CLEVELAND, Ohio — It was perhaps the signature moment of Game 2. A pair of MVPs going one-on-one in the third quarter and Stephen Curry gets to the bucket after dribbling circles around LeBron James.
“It was a big moment,” Curry said of his basket that put the Warriors up 10 with less than nine minutes left in the third. “It was a momentum swing.”
Twitter immediately went crazy with posts of the video touting Curry’s tremendous skill in beating Cleveland’s best defender.
“Chef Curry put LeBron in a blender.”
“Curry did LeBron dirty.”
But did he?
Steph Curry vs LeBron James – looked like a double dribble to me pic.twitter.com/VKdvAIqn6b
— Eric Rosenthal (@ericsports) June 5, 2017
A closer look at the play reveals that when Curry retreated to the three-point line with 8:59 on the clock, he double-dribbled while executing a fake.
That fake caused James to close out in anticipation of a shot, and allowed Curry the lane to get to the basket and score.
Curry admitted as much in his postgame comments.
“I was able to kind of reset back behind the three-point line, and you kind of just give a little hesitation that you’re making them think you’re going to shoot and just try to go around him,” Curry said.
Official Scott Foster was closest to the play, but did not make the call because it happened quickly, and he did not have a good angle to see the violation.
Official James Capers had a better angle, but was 30 feet away on the baseline, and would have had to reach to make the call.
The moment was not lost on Curry’s Warriors teammates. Kevin Durant said Curry’s aggressiveness showed throughout Game 2.
“We love when he’s aggressive,” Durant said. “Tonight he shot 14 free throws, so that’s huge for us. We needed that, especially when we were struggling a bit, turning the ball over, not getting shots up.”
Warriors coach Seve Kerr marveled at the way Curry was able to operate against an elite defender such as James.
“The talent on the floor in this series is just unbelievable,” Kerr said. “It really is a series that’s just loaded with high-powered weapons all over the floor.”
After the game, Curry credited James for playing good defense, and said whenever you’re facing a defender of his caliber, you have to do something special to score.
“For the most part, you can’t focus on like you’re on the playground,” Curry said. “It’s just y’all two out there. That doesn’t do you any good in those situations.”
Meanwhile, Twitter has shifted its focus on the play from an outstanding display of skill, to a violation that the officials missed.
Here is a sampling of social media posts from this morning that point out the differences of opinions on the play: