Warriors rookie Eric Paschall calls James Harden 'food' after and-1

Warriors rookie Eric Paschall calls James Harden 'food' after and-1

Eric Paschall is feeling himself. 

The Warriors rookie scored more points in his first three NBA starts (79) than any player since Jeremy Lin (89) lit up Madison Square Garden. Paschall led Golden State, sans injured stars Draymond Green, D'Angelo Russell, Stephen Curry and Klay Tompson, into Houston on Thursday to face James Harden and the Rockets, and the rookie was not intimidated. 

Paschall went right at Harden in the second quarter, drawing an and-1 on an insolation play against the 2017-18 NBA MVP and jawing at him after. 

Paschall even raised the roof in celebration after a dunk later in the second quarter, but the food got to eating soon after.

[RELATED: Warriors-Rockets rivalry feels different with young Dubs]

The Rockets closed out the first half on a 23-8 run after Paschall's trash talk. Harden scored 13 himself and assisted on two more baskets. 

The rookie learned a valuable lesson: Don't poke the beard. 

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Steph Curry's 54 points vs. Knicks, Carmelo Anthony put NBA on notice

Steph Curry's 54 points vs. Knicks, Carmelo Anthony put NBA on notice

Editor's note: This week, we'll be rehashing some of the most iconic moments in Steph Curry's career. Tune in to "Curry Countdown" on Saturday, May 30 at 10:30 p.m. on NBC Sports Bay Area to relive all things Steph.

Steph Curry fancies himself as a showman. 

For every 3-pointer made, a celebrative gesture is sure to follow. For every run, a subtle shrug is expected. 

On Feb. 27, 2013, Madison Square Garden was his stage, as the Warriors star scored a career-high 54 points, including 11 3-pointers, outdueling Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony and nearly beating New York by himself in a signature performance. 

The scoring feat was among Curry's earliest in his young career, but the duel with Anthony signaled how basketball was drifting from the midrange to far beyond the arc, helping Curry to achieve worldwide fame by the end of the night. 

While Curry's performance was a statement, his viability was questioned in the years leading up to the performance. In 2009, despite averaging 28 points per game in his senior year at Davidson, he dropped to the seventh pick in the NBA draft amid concerns of his size and positional uncertainty.

But while he proved his talent -- he finished second in the 2010 Rookie of the Year voting -- ankle injuries threatened to undo Curry's career before it got traction. Through his first three seasons, he suffered multiple ankle sprains, playing just 26 games in the 2011-12 season. Nearly two years before the outburst in Gotham, he underwent surgery to strengthen and attach ligaments in his right ankle. 

However, the Curry Conundrum began to take shape. In the 2012-13 season, he'd play 78 of a possible 82 games, leading the Warriors to a 47-35 record. Along the way, Curry, with the help of Klay Thompson, was poised to change the way the league played.

There was no better example of Curry's transition than his 2013 matchup with Anthony and the Knicks. 

[RUNNIN' PLAYS PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

Anthony, who entered the league in 2003, represented a league groomed by isolation-dominant stars like Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Tracy McGrady and Allen Iverson. His ball-dominant game yielded success, as he averaged 24.9 points over his first six seasons, leading the Denver Nuggets to the Western Conference finals in 2009. By 2013, he was in the midst of leading the Knicks to a  54-28 record -- New York's best record since 2000. 

While Anthony's game was effective, Curry was rewriting how it was played. In the seasons following the outburst at the Garden, Curry led the league in 3-pointers five times. In 2016, he became the league's first unanimous MVP, finishing with an NBA record 402 3-pointers. 

In the showdown, Curry and Anthony showed why each style is effective. Three minutes into the game, Anthony received in the ball in the post, took a dribble and muscled in a layup on rookie forward Draymond Green.

One quarter later, he got the ball near the free-throw line on Carl Landry, faced up and drained a mid-range jumper. In the final minute, guarded by Green in the post, he scored on a fadeaway jumper to put the Knicks up four, icing the game.

Not to be outshined, Curry went on a scoring binge for the ages. After a quiet four-point first quarter, Curry exploded for scored 23 points in the second quarter, helping Golden State get within five points of New York by halftime, dazzling along the way.

His first 3-pointer of the quarter came in the corner, aided by a Richard Jefferson screen. A minute later, he stepped into another trey over Pablo Prigioni. Thirty seconds later, he stole the ball from Anthony, ran to the arc and drained another 3-pointer. By halftime, he'd accumulated 27 points, including four makes from beyond the arc.

[RELATED: How Steph's 'Bang! Bang!' game changed perceptions]

He didn't slow down in the second half, raining in another seven 3-pointers. Curry was so hot that he missed a high-five attempt from Green in the fourth quarter after draining another three for his 47th, 48th and 49th points. 

Despite Curry's exploits, Anthony's style and his Knicks won out, as the 10-time All-Star finished with 35 points in a 109-105 victory. 

But not before Curry put the rest of the league on notice for what was to come. 

[SPORTS UNCOVERED: Listen to the latest episode]

Baron Davis' iconic dunk elicits vivid memories from former Warriors

Baron Davis' iconic dunk elicits vivid memories from former Warriors

Programming note: Watch all four of the "We Believe" Warriors' wins over the Dallas Mavericks on Saturday, May 30, beginning at 2 p.m. on NBC Sports Bay Area.

In Game 3 of the 2007 Western Conference semifinals, the Warriors led the Utah Jazz by 20 points with less than three minutes remaining in the fourth quarter.

That's when Baron Davis drove baseline and delivered one of the great dunks in NBA playoff history, as he posterized Andrei Kirilenko.

Several members of that "We Believe" Warriors squad recently reminisced about BD's iconic dunk while speaking with Golden State broadcaster Bob Fitzgerald.

Jason Richardson: "I was thinking he was gonna kind of clutch and get the and-one. And then when he put his hand back and he just cocked the ball back, I was like, 'Oh, he's about to do this.' And he put it down on him. That was the loudest the arena was ever. That dunk right there.

"It was just so in your face. The fans were into it. It was a big moment. It was a top-five dunk I've ever seen."

Stephen Jackson: "When he went up to dunk I was kind of in awe because he wasn't feeling that good all season to be doing something like that. So I knew it was adrenaline. I was in shock. And I think he was still kind of shocked. We didn't really know how to celebrate.

"So it was kind of odd. So I remember just following him and I started wiping him off -- dusting him off. There's an old saying: 'Dust the dirt off your shoulders.' That was a crazy moment."

[RUNNIN' PLAYS PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

Matt Barnes: "One of the best dunks I've seen. But just the energy in the arena. It was a special moment."

Monta Ellis: "Knowing Baron -- his body has to be feeling real good for him to be able to attempt that. So when he went up -- and when he hit bodies with him -- I knew he was gonna try it. So when he dunked it -- oh my goodness.

"Man. It was amazing (laughter). I've never seen nobody get dunked on like that. That was crazy."

[RELATED: Barnes was on verge of NFL pursuit before Warriors' offer]

It truly was incredible.

If you were watching it live, you never will forget where you were when you lost your mind.

Follow @DrewShiller on Twitter and Instagram

[SPORTS UNCOVERED: Listen to the latest episode]