Stephen Curry’s second MVP title proves to be a motivation for the rest of the Golden State Warriors as they try to close down their second round playoff series with a possible win over the hard-fighting Portland Trailblazers on Wednesday.
The Warriors are leading the series with a 3-1 count and Curry’s performance in Game 4 coming off the bench due to an injury has sparked things for them on both ends of the floor. Curry finished with 40 points including 17 in the overtime period, his “MVP-ish” performance has ignited an inspiration to his teammates that they can win the series and defend their championship crown.
Scott Garbarini writes that Curry’s heroic return since spraining his right knee turned things around for the Warriors 132-125 victory in Game Four. Curry shook off the rustiness in his shooting and his performance only defines why he deserves his second MVP crown and a first-ever by unanimous vote. Warriors coach Steve Kerr stated that Curry was looking for his shooting range and when he found it, he was unstoppable.
“I figured he’d find his stroke and make a few shots, but that was crazy. Once he got going, he didn’t look tired,” Kerr said.
Curry’s teammate and Warriors forward Draymond Green added that it was a hard fought game but was glad they won Game Four. Now armed with a 3-1 advantage, Green stressed that his teammates are ready to close down the series and be within striking distance in defending their crown.
“If I don’t think they’re done, I don’t know who else is going to think it. We’re going home with a 3-1 lead. I trust our team to come out ready to go and close this series out. We did what we needed to do; we came on the road and got one win,” Green stated immediately after Game Four.
Even Cleveland Cavaliers LeBron James was all praises for Curry’s solid performance and leadership in the Warriors locker room. He told Cleveland.com that looking at Curry’s numbers every game, James stresses that there is no doubt that the 28-year old playmaker deserves the MVP title.
“I think he definitely deserved it. You look at Steph’s numbers, he averaged 30 (points per game, led the NBA), he led the league in steals (169), he was 90-50-40 (shooting percentages from the foul line, the field, and 3-point), and they (the Warriors) won 73 (games). So, I don’t, do you have any debate over that, really, when it comes to that award?” James explained.
However, the Trailblazers are not out of it yet they just need a win to extend the series and find ways to stop Curry from handling his business inside the court. For coach Terry Stotts, they have been in the same situation liken to their series with the Los Angeles Clippers wherein they came back to beat them in the first round. However, Stotts knows that beating the Warriors will be a difficult one but they are improving as the series progresses.
“The important thing for right now is that we’ve played better in every game, which is improvement, obviously. Just like in the Clippers series, we played better as the series went along. Same thing here,” Stotts said.
With Game 5 just hours away, the Trailblazers will be one of the stumbling blocks for Curry and the Warriors need to overcome. Will the wheels of fate intervene or will destiny rule?
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