtime, moving the series score to 3-0 in Golden State's favor in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs. The victory was a shocker, with the Warriors pulling off a comeback from a 20-point deficit. Curry -- the likely 2015 MVP -- shouldered the brunt of the scoring load, dropping 40 points on the Pelicans.
The jaw-dropping three-pointer should come as a surprise to nobody who has paid attention the sterling shooting guards' season. Curry does this sort of thing regularly. This late-winner with just 2.2 seconds left against the Magic in December should seem familiar. The formula is simple. The Warriors need a big shot; Curry hits the big shot.
Curry averaged 23.8 points in the 2014-15 regular season, shooting 44.3 percent from behind the arc. He has shot 44 percent from behind the three-point line throughout his career. For perspective, just four players in the NBA shot at least 44 percent from behind the arc in 2015. In other words, Curry's baseline is as good as most players' best seasons. When Curry is feeling hot, he hardly misses, which means he can hit some eye-popping jumpers. For an example, look at this mazing, step-back jumper against the Los Angeles Clippers in February.
Curry has proven he can hit a shot from anywhere at any moment. In March, playing against the Knicks, he took a long outlet pass and hit a buzzer-beater from well behind the arc.
Curry scored 25 points in the game againt New York -- a nice present to himself -- as he was celebrating his 27th birthday. The young star has shown how dominant he can be in 2015, leading the Warriors to the best record in the NBA (67-15) and likely earning the MVP award.
Curry's amazing shot against the Pelicans grabbed the attention of NBA fans everywhere and put the fate of the first-round series firmly in the Warriors' hands. It was just another scene in the highlight-reel movie that is Curry's career. The next big moment might just come Saturday night, when the Warriors will play at New Orleans in the fourth game of the first-round playoff matchup.