The return of Steph Curry and The Dubs

(News4usonline) – Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors started their NBA Finals matchup against the Boston Celtics playing with home-court advantage. Curry and the Warriors regained it at TD Garden with a tougher stance than they played with in Game 3. Game 4 of this year’s NBA Finals belonged to Curry, the best long-range shooter the league has ever seen.

Golden State’s in-residence superstar, would not be mocked in Game 4. The Warriors’ leading scorer came out in Game 4 with some extra sauce for the bodacious Celtics. With Golden State down in the series two games to one, Curry, already armed with three NBA titles, knew what was at stake in Game 4.

Go down in the series 3-1, and that would force the Warriors to play with a near impossible task of having to win three straight to beat Boston. With that scenario very much alive, Curry got some extra pep in his step and scored 43 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in 41 minutes of action and the Warriors handed the Celtics an unexpected 109-97 defeat on their home floor.

“It means everything knowing the sense of urgency we had to have tonight to win on the road and keep some life in the series, get the home-court advantage back and try to create some momentum our way,” Curry said.

Not only did Curry and the Warriors knot the series at 2-2, but they also stole the ever-important momentum away from the Celtics, which had been riding high off of their 116-100 Game 3 win over Golden State. Besides the all-world performance by Curry, the Warriors, collectively, did a couple of things to help swing the “W” in their favor.

First, Golden State didn’t allow Boston to bully them on the boards the way they did in Game 3. The Celtics outrebounded the Warriors 47-31 in Game 3. It was a different story in Game 4. Golden State tallied 55 rebounds to Boston’s 42.

The second difference was that the Warriors played much better defense in Game 4, holding Boston to just 40 percent shooting from the field and not allowing the Cs to have one 30-point quarter. The Celtics produced two 30-point quarters in Game 3.

“It was a hard-fought win,” remarked Curry. “I think the first quarter really set the tone. Even though we were down one, it was a night and day difference between Game 3 and Game 4 how we came out defensively, and that just gives you enough life to withstand some rough patches.

“And then, you know, find some runs,” Curry added. “We get some stops, get out in transition, guys get involved. And you give yourself a chance to win it down the stretch. Proud of everybody in terms of our physicality, our focus, perseverance throughout the game. 2-2 is way better than 3-1 going home. Job well done tonight.”

The series between the Warriors and the Celtics are three games out from settling the dust on who is to be crowned NBA champions. However, this run by Curry and the Warriors seems to have a lot of stuff riding on it. For one, you can talk about the snub that Curry got for being left off of the All-NBA first team. Curry was named to the second squad.

You can also point to motivation. Among the three championships the Warriors have won, Curry never has been named Finals MVP. During the Warriors’ first title run, Andre Iguodala was the man of the hour. Kevin Durant snagged Finals MVP honors the last two times the Warriors played in the NBA Finals. This time around, there is no Durant, but the trio of Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green are still around.

And they are all still doing their thing. Thompson contributed 18 points in Game 4. And after doing pretty much next to nothing in Game 3, Green played with the energy that usually revs up The Dubs. But it was the play of Curry, who played with a lot of animation and emotion, who brought it home for Golden State.

“I think I have seen him show that much emotion, and the heart on that man is incredible,” Thompson said. “You know, the things he does we kind of take for granted from time to time, but to go out there and put us on his back, I mean, we got to help him out on Monday. Wow, just showed why he is — shocking he wasn’t a First Team All-NBA guy, but whatever, next year.”

The most remarkable aspect of Curry’s showcase outing was that there was some uncertainty about whether he would play Game 4 at all after being hobbled trying to chase down a loose ball late in Game 3. Curry did more than just answer the bell. He rang it himself.

“You know, him, one of the most resilient, toughest guys I’ve ever played with,” Green said. “You know, the way defenses guard him, they are constantly grabbing, and he just continues to play. He don’t make much of it. He just continues to do what he does. You know, it just says a lot about his toughness and his competitive nature and what it truly means to be a winner.”

Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors. Photo credit: Mark Hammond/News4usonline

Since Curry was drafted by Golden State in 2009, that’s all the Warriors have done. Win. This is the sixth appearance for Curry, Thompson and Green in the NBA Finals. After missing the postseason the last two years, this year’s trip to the championship round just might be the one Curry and the Warriors savor the most. But they have to win it for that to come to fruition.

For now, Curry will settle for letting people know that the Warriors are still here. Win, lose or draw, the Celtics and their fans are witnesses to this fact. Game 4 was just Curry’s latest testimonial.

“Felt like we just had to let everybody know that we were here tonight,” Curry said. “Whether that’s their crowd, their team, our team, whoever wants to see that energy and that fire, we feed off of that.”

Curry continued, “Yeah, I think it helped us just get settled into the game because, obviously, our experience, you can want it so bad, you kind of get in your own way a little bit and everybody feels a little bit of pressure, and it can go the opposite way. I wanted to try to leverage that in a positive direction for us to start the game.”

Featured Image: April 21, 2019 – Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry in pregame warmups against the Los Angeles Clippers during the second round of the 2019 NBA playoffs. Photo credit: Mark Hammond/News4usonline