Skeptics of Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors during their historic run atop the NBA this season need to take a long, hard look at their performance Saturday night against a willing participant in the Oklahoma City Thunder.
In what will go down as one of the greatest regular-season battles in NBA history, it was the defending champions who bounced back after trailing by as many as 14 points to break the Thunder's hearts on their home floor, 121-118 in overtime.
With the score tied at 118 during the dying moments of the extra period, "The Chef" headed up the floor and drilled a 38-footer in the eye of Andre Roberson to give Golden State a three-point lead with just 0.6 of a second remaining.
Head coach Steve Kerr would have been justified in keeping Curry on the bench for the remainder of the game after the 27-year-old rolled his ankle during the third quarter, although he inevitably returned minutes later.
Curry finished with 46 points and six assists, converting 14-of-24 from the field and 12-of-16 from behind the arc, tying the NBA record for most 3-pointers in a single game (Kobe Bryant, Donyell Marshall).
Curry's Shot Chart vs. Thunder
Not only that, but Curry also broke a mark of his own by connecting on his 288th 3-pointer of the season, a new NBA record. His 12 trey's also make him the first player ever to hit 10 or more in back-to-back outings.
The landscape of the game changed drastically when Kevin Durant (37 points, 12 rebounds, and five assists) fouled out early in overtime. It was a debilitating blow to a Thunder team that relied heavily on the four-time scoring champ's offense, creating an opening for Curry and fellow "Splash Brother" Klay Thompson to make it rain from the perimeter and really stick it to the opposition.
Thompson scored 32 points of his own, while Draymond Green chipped in a rare double-double of 14 points and 14 assists, missing all eight of his shot attempts for just two points in 44 minutes.
Had it not been for a crazy finish to the fourth quarter, Golden State wouldn't have been in a position to win the game at all.
Two clutch free throws from 2015 NBA Finals MVP Andre Iguodala (12 points, six rebounds) guaranteed the Warriors five more minutes of action at Chesapeake Energy Arena.
A Houston Rockets loss to the San Antonio Spurs earlier in the evening means we'll be seeing the Warriors back in the playoffs to defend their title. They're the fastest team ever to clinch a postseason berth, beating the previous record by a day.