VIDEO – Steph Curry Turned Back The Clock To MJ's Double Nickel (full highlights)

Updated: February 28, 2013

Steph Curry Lights Up The Knicks For 54 At MSG

Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors came to the Garden last night on their lone trip in two seasons. The Warriors were coming off a loss to the Indiana Pacers where a mini-brawl started and Curry seemed to put fire on the situation. Suspensions were handed down by the NBA and the ex-Knick David Lee would not play in this game against his old team.

Curry decided to take matters into his own hands from the start with the Warriors first bucket and that was only the beginning. The shot was from above the free throw line and barely hit the net on the way through crisply. Raymond Felton had the initial assignment of guarding the high school looking shooting guard. A few times down the court and he got a ball fake to work and drove the lane for a gorgeous finger roll.

The magical ride was only beginning for the sharpshooting point guard out of Davidson. The next two baskets were drives to the hoop, one a beautiful floater from five feet and the other a tear drop. Something seemed to click after that early in the second. Curry hit a corner three followed by an “in your face” three from the top right on top of Pablo Prigioni.Steph Curry layup on Knicks

The fire was now lit and and one of the best pure shooters in the NBA today got going, really going.

Another pull-up pop from the same spot on Prigioni, a steal and a fast break three in transition brought the Warriors back from down 10 to down one. Two possessions later Curry rose up from the top of the arc off a screen and drained another three in front of a flailing Carmel Anthony to give the Warriors a three point lead 40-37. That three was Curry’s fifteenth straight point and the Garden crowd was humming.

Jason Kidd was then brought in to stifle the young gun and promptly got taken to the middle of the paint for a smooth step-back floater. Curry did not discriminate at all and took on all comers in the second quarter one by one.

Next up was Iman Shumpert’s turn to chase around the seething hot Curry and just as he had done to all others, Curry took a fast break and pulled up from 18 and swished it in with Shumpert trying to get an offensive foul call. The defensive specialist, Shumpert, was in quick sand as Curry blew right by him for an uncontested layup and he was fouled to stop the layin. Four points from the free throw line rounded out this incredible first half.

[quote_box]”I felt good all night. Obviously played the whole game, so was just trying to keep my legs underneath me on the offensive end, and you know, just stick to the game on the defensive end,” Curry said. “Once I started seeing that 3-ball go down in transition, all sorts of spots on the floor, I knew it was going to be a good night.”[/quote_box]

All of this was happening in front of a national television audience and after 24 minutes of play the unassuming budding All-Star had torched the Knicks for 27 points and hit 4-out-of-6 from beyond the arc. Curry had 23 points in the second quarter alone. It was done with such ease and fluidity that everyone sitting in those seats at the Garden and watching in amazement at home knew it was far from over. The Knicks held on to lead at half 58-55 and were lucky at that point.

The second half started much in the same way that the first did. Curry ventured to the left corner and pumped Felton into the third row of seats and calmly regained his balance to drain another three. One more nice lefty assist on the pick and roll to a cutting big man had the Knicks all out of sorts. Off a Knicks miss Curry got the ball on break and ran Felton into a screen for a top of the circle three-ball to give the Warriors a 65-63 lead.

Less than a minute later he dragged two Knicks with him to the basket and placed a beautiful left handed floater high off the window over the outstretched arms of Tyson Chandler. With the quarter running down and the Knicks up by six points Curry ran Felton into a pretzel and into his own man to drill another three from about 26 feet away to drag the Warriors back into it.

With 10 minutes to play and the game within two possessions the silky smooth sharp shooter went into heat check mode and pulled up on the break one step in front of the Madison Square Garden logo and rained home a long three pointer. A chorus of oohs and aahs filled the building as once again the Knicks took the ball out of the basket after another Curry long jumper.jordan layup -double-nickel-game

The crowd knew they might be witnessing history on this night and at that moment it took me back to that day in the Garden in 1995. That day was one I will never forget.

I was 25 then and somehow was able to scrounge up enough coin to get into the building to see Michael Jordan’s “Return to Broadway”, a 55-point explosion known to the world as the Double Nickel game.

That day I thought I had seen the greatest performance ever by a player in Madison Square Garden against the hated New York Knicks. I think last night I just witnessed the greatest “shooting” display of all time in the Garden. Curry had one of the most efficient games I have ever seen a guard have in the NBA.

Back to last night, another drive to the basket resulted in one more floating runner off the glass followed by a behind the back dribble at the right of the key for yet another unbelievable three pointer falling away. The shot had Chandler running at him and blocking all sight of the rim but the ball hit nothing but net if any net at all. Curry, 46 points, crashed to the ground as Felton and Chandler turned around to look at the ball being inbounded yest again. The crowd was buzzing as the Knicks tried to hold off this barrage of shots to lead 94-93 with seven minutes to play.

The Knicks tried to trap Curry the next few possessions but the poised youngster moved the ball and assisted on the next two buckets. With the Warriors down two, four to play Curry again got the rebound and raced to the right side forgoing a two-on-one only to pull up and drill one more gigantic three to give the Warriors a 100-99 lead and Curry his 10th three pointer of the game.

With the Knicks crowd stunned at what was transpiring, Curry did the infamous Mark Jackson “shimmy” on the way down court giving a look over to his head coach before the Knicks called timeout. The building was raucous by the visions of a one man show looking to beat the struggling Knicks at home once again.

[quote_box]”We were short-handed and we needed a performance like that to have a chance,” Jackson said. “He put on a clinic. Knocked down shots. Made plays. Carried us. Led us in rebounding. He did it all. I’ve seen a lot of great performances in this building and his goes up there. I’ve seen a lot. I’ve seen a lot, but that shooting performance was a thing of beauty.”[/quote_box]

The Knicks scored five straight points to move ahead 102-100 only to see one more three pointer go down by the scorching hot young guard. Curry now hit 11 three-point shot on 13 attempts and had me out of my chair cheering for the magic to continue. This was a show I hadn’t seen up close in many years.

The only thing left was to win the game and fly off on the same magic carpet that he arrived to New York on.

One last foray to the basket resulted in the final two points from the free throw line of a historic 54 points rained down by Steph Curry. Game tied 105-105 with 1:30 to play and the Felton came up with the play of the game when he blocked Curry in the right corner to allow the Knicks to grab a four point lead. The inbounds pass was thrown away by the Warriors and the Knicks managed to hold on for a 109-105 win.

The most eye-opneing part of what transpired last night was the way Curry dismantled the Knicks in their own building scoring 54 points while only taking 28 shots and making 18 of them. Curry was a perfect 7-for-7 from the line and a historic 11-for-13 from beyond the three-point line.

The MSG crowd left with exactly what they wanted. Steph Curry raining down shot after shot but the Knicks winning the game in the end.

Funny thing is, that is the same feeling many of those Knicks fans had back in 1995 but Jordan would not allow that to be.

Great game Steph but without the W – I have to give the nod to MJ because in my book, 55 with a W is still greater than 54 with an L.

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