Stephen Curry said he felt good all night, but not even he could have expected the offensive explosion he showcased from the second quarter of last night's game. Curry finished with 54-points (a career-high) as he turned the World's Most Famous Arena into his own private Rucker Park, displaying his entire repertoire. Curry scored 50-points in the final three-quarters of the encounter (including finishing one 3-pointer shy of the NBA record with 11/13 attempts), and although the Warriors didn't come away with the win – losing 109-105- Curry won the respect of the Garden faithful with his shooting clinic.
"I felt good all night," said Curry. "I obviously played the whole game [so] I was trying to keep my legs underneath me on the offensive end, and stick to the game-plan on the defensive end, but once I started to see that three-ball go down in transition and from all spots on the floor; I knew it was going to be a good night."
A good night it was indeed, Curry began his onslaught in the second period, shooting 7/10, including 4/5 from distance to accumulate 23-points for the quarter. After the game Curry said he had no idea what clicked for him in the period, but he just rolled with it.
"I just found some open spots, in transition I was able to get good looks. I think when I get good looks and I see the ball go in a couple of times and you start to find yourself open each possession, I had confidence to rise up and take it wherever I was on the floor," said Curry. "Guys got me open on screen-and-rolls, I was able to get in the paint a little bit, just try to stay in the game and make it interesting in the fourth quarter."
Even the Garden crowd, spoiled by many virtuoso performances over the years was in awe of Curry as he seemed totally unconscious every time he took a shot in the second half. At one stage the young guard could be seen mouthing the words, "oh my God" soon after hitting another long three in the final period. It appeared not even he could believe how hot he was shooting the ball either.
Curry spoke on feeding off the crowd's energy during the game. "There was a lot of energy in that building tonight, for both teams. Once I put up some numbers – started to make some shots – you could hear the crowd and obviously when they [Knicks] were knocking down dagger threes, it was electric."
Warriors coach Mark Jackson praised the efforts of his team – and Curry as well.
"Phenomenal performance by Steph. We didn't quit. We didn't let go of the rope. I'm extremely proud of my guys," said Jackson post-game. "We were shorthanded, and we needed a performance like that to have a chance. He put on a clinic. I've seen a lot of great performances in this building and his goes up there."
Even though they didn't come away with the win, Curry did finish with the most points by an NBA player in a loss since Kobe Bryant had 58 in a loss to Charlotte on December 29, 2006.
Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony – himself no stranger to amassing large point totals – said he was not prepared to go shot-for-shot with Curry on a night like last night.
"Hell no. I ain't in no competition with him. Anytime he goes 11/13 from the three, that's remarkable," said Anthony who finished with 35-points himself. "There's nothing nobody can do [except] hope he miss. I knew it was going to be a big night for him – the way he was shooting, his confidence."
In the end, in spite of the loss, Curry managed to steal the night away from not only the home team, but Mark Jackson who was making his long-awaited debut as a coach inside The Garden as well.