Steph Curry and the Warriors returned to the court on Thursday night after their long NBA All-Star layoff, and they looked like a team that’s ready to make another run at the NBA Finals during the second part of the 2017-18 NBA season. While the Clippers put up a valiant effort on the road against Golden State, clawing their way back into the game after being down by 18 points in the second quarter, the Warriors’ firepower was just too much for Los Angeles. Golden State won the game 134-127 in front of their home crowd.
Curry was the star of the show, scoring 44 points on just 19 field-goal attempts during the game. Just about every shot he took went in, including this buzzer beater at the end of the first quarter that seemed to suggest he was going to be in for a big night from the field.
But the shot that had everyone talking after the game was actually a pretty routine three-pointer that Curry made in the middle of the third quarter. With the Warriors up 12, Curry picked off a pass thrown by DeAndre Jordan and made a wide-open three from the wing. And after he did, he turned around and stared back at someone in the crowd with a smile on his face. That someone turned out to be Clippers owner Steve Ballmer, who was seated courtside right behind where Curry made his three.
After the game, Curry was asked why he stared Ballmer down, and he responded by talking about how he heard Ballmer trying to distract him as he squared up to take his shot. It obviously didn’t work, but Curry said he still wanted to acknowledge him for trying.
"He’s almost like another coach on the opposite side. He was giving them words of encouragement and even on defense trying to distract us," Curry said. "That particular play, I was kind of all alone on the wing. He was chiming in and seeing if he could throw me off my game. So I wanted to give him a little look."
This wasn’t exactly Kevin Durant hitting a shot and staring down Rihanna in the middle of an NBA Finals game. But it was interesting to hear Curry admit that he sometimes hears what people have to say to him when he’s trying to concentrate on making shots during games. It doesn’t appear as though it actually works, though, so if you’re an NBA owner thinking about following Ballmer’s lead here, you better think twice before you, too, get shown up by one of the biggest stars in the NBA.