You know it’s a crazy night when Stephen Curry and Kent Bazemore switch places.
But that’s what happened after Golden State beat the Heat in overtime, 120-112, on Wednesday evening. Bazemore was one of many players that stepped up to help bring the Warriors back from down 19 points, taking the lead for the first time in the extra period.
Bazemore’s performance earned him a postgame interview, and Curry stayed behind to salute his teammate by “Bazemoreing,” which is Bazemore’s trademark celebration from the bench, often used after big plays from Curry.
Now that’s some serious respect from the two-time MVP, Curry. And it was for good reason.
Bazemore and others had to do more than their usual share because forward Draymond Green was a late scratch, forcing the Warriors to play extra-small ball, with centers James Wiseman and Kevon Looney already out with injuries. Furthermore, Curry had an awful shooting night, missing the most 3-point shots he ever has in a single game. He was 5-for-20 from distance and 8-for-25 overall.
Curry made big shots late, but first, check out Bazemore’s stats, along with the numbers for the rest of the club. Andrew Wiggins and Kelly Oubre Jr. also had big nights, and identical stats, in the win. Eric Paschall played heavy minutes late, too, as Golden State went on its run.
Bazemore definitely deserved that interview, however. He was 10-for-19 from the field and hit 4-of-7 3-pointers; it seemed as if every shot he made was clutch, with the Warriors on the ropes all game long. He was sensational going to the bucket, too, with several tough, timely finishes late in the game.
Here he is giving Golden State its first lead of the game with a determined play near the basket, courtesy of the Warriors’ Twitter account.
But Bazemore and Curry didn’t switch places the entire night. Here’s Curry with a late dagger to put the Heat away in overtime.
Curry still showed respect by Bazemoreing. And it’s no surprise. The two go back a long way, with Bazemore a member of Curry’s first playoff squad, back in 2013, before leaving the freanchise temporarily. It’s taken all that time to create a culture that could win a game such as this, and Curry and Bazemore have every reason to soak it all in.
(Photo credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports)