Dallas Mavericks: Stephen Curry Joins…Nick Van Exel?
Former Dallas Maverick, Nick Van Exel, made recent headlines after he and Stephen Curry shared a similar stat line in their respective playoff performances.
For anyone who missed the game a few nights ago and those who have been under a rock the last few days, Stephen Curry had himself a game against the Portland Trail Blazers. In his first game back from injury, Curry came off the bench with a supposed minutes restriction that did not last long.
In 36 minutes of game time, Curry led the Warriors to a 132-125 overtime victory against Damian Lillard and the Blazers and he did it in convincing fashion. After starting the game slowly and missing his first 9 three-point attempts, Curry had only 13 points through the first 36 minutes of the game.
In the final 17 minutes, however, Curry found his stride and made each shot count. Steph scored an amazing 40 points for the entire game, including a truly unbelievable 17 in the 5 minute overtime period alone.
Shortly after the game, a stat was tweeted out by @SportsCenter regarding the performance by Steph Curry.
After seeing this, it gave Mavericks fans a time to reflect on the 2003 Dallas Mavericks playoff run that ended painfully in a 6-game series against the San Antonio Spurs in the Western Conference Finals. Before that though, the Mavericks fought through a 7 game battle with the Portland Trail Blazers in the 1st round and a 7 game series with the Sacramento Kings in round 2.
It was during the series with the Kings that Nick Van Exel had his big game. To set the scene, Dallas as the lower seed was returning home after getting a great split in Sacramento against a very talented team led by Peja Stojakovic and Bobby Jackson while an injury-riddled Chris Webber was only able to play in two games of the series.
The Mavericks played a great game with each time having no trouble getting the ball in the hoop. An early 13 point lead for the Kings was cut to only 2 at halftime. Nick the Quick had 15 at that point and the Mavericks were starting to catch their stride.
The third quarter did not prove kind to the Mavs, however, which wouldn’t be a surprise to anyone who watched the team this year. Maybe its just a franchise curse? Dallas then made up a 9-point deficit to put it into overtime. 10 minutes and 2 overtime periods later, Dallas was victorious in a wild 141-137 final score.
Van Exel was the leading scorer and had himself an impressive game. Here are the stats to compare his game to the game that Steph Curry had (per NBA.com)
Nick Van Exel: 48 min., 14-26 FG, 6-12 3PT, 6-7 FT, 7 REB, 7 AST, 40 PTS.
Steph Curry: 36 min., 16-32 GF, 5-16 3PT, 3-3 FT, 9 REB, 8 AST, 40 PTS.
Next: Why the Mavericks Should Pursue Dwight Howard
Needless to say, both players gave it their all in the respective games and had performances that should be remembered for many years. As for Nick Van Exel, we can just be happy about the time we had him in a Mavericks uniform and wish we could recreate that production with a new player in the coming years.