Sixth-man splendor: Curry has big game in return

OAKLAND, Calif. — During his first trip to the free throw line in the third quarter Tuesday, Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry received “MVP” chants.

“Our crowd is crazy in general,” Curry said after the Warriors’ 121-116 win over the New Orleans Pelicans. “And whatever opportunity they have to kind of pick us up and create that home-court advantage that we rely on, that’s big for us.”

In his return from a Grade 2 MCL sprain that he suffered on March 23, the two-time MVP played like his usual self, as he went for 28 points and seven rebounds in his postseason debut in Game 2 of the second-round series against New Orleans.

It was the most points scored by a Golden State reserve this postseason — after the surprising announcement 20 minutes before tipoff that Curry would be coming off the bench.

Warriors coach Steve Kerr chose to work in his franchise guard gradually during the game, although Curry wasn’t on a minutes restriction. Fans had to wait a little bit longer to see No. 30 compete. That moment finally came with 4:20 left in the opening quarter and Curry said it “felt like an eternity.”

Curry checked into the game and was immediately greeted to a roaring standing ovation. It was the second time in his postseason career that he came off the bench.

“That was a special moment,” Kerr said.

“[It was] pretty loud,” Draymond Green said about Curry’s reception. “Just him walking on the floor. You know, it was kind of electric in there and for him to hit that 3 that fast, it brought a lot of life to the building and a lot of light, spirit. Pretty fitting…