Omni (WSN)

Jan 24, 2022

Golden State appeared in very real danger of falling further into its midseason slump on Friday night. The Warriors trailed Houston, the worst team in the Western Conference, by as many 15 points just 24 hours after losing to an injury-decimated and nearly lottery-bound Pacers team in overtime.

They had dropped six of their last nine games, slipping closer to the third-place scrum between Memphis and Utah. Until Stephen Curry donned the cape when they needed it most. The Warriors trailed by seven with just four minutes remaining before their defense produced several stops that allowed them to pull even. Otto Porter Jr.’s free throws tied the game, and the teams traded empty possessions until Golden State had the ball with 5.1 seconds left. The Bay Area crowd stood, poised to witness its hero produce yet another moment they could share with their descendents years from now. The generous amount of time remaining allowed Curry the cushion he needed to receive the ball, fake, take three dribbles left and toward the basket before stepping back to create an ocean of space for the shot. The open 19-footer rippled nothing but net. The shot itself was relatively easy, but the move to set it up was deceptively simple. Practice creating space with only your off-hand dribble against someone trying desperately to stop you and see you how well you do.