Boston – Stephen Curry isn’t one who shows much emotion throughout the course of the game. But in the Golden State Warriors’ 107-97 victory over the Boston Celtics in Game 4 of the NBA Finals, Curry wore his heart up his sleeve all night.
Late in the first quarter, after defeating consecutive three-pointers, Curry ran to the other end of the field and began yelling at the Boston fans—something he might do once or twice along his big stretch. A snapshot, but rarely of the opening moments.
“I felt like we had to let everyone know we were here tonight,” said Carey. “Whether it’s their audience, or their team, or our team, or whoever wants to see that energy and that fire, we feed on that.
Curry finished with 43 points on 14 of 26, including seven three-pointers, added 10 rebounds and four assists. He became the fifth goalkeeper in NBA history to have at least 40 points and 10 rebounds in a final game.
“Unbelievable,” said Draymond Green. We wanted to win. A win we needed. A match we had to play. He came out and he showed us why he is one of the best players to have played this game, you know, and why, you know, this organization has been able to lead him to So much success. It’s absolutely unbelievable.”
Green said he knew Curry wouldn’t let the Warriors lose. Kerr described his game as “amazing”. Klay Thompson ranked him as Curry’s No. 1 performer in the World Cup Finals.
Curry did not rate his performance, but said he understood the importance of what he did on Friday night, especially given what was at stake. The outcome of Friday’s game would have either resulted in the Warriors losing 3-1 or tied the series in two games each.
Carey confirmed that it was the latter.
“That means it all, knowing the sense of urgency, tonight we had to win on the road and save some life in the series, take back the home court advantage and try to create some momentum our way,” Curry said.
Curry scored 33 points during the first three quarters, a trend that was consistent throughout the first three games of the series. But his problem area was in the fourth quarter, where he was only averaging three points on field goal shooting at 30%. He only scored six points in Games 1, 2 and 3 combined.
On Friday, he scored 10 in the final round. He had 24 second-half points overall, and tied the most in his career in the second half of the final.
Fourth quarter when the Warriors, as a team, put the clamps on the Celtics. Golden State overcame Boston 15-0 at a difficult time and became the first team in the past 50 seasons to win a final by at least 10 points in regulation after falling behind at one point in the final five minutes of the game.
“We were helping each other, playing together, playing hard on the defensive side, and most importantly we closed the game,” Wiggins said. “You know, no grabbing rebounds. No offensive rebounds. I didn’t get second chance points. So that was big.”
With just over a minute to go and the Warriors three goals ahead, Green snatched the offensive rebound from Thompson’s missed triple pointer. He made a pass back to Curry but quickly got the ball back after the Celtics threw a double tackle at Curry. Green then hit the ball to Looney, who finished off the ball by dipping over Al Horford.
Kerr named it the biggest bucket of the night. But it was Curry who carried them to the point where that shot could become the dagger.
“The things he does we kind of take for granted from time to time,” Thompson said. “But to go over there and put us on his back, I mean, we have to help him on Monday.”
Curry got some help on Friday from Thompson, who scored 18 points and dropped four three-pointers; Andrew Wiggins, who scored 17 points and 16 rebounds. And Jordan Paul, who added 14 points. Kevin Looney, coming off the bench for the first time in the series, had 11 rebounds and finished with a plus-21 net rating.
But Curry outperformed the other Warriors players 43-39. At 34, he is the oldest player to do so in a final since Michael Jordan, 35, in Game Six against the Jazz in 1998.
Green struggled again, not making any major imprints on the game until rebounding late in the fourth game. Kerr even chose to pull the green from the game with his offensive possessions during the last five minutes of the match.
As Thompson said, the Warriors know they have to help Carrie. But they are not saying they need to do so by sharing the brunt of goal-scoring responsibilities.
“When a guy rolls over like that, you get out of his way,” Thompson said.
Green added, “You’re just trying to do whatever you can to help free him up to get him into his positions or open up some space for him to create and get to his places. For us, we just have to keep filling where we can. You have a shot, take it. … I think if it’s Everyone is strong on the offensive end, and that means with cuts, it means your passes are good, and then you allow him to be in a position to do what he’s doing.”
Green said he knew Curry would play an extra level of fire in Game 4, saying he could only tell by watching Curry’s behavior in the days following their lackluster loss two days earlier.
Curry said he got into Game 4 knowing he wanted to take over. He knew how quickly momentum in the Finals could shift, and if his team could pull off victory in Boston, it would be all on their side.
“He was going to come out with that kind of fire,” Green said. “And he did, and we were all able to follow along.”