The Golden State Warriors simply had to have Game 4 of the NBA Finals against the Boston Celtics Friday night, and it was Steph Curry who delivered the crucial win.
Curry dropped in 43 points on 50% shooting from deep (7 for 14) and better than that from the floor. He added 10 rebounds to become the third-oldest player to ever put up 40 and 10 in a Finals game behind only LeBron James and Michael Jordan.
Fellow splash brother Klay Thompson was asked following the Dubs’ 107-97 victory where he would rank Curry’s performance considering the combination of his output and the stage.
“I think probably No. 1,” Thompson said. “I mean, this was nearly a must-win game, and to go out there and shoot as efficiently as he did, and grab 10 rebounds and they were attacking him on defense — I mean, his conditioning is second-to-none in this league.”
Media members made Curry aware of Thompson’s assessment during his postgame press conference and asked whether he agree.
“I can’t rate my performances,” Curry responded. “Just win the game.”
The latest Warriors news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Warriors newsletter here!
Curry Speaks Out on Engaging With Celtics Crowd in Game 4
Curry did more than lead the Warriors to a near must-win over the Celtics, he sent a message to a raucous and profane crowd that spent the last two games berating Golden State players — particularly Draymond Green.
The energy with which Curry played spilled over into exuberant celebrations of key plays, animated conversations with the referees, and flexes and grins into the sea of green and white faces flooding the TD Garden from all directions.
Now on track to run away with his first NBA Finals MVP honors should the Warriors claim their fourth title in eight seasons, Curry spoke candidly about the Boston crowd and the fervor he displayed on the court both during, and following, the game.
Felt like we just had to let everybody know that we were here tonight. Whether that’s their crowd, their team, our team, whoever wants to see that energy and that fire, we feed off of that.
A lot of it is how hostile the environment was, the fans chanting and doing all their shenanigans and all that, Boston knowing how big of a game it is for them. If they get the win, they take control of series.
We rely on Draymond bringing that energy and fire throughout the course of the season, and year after year. Felt like we just had to let everybody know that we were here tonight. Whether that’s their crowd, their team, our team, whoever wants to see that energy and that fire, we feed off of that.
Curry’s All-Time Performance Came Off Late Injury in Game 3
What made Curry’s performance Friday night that much more special was that he re-aggravated his most recent injury — a foot sprain that kept him sidelined for the final 12 games of the regular season — late in the fourth quarter of Game 3.
Celtics big man Al Horford tumbled on top of Curry during a scrum for a rebound, which left the point guard writhing in pain on the hardwood. Following Boston’s victory, Curry spoke to the media about his injured foot.
“I’ll be all right. I got caught underneath Al [Horford]. Obviously there’ll be some pain, but I’ll be all right. Figure out how it feels tomorrow and get ready for Friday,” he said. “Same thing I did … against Boston in the regular season, but not as bad. That’s what it felt like.”
Curry gave an update on the status of the sprain and the role it played as a literal footnote to an epic chapter of his storied postseason career.
“I think for the most part, I didn’t think about it. Like I don’t know how to explain the pain,” Curry said. “It’s more so just when you’re out there, you don’t compensate or you don’t — it doesn’t take up too much mental space in terms of feeling like I can do whatever I want to out on the court.”
Curry and the Warriors now return home to San Francisco, where a pivotal Game 5 is scheduled for 6 p.m. Western Standard Time Friday at Chase Center.