Warriors even West finals behind Curry's surge
(The Sports Xchange) - Stephen Curry exploded for 15 of his 28 points over a 1:58 stretch of the third quarter, helping the Golden State Warriors pull away from the Oklahoma Thunder en route to a 118-91 victory that evened the Western Conference finals at one game apiece.
Curry, who had 11 points in the first 28-plus minutes of the game, poured in 17 in the game-breaking third quarter as the defending NBA champs rebounded from a Game 1 loss.
The best-of-seven series goes to Oklahoma City for Games 3 and 4 on Sunday and Tuesday, respectively.
With Curry having gone scoreless from the final minute of the first quarter until the fifth minute of the third, the Warriors found themselves in another tough tussle with the third-seeded Thunder until the two-time Most Valuable Player single-handedly created some separation.
The spree began with a 3-pointer at the 7:09 mark of the third period, and it continued when he was fouled by Thunder star Kevin Durant on another 3-point attempt 36 seconds later.
Durant drew a technical foul for complaining about the call, leading to four Curry free throws, all of which he made to increase the Golden State lead to 71-57.
Curry then sandwiched two more 3-pointers with a toe-on-the-line 2-pointer, accounting for all the points in a 15-2 flurry that put the Warriors in a commanding position at 79-59 with 5:11 left in the third period.
Curry had his 28 points in just 30 minutes for the Warriors, who also rebounded with resounding wins over Houston and Portland after they took their one and only loss in the first- and second-round series.
Curry connected on nine of 15 shots overall and five of eight 3-point attempts as the Warriors outshot the Thunder 50.6 percent to 44.9 and outscored them 39-21 on 3-pointers.
Klay Thompson had 15 points on a 5-for-17 shooting night for Golden State, which also got double-figure scoring from Andre Iguodala (14 points), Marreese Speights (13), Festus Ezeli (12), Harrison Barnes (11) and Draymond Green (10).
Green led the Warriors in both rebounds with eight and assists with seven.
Durant was the game's top scorer with 29 points, 23 coming in the first half.
He was 11-for-18 from the field, but his teammates combined to miss 36 of 60.
Russell Westbrook, who had a game-high 27 points in the Thunder's 108-102 Game 1 win on Monday, was held to 16 points on 5-for-14 shooting.
He did find time for a game-high 12 assists, giving him his second consecutive double-double.
Steven Adams had a game-high 10 rebounds to go with nine points for the Thunder, who also found themselves in a 1-1 tie in their previous series against Dallas and San Antonio before eventually eliminating both.
The Warriors responded to their only deficit of the first half with an 11-2 burst to close the second quarter and build a 57-49 halftime lead.
With Curry pouring in 11 points in his first 10-minute stint, Golden State went up by as many as nine in the first period.
Durant kept the Thunder within striking distance with 23 first-half points. And when reserve shooting guard Dion Waiters buried a 3-pointer with 1:59 left in the second period, Oklahoma City found itself in front for the first time at 47-46.
Iguodala then dominated the rest of the half.
His three free throws put Golden State back on top. And after Durant tied the score at 49-all, Iguodala had two hoops in an 8-0 run to cap the first-half scoring and create the eight-point difference at the intermission.
RANKING THE BEST PLAYERS OF ALL TIME: