A lot has been made of ‘Game 6 Klay’ in the past but Draymond Green reckons the Boston Celtics should be on alert for ‘Game 6 Steph’.
It’s after Stephen Curry failed to score from 3-point range in the Golden State Warriors’ 104-94 victory over the Boston Celtics in Game 5 of the NBA Finals, going 0-for-9 from beyond the arc.
Green reckons the poor shooting performance from Curry which ended a 233-game streak with at least one made 3-pointer will fire up his colleague to inflict damage in Boston on Thursday night.
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“A win is a win,” said Green, who put in by far his best performance of the series so far in Game 5. “Whether Stephen gets 43, 10 and 4 (his Game 4 statline) or whether he finishes with 16 on 7-for-26 shooting, a win is a win.
Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green bamboozles the Boston Celtics defense with this gorgeous fake which opens up an easy slam dunk
“Obviously we have spoken about helping him and I don’t think he’s he’s been out there helpless – that’s the narrative – but everybody is doing their part. Tonight, a night that he didn’t have it going, we found offense elsewhere.
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“Now, that’s good for us. He was 0-for-9 from three. He’s going to be livid going into Game 6 and that’s exactly what we need.”
The Celtics cannot afford another loss, now trailing 3-2 in the best-of-seven series. To compound their difficulties, they will face a determined Curry – and both Splash Brothers believe that the two-time league MVP is likely to bounce back with gusto.
Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry looks on in frustration during Game 5
“The track record says I’ll shoot the ball better next game,” said Curry, who had made 25 threes in the first four games. “And I’m looking forward to that bounce-back.”
In the NBA Playoffs, he has no previous frame of reference for this situation as he had made a 3-pointer in all 132 of his career postseason games prior to Monday night, stretching back to 2013.
Klay Thompson, who shot 5-of-11 from downtown in Game 5 on his way to 21 points, and is normally the one vaunted for the famous Game 6 performances.
The nickname first emerged back when the Warriors faced the Oklahoma City Thunder in the 2016 Western Conference Finals. Trailing 3-2 in the series after winning Game 5 at their former home, Oracle Arena, Thompson delivered an NBA Playoffs performance for the ages in Game 6 in Oklahoma City. He scored 41 points and knocked down 11 3-pointers – with 19 of his points coming in the fourth quarter to reverse an eight-point deficit with the Dubs’ season on the line.
Highlights of the clash between the Boston Celtics and the Golden State Warriors in Game 5 of the NBA Finals
In the Warriors’ only Game 6 of this postseason, Thompson knocked down eight 3-pointers on the way to 30 points against the Memphis Grizzlies in the Western Conference Semi-finals. So, the nickname is holding up well with time, it seems.
He’s now looking forward to seeing what his long-term backcourt partner produces following his disappointing display in San Francisco.
“We’re never stressed or worried about number 30. I just know he’ll respond,” said Thompson. “He’s one of the greatest competitors I’ve ever been around and he is a perfectionist like myself, so I know he’ll be thinking about the shots he missed and that’s a good thing because Thursday… most of the time he regresses to the mean and it’s scary when he does!”
Stephen Curry erupted for 43 points in Game 4 of the NBA Finals as the Golden State Warriors levelled the series against the Boston Celtics
Thompson, who like Curry is one of the greatest shooters of all-time, paid tribute to the 34-year-old’s accomplishment following the end of his longest streak of consecutive games with a made three – “by a long shot,” Klay said, breaking in on the question and probably not intending the pun – in NBA history.
“The man is a magician with the ball in his hands and really just kind of redefines what the point guard position’s capable of,” Thompson said. “I’ve never seen a player who can shoot off the ball screen or the pin-down or anywhere like Steph and I just have been very blessed to share the backcourt with him.
“I’ve seen him do so many amazing things that’ve become routine and expected but it shouldn’t be because he is really a transcendent talent that we’ll never see again.”
Now it’s onto Boston for the first of two chances to close out a fourth championship in eight years for the trio of Curry, Thompson and Green.
A younger-looking Stephen Curry, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson in action for the Golden State Warriors back in 2014, prior to their first NBA Finals appearance
“I don’t think I’ve ever been happier after an 0-for-whatever type of night,” Curry said. “Just knowing the context of the game. There’s a fire burning that I want to make shots but the rest of it is just about how you win the game. And we did that.”
The victory in Game 5 took the Warriors triumvirate past San Antonio Spurs legends Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobli and Tony Parker onto 20 NBA Finals victories, the most in the past 30 years.
“It’s a blessing,” said Thompson. “I mean, those three guys are Hall of Famers and some of the greatest to ever play. I feel like they played my whole life, my whole childhood, so to be in this just mentioned the same company with them, that is humbling.
“That is awesome, but it would really add to our legacy if we close this thing out. We haven’t done anything yet and the mission still is the same. We’re all eager to get to Boston and play a great game on Thursday.
“It won’t mean much unless we get another one.”
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