One game after turning in what many considered the best playoff performance of his career, Steph Curry set a personal record for playoff futility in the pivotal Game 5.
It didn’t seem to bother the Golden State Warriors star too much.
Curry was held without a three-pointer, the first time in his career that he didn’t connect from deep in a playoff game, but the Warriors’ supporting cast stepped up to defeat the Boston Celtics 104-94. With Curry now one win away from what would be his fourth NBA title, the poor shooting night was not much of a concern.
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Warriors Survive Rough Game from Curry
Curry went into Monday’s Game 5 riding the high of a 43-point performance that helped the Warriors tie the series at two games apiece. Curry made 14 of his 26 shots, including 7-of-14 from behind the three-point arc.
In Game 5, Curry missed all nine of his 3-point attempts — many of them badly off the mark — though did make seven shots from inside the arc and added a pair of free throws to finish with 16 points. Despite the poor shooting, Curry was elated with the win.
“All good things come to an end, glad I can stand here with a smile,” Curry said after the game.
The performance broke a personal streak dating back to Curry’s fourth season in the NBA. Before Monday’s game, he had connected on at least one triple in all of his 133 career playoff games, and also had a streak of 233 total games with a 3-pointer.
Curry even tried a bit of superstition to get out of his shooting slump. At halftime, he changed his sneakers to wear a purple pair that he had worn three other times during this playoff run, with the Warriors going 3-0 when he wears them.
After the game, Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said Curry’s struggles were a combination of good defense and a rare shooting funk from the future Hall of Famer.
“I think Boston did a really good job defensively, as we would expect, they’re a great defensive team,” Kerr told reporters after the game. “I thought they put more pressure on him early, and then Steph missed some open ones too, so it’s always a combination.”
Kerr kept a positive perspective, predicting that Curry wouldn’t have two poor shooting games in a row.
“Even for the best shooter in the world, games like this happen,” Kerr said. “Fortunately they don’t happen too often, and I like Steph coming off of a game like this. I like his ability to bounce back. So to be able to win the game with our defense and with our depth, it was a great team effort.”
Curry’s Teammates Step Up
While Curry was enduring a rare cold stretch, his Warriors teammates stepped up to put away the Celtics and grab a 3-2 lead in the series. Andrew Wiggins led the way with 26 points and 13 rebounds, which would have been his career high for boards had he not just grabbed 16 in the Game 4 win on June 10.
The 28-year-old wing added an emphatic dunk with 2:11 remaining in the fourth quarter to give the Warriors a 99-84 lead, putting an exclamation point on a strong fourth-quarter effort from the team.
Wiggins also struggled from deep, missing all six of his 3-point attempts. Klay Thompson made up some of the difference, connecting on five three-pointers and scoring 21 points.
After back-to-back wins, the Warriors now have a chance to close out the series in Boston in Game 6 on June 16.