OAKLAND, Calif. – If you are new to Golden State Warriors and you are in the hallway leading to the court at Oracle Arena about 90 minutes before the game, the possibility of being run over by two-time MVP Stephen Curry while running for his pregame exercises is at quite high reality.
At this time of year, as the crowds fill and the corridors inside the oldest NBA stadium fill up, more than a few suggest Curry think about changing that part of his pregame routine for safety.
As sensible as it is, nobody who knows Curry or the Warriors will be upset. Curry does not change for anyone. As spontaneous and improvised as it can be on the court, Curry is, at heart, a creature of habit and routine.
Welcome to the Western Conference finals, Steph Curry. The two-time MVP dropped 35 points and caught fire during a bombing in the third quarter when Golden State hit a 41-point loss in Game 3 of Houston.
Mike D & # 39; Antoni and the Rockets cited a lack of aggressiveness in their lapses The defeat in Game 3 against the Warriors on Sunday, the worst playoff loss in the history of the franchise.
Steph Curry scored 18 of his 35 points in a pivotal third quarter in which the Warriors pulled away, resulting in a 126-85 Rockets puzzle to take a 2-1 lead in the Western Conference finals.
In good and bad times – like the first two games of these Western Conference finals against the Houston Rockets when Curry's shot was painful, you wondered if something was physically wrong with him, he has confidence in the routines and habits that he has perfected in the last three decades.
"It's real, true confidence" Warriors coach Steve Kerr told ESPN. "I think a lot of men would be sitting there for three days and they would get very bad with you [asking about his poor shooting]but it is not, it handles it very well"
That is how a player can go from being as cold and ineffective as Curry it was in the first two games of this series that it happened on Sunday night, when it erupted by 18 of its 35 highest points in the game in the third quarter of the Golden State blowout victory 126-85 over the Rockets at Oracle Arena to give the Warriors a 2-1 series lead.
"I always say you never lose your confidence," Curry said. "A lot of that just talked to myself, almost like you had to be your biggest fan sometimes"
Of course, his shooting problems in the first two games of the series (he was only 2 of 13 from behind the 3-point range) bothered him.
"Everyone is human," Curry conceded. "But consistently, that's what has helped me in difficult times and it really keeps my perspective when the games work well, because it can change quickly."
Warrior Assistant Coach Bruce Fraser says that Curry thought his exercises and shooting routines in each practice and before each game. On Friday, he thought he noticed that something was beginning to change.
"We were playing a shooting game and filmed it very well," said Fraser. "Then I said:" Looks like you're back. "
" He smiled and said: & # 39; I had never gone & # 39; "
That's Curry, Confident, Undamaged, Centered.
Steve Kerr praises Steph Curry's physical and mental toughness after Game 3.
When Kerr points out The leadership of Curry as a key to the success of Golden State in the same way as Tim Duncan for the San Antonio Spurs during his dynasty, this is what he means.
"This guy is a JMV twice , and he recovers from bad games as well as anyone he's ever seen, "Kerr said." So he did not. "
This time, Curry found his way back to the basket and around the defenders who crowded it on the perimeter to challenge their outside shots.
According to ESPN Stats & Information tracking, Curry hit 8 of 9 shots in the restricted area in Game 3, with 16 points being his most in a postseason game and tying the most in any game.
Most of that damage came in the crucial third quarter when the Warriors took their 11-point halftime lead to a 28-point lead that sent the crowd to Oracle in a frenzy and conjured up a stroke and an unusual stroke of Curry – "This is my f — ing house!" – captured on the big screen for all to see.
That was the release of the frustration of the last two games and another difficult first half that saw Curry lose six of his seven triples. ? Or simply a spontaneous demonstration of joy when the crowd roared when the Warriors regained control of the series?
"I fainted," Curry said later, trying to change the subject quickly. "I fainted"
Steph Curry drips patiently before hitting a tough triple over James Harden and shimmies to the delight of the Warriors fans.
Curry may want to forget the profane public moment, but he sat well with the Warriors, who were forced out of their offensive comfort zone by Rockets' change defense in the first two games.
In games 1 and 2, Golden State relied too much on the individual brilliance of Kevin Durant, playing 15 isolation plays for him in each of the first two games. On Sunday night, Golden State returned to the pick-and-roll between Curry and Draymond Green, a staple of their egalitarian offense. According to ESPN Stats & Info, Golden State ran the Curry-Green pick-and-roll 13 times in Game 3 after going only 11 times in the first two games.
The Warriors also went back to their defensive principles – changing everything, contest shots, not failing – to keep the Rockets at their lowest touchdown level in the playoffs.
Namely, the Warriors committed only one foul shot on James Harden's 17 drives on Sunday night, and the Rockets attempted a single free throw in the entire second half of Game 3 despite attempting 38 goals. countryside.
"We had a great mindset in the game," said Warriors badistant Ron Adams. "We play with strength and concentration.When you play in Houston, we have our schemes, but you have to be eclectic and spontaneous about how they play and how they drive and find their 3-point shooters to focus on. We did a lot of good readings." Draymond spoke well It was really a good defensive night. "
Kevin Durant attributes the Warriors' victory to the team's sense of urgency in defense and how they were able to help Steph Curry on offense.
Curry's offensive resurgence will rob the holders of this game, but Kerr said Green's defensive effort was especially memorable.
"Oh, my God, Draymond," Kerr said. "There is no one like him, honestly, his ability to impact the game in many ways, on the defensive, go out with Harden and [Chris] Paul and change, bounce, stand up [Clint] Capela, Draymond is just a tremendous defender I thought his performance tonight was just unreal. "
Green finished with 10 points, 17 rebounds and six badists. According to ESPN Stats & Info, he was the main defender of the Warriors in 17 moves, the most of any player.
"I'm the last line of defense most of the time, and they've always taught me, when you're the last line of defense, you're the eyes, you see for everyone," Green told ESPN.
"I think we definitely forced them to do some things they did not want to do, some big contests in a lot of their shots, we made them make some tough decisions, when you do that, you live with the results. who are more than capable, you can live with "