Paul George appeared to challenge Stephen Curry to go shot-for-shot during a game.
Curry scored 45 points, hit 8 threes, and hit the two dagger shots for the win.
Curry doesn’t often show it, but he’s motivated by any slight, and it’s unwise to challenge him.
It’s unwise to challenge Stephen Curry to a shooting contest.
Yet LA Clippers forward Paul George gave it a try anyway on Thursday. A mic’d up segment from the Clippers-Golden State Warriors game on Thursday showed George speaking to Curry during a break in the action.
“Make it interesting … I give you one, you give me one,” George said. He added: “I’m from the logo with it,” referring to shooting from the half-court logo.
The exchange appeared to happen in the second quarter, though it’s unclear from watching TNT’s broadcast.
Curry appeared to respond, “I ain’t miss one yet, come on.” Curry began the game 10-for-10 from the field, before missing on a pull-up 28-foot attempt in the second quarter.
After starting out red-hot from the field, Curry cooled down a bit. Over the second and third quarters, Curry went just 4-of-12 from the field and 1-of-5 from three, scoring 10 points.
But Curry surely internalized the challenge from George. Those who have known Curry say he is keenly aware of every piece of criticism, whether it’s from the media or other players. Curry rarely speaks out about his motivation, but he uses any slight to fuel him.
Luckily, for the Warriors, Curry got back on track in the fourth quarter, going 3-of-4 from the field for 10 points in the final frame. He hit two three-pointers in the final two minutes, first putting the Warriors ahead by one, then nailing a dagger to put them up by four with 56 seconds to go.
The Warriors went on to win, 115-113.
George finished with 29 points on a solid 5-of-11 shooting from three, but he couldn’t match Curry’s 45-point explosion.
After the game, George complimented Curry on his masterful execution.
“He’s got the complete package offensively,” George said. “He’s so good at shooting the three, but he’s just so good at getting open for layups. He’s mastered how to get free without dribbling the ball. He’s just so elusive and quick. One second you look away, he’s gone, or if you’re not attached to him, he’s gone.”
The Warriors head coach Steve Kerr mentioned the whole package of what makes Curry great after the game.
“There’s never been anybody like him. Not just the shooting range but the competitiveness, the guts, just an amazing, amazing player. What a game he had.”
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