Sports

Steph’s slump solution to power Warriors’ OT win? ‘Keep shooting’

SAN FRANCISCO — Stephen Curry could not purchase a basket.

After spending the primary half of the Golden State Warriors’ season pulling down pictures from all around the ground whereas reinserting himself into the NBA MVP dialog, Curry got here into the fourth quarter of Wednesday night time’s 120-112 overtime win over the Miami Heat having already set a private report for 3-pointers missed in a sport. In 47 earlier video games in his profession, he’d tried at the least 15 3s, in accordance to ESPN Stats & Information, however this was the primary time he had made simply two of them.

The rhythm that had outlined his season to this level was lacking, however, as has been the case all through his profession, Curry nonetheless discovered a method to hit the largest pictures of the night time when it mattered most. The star guard’s essential 28-foot step-back 3 late in regulation and eight factors in extra time helped the Warriors come all the best way again from a 19-point deficit and earn arguably their most spectacular win of the yr.

“That’s why he’s great,” Warriors swingman Andrew Wiggins mentioned. “That’s why he’s one of the greatest players to play the game of basketball. The ability to have a rough first half but come out with that same mindset and take over the ballgame when it needs to be taken over and make big shots after big shots down the stretch. That’s why he is who he is.”

On Wednesday night time, the Warriors performed with out emotional chief Draymond Green, who was scratched simply minutes earlier than the sport due to an ankle harm, and had to overcome the continued absence of James Wiseman (wrist) and Kevon Looney (ankle). Curry repeatedly made the large performs within the greatest moments — even after lacking so many pictures to begin the sport.

“I probably took five bad ones,” Curry mentioned. “I’d say, the rest of them were off the dribble in rhythm or catch and shoot wide-open, I just was missing. So knowledge and confidence is huge, and understanding that eventually I’ll find the right rhythm, the right look and make a big one. And thankfully it happened at the end of regulation and then in the two in overtime. I tried not to think of the percentages during the game when, you know, like, ‘Damn, I missed about 17 of these.’ That doubt can sometimes creep in. You got to kick it out and just shoot with confidence and keep shooting.”

With the rating tied at 109 with 1:15 left in extra time, it was Curry who drained a 29-foot triple to give his group the lead that it could by no means give again. With 17 seconds left, it was Curry who delivered the dagger 3 that left him screaming in celebration as he headed to the bench (and impressed his spouse to tweet in celebration).

Curry’s potential on Wednesday to shoot terribly however nonetheless have the option to flip the sport round did not come as a shock to anybody who has watched him carry out for years.

“This is so typical of Steph,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr mentioned. “He’s just the kind of player and the kind of person who can be in the midst of one of his worst shooting nights of the year and still hit three enormous shots to help us win the game. So really, an amazing team win and a lot of fun.”

Curry’s potential to get sizzling on the proper time has been a staple of the Warriors’ entertaining season and is a big purpose the group has confidence that it may well win video games irrespective of who else is on the ground. No matter what number of he misses, the Warriors belief that he’ll make the one which issues probably the most.

“When you’ve got a guy like that that believes in you and instills that confidence in you, you feel like you can do anything,” Warriors guard Kent Bazemore mentioned after scoring 26 factors. “That’s just who he is. He always thinks less of himself, and he’s always looking to elevate those around him, and it’s been great. He’s instilled confidence in a ton of players in the locker room, throughout their ups and downs … it’s a great leader to have.”

The proven fact that Curry gained the sport after taking part in a season-high 42 minutes made the win that a lot sweeter for a group that begins a four-game Eastern swing on Friday in Orlando. Curry’s late run supplied one other reminder of how overwhelming his expertise may be to opponents. His pictures mentally toppled a Heat group that’s used to making different groups wilt over time.

“I just think he hasn’t just built up his body and his skill over the years,” Kerr defined. “I think he’s built up his mind. And he’s so strong-willed that he doesn’t let things bother him, and he knows that the law of averages are going to play out. He has so much belief in his shot that he’s going to keep shooting. It’s the same reason he shoots three-quarter-court shots when there’s still time on the clock. He doesn’t care about the percentage. He actually believes that’s a shot he can make, so he takes it. And same thing applies when he’s in the midst of a tough night, he always believes the next one is going in. He’s got an incredibly powerful belief in himself.”

No matter how poorly issues began at first, Curry by no means doubted he would have the option to flip issues round. He trusts the work he places into his sport — and that filters all through the remainder of the Warriors’ roster.

“You play enough games and go through enough experiences, you know what it’s like to kind of feel a little lost when shots aren’t falling,” Curry mentioned. “And you know how you mentally react to it and what you can do to keep your confidence and stick with it … it’s just bred over time. … I’ve been shooting since I was 9. You got to be able to figure out how to get through some bad shooting games.”

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