It takes Steph Curry just 3 quarters to outscore 99 percent of the NBA

Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry celebrates after scoring against the San Antonio Spurs during the second half of Monday's game.
Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP

Imagine Steph Curry back in Babe Ruth’s day. No nightly highlights, no YouTube videos, no real-time Twitter clips and Vine cuts. No instant gratification, no HD-sensory overload of a repertoire that becomes more mind-blowing, more you-have-to-see-it-to-believe-it each time the NBA’s home run king steps onto the court.

Imagine your only portal into these nightly exploits was paragraphs in the next day’s paper.

Thank goodness we have evolved. Words alone simply don’t work when it comes to Curry.

After all, who would have believed what happened Monday night in Oakland if we couldn’t see it for ourselves? Curry dazzled with a mesmerizing showcase of basketball wizardry against the Warriors’ closest competitor, the San Antonio Spurs. Arguably the most dangerous 185-pound player the league has ever seen put the league’s best defense on spin cycle with 37 points in 28 minutes in the 120-90 mauling.

Curry didn’t play a second in the fourth quarter — again. It was the 14th time in the 43 games he’s played that he sat out the whole thing. So many blowouts, so many points left on the bench.

Still, the league’s reigning MVP is leading the scoring race by almost three points over Houston’s James Harden. Curry is averaging 30.3 points a game, and he’s doing it while playing only 33.8 minutes. And that leads us to this little nugget:

Let’s put that stat in these terms: It takes Curry three quarters to score more points than 99 percent of the league’s players score in four. In some places, that might be called unstoppable.

Imagine if the Warriors played closer games. Curry averages 8.0 points in just 6.6 minutes played per fourth quarter — and remember he’s played in only 29 of 43 of them. For comparison’s sake, Harden averages 6.9 points in 8.6 minutes per fourth quarter and he’s played in 44 fourth quarters. LeBron James has played in 35 of 42 fourth quarters and averages 8.0 points in 9.1 minutes.

Oh, the points Curry could have.

And then there’s how Curry is accumulating his mountain of points when he is on the floor. Yes, his 3-point shot is already the stuff of legend, but his arsenal is hardly limited to launching from the Bay Bridge and all points beyond. His ball-handling has become otherworldly and he torched the Spurs more than once with a dribbling display more often seen by the Globetrotters against the Generals, and finished it off with a soft floater — one being of the underhand variety from 10 feet out — that dropped straight in the bucket.

Thank goodness we live in the video age that we do. Because if it wasn’t for seeing it, we just might not believe it.