OAKLAND — Curtis Jones, in tan khakis and a navy jacket, delivered the cross to Stephen Curry, a straight underhand toss to Curry’s capturing pocket from about 10 ft away. Curry, unguarded and standing within the tunnel that results in the Warriors locker room right here at Oracle Area, flicked a push shot upwards from his stomach, the ball seemingly rising to the rafters earlier than dropping straight down, an unimaginable parabola of a shot, into the basket.
That is Curry’s most notable pregame customized: the tunnel shot, which started because of a guess with former teammate Monta Ellis. Jones caught wind of what Curry was doing and commenced feeding him passes to arrange the shot. It’s gotten extra ritualized — now, Jones retains a ball underneath the bench for use just for the tunnel photographs, and he provides the ball a rubdown to imbue it with some “mojo,” as he says.
“I simply purpose for his chest,” Jones stated.
On this night time, about an hour earlier than the Warriors tipped off for Game 2 of the NBA Finals, Curry made his second tunnel try (he provides himself 5 tries), gave Jones a fast hug and slipped again into the locker room.
That was a harbinger of issues to return. This was a fairly good night time to be Stephen Curry. He delivered a document-setting efficiency from past the arc, going 9-for-17, probably the most 3s in a single recreation in Finals historical past, to steer the Warriors to a snug — if not all the time dominating — 122-103 win over the Cavaliers. Golden State now owns a 2-zero collection lead and management of those Finals.
“He was super,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr stated. “You realize, 9 3s and appeared to hit the large shot each time we would have liked one. However, yeah, he was implausible.”
Curry had a sluggish begin from the perimeter, making simply considered one of his first 5 makes an attempt within the first quarter. He made three straight within the second quarter, however it was within the fourth quarter that his perimeter prowess really introduced the wrecking ball to the Cavs’ hopes of a comeback.
Curry was 5-for-5 on 3s within the fourth quarter, and every time he knocked one down, it inched the Warriors nearer and nearer to a blowout towards the cussed Cavaliers. His first three within the last quarter made a seven-level recreation a 10-level recreation. His second — 32 seconds later — put the Warriors up thirteen. His third pushed the result in 14, his fourth to fifteen. The ultimate three of the night time for Curry sealed the runaway win, giving the Warriors a 21-level lead.
It was the third of these 5 that was probably the most exceptional for Curry. With slightly below eight minutes to go and the Cavs nonetheless inside putting distance, Curry dribbled the ball via his legs to deke Kevin Love, however misplaced management of the ball and located himself shifting on his heels, away from the rim. When he recovered management of the ball, the shot clock was expiring and he heaved a 28-footer over Love’s arm. It went down.
OH NO HE DIDN’T!!!
? #NBAonABC pic.twitter.com/c8lGvKcrkk
— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) June four, 2018
Teammate Klay Thompson was nonetheless baffled by the play after the sport.
“There have been about seven seconds on the clock, and he simply stored going backwards,” Thompson stated. “I do not know why, however he simply threw it up, and I do not assume it had any probability of getting in, however that was type of like a dagger shot, and it gave us all of the momentum again. I feel we went up 14 factors, in order that was my favourite.
“It hit nothing however internet, and that was simply a excellent sight to see.”
Curry shrugged the play off as simply one other in his repertoire.
“That state of affairs I used to be making an attempt to get some area,” he stated. “I assumed I had a layup at first, and I fumbled the ball and tried to see the place the protection was. And Kevin Love was proper on me. I truly misplaced the dribble for a scorching second, and the one strategy to get a shot was to maintain going again.
“I imply, I attempt all types of photographs sooner or later or one other, however at that time, it is simply really feel and letting it go. And fortunately it went in.”
Curry discovered himself incessantly guarded by Love, the Cavs hoping to make use of his size to create issues for Curry’s shot. It labored when Curry went inside — he was simply 2-for-6 on 2-level photographs — however Curry was capable of flit and flutter into open areas round Love sufficient to get clear seems for his fast-launch deep jumper.
There was, additionally, the interlude that Curry had on the shut of the third quarter with Cavaliers road-clothed reserve middle Kendrick Perkins, whose function on this collection seems to be prodding officers and Warriors gamers. Perkins obtained tangled with Curry after a late try because the clock expired, and Curry took exception.
Curry is one hundred ninety kilos after a lengthy soak within the tub. Perkins is listed at 270 kilos, however in all probability has packed on extra beef since then. This was Rin Tin Tin yapping at Marmaduke.
“If it will get a little fiery, that’s nice,” Curry stated earlier than later shaking off the entire thing as, “A lot ado about nothing.”
And heck, since he had already achieved nearly every thing on the night time — the tunnel shot, the damaged report, the 241 ft value of made three-pointers, the Perkins sq.-off — Curry went for some jokes in his postgame press convention.
When teammate Klay Thompson was speaking about enjoying by means of his injured ankle in Game 2, Curry, who has had two proper ankle surgical procedures and has been pressured to take a seat no less than 15 occasions in his profession as a result of issues with each ankles, chimed in.
“You by no means understand how a lot you employ your ankle till you harm it,” Thompson stated.
“Ought to have requested me,” Curry stated to laughter.
Sure, even the comedy went proper. It was that sort of night time right here for Curry.