Stephen Curry’s playoff debut has been long awaited by his teammates, coaches, and fans — and the 4:20 mark of the first quarter couldn’t come soon enough, as the Golden State Warriors trailed 18-11 and he checked in for Splash Brother Klay Thompson.
Curry didn’t take long to make his presence felt, as the arena erupted when his name was called, stopping the Pelicans’ momentum in its track after carving a dent in the Warriors defense.
If that wasn’t enough of a buzz kill for the visitors, Curry would put his stamp only 11 seconds into checking into the game, burying a silky-smooth 29-foot 3-pointer after curling around a Kevon Looney screen on the left wing.
“It was an eternity (before checking in for the first time); it felt like for sure,” Curry said, according to Sam Amick of USA TODAY Sports. “You know, when the lights come back on, starting lineup, usually in that ‘go’ kind of mind frame, and then had to pace myself and be patient with it. Seemed like it took forever but it was a good feeling to get back out on the floor and just let loose and have fun.”
The play would electrify the building, showing his immediate impact as the most dangerous long-range weapon in the league.
“It was funny,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said of Curry’s first bucket. “We call a play we like to run just to get some movement, just to get the ball moving, and the ball swung to him and he just launched. Didn’t surprise me. That’s who he is. That was a fun moment.”
Curry would finish the game with eight points during his short four-minute stint, only to add another 20 throughout the rest of the game, leading the team to a Game 2 victory, making 5-of-10 from deep and recording a game-high plus-26 plus-minus rating.