BOSTON — The Boston Celtics have shown the world why they are deserving of their No. 1 defense ranking, and the Golden State Warriors have gotten a taste of it first-hand. But Steph Curry found a way to push through the challenge.
The two-time MVP joined an exclusive club Friday by becoming just the third player to score 40 or more points in a NBA Finals game at the age of 34 or older — joining the likes of LeBron James and Michael Jordan, per NBA History.
“Just stunning,” Kerr said on Curry’s Game 4 performance. “The physicality out there is, you know, pretty dramatic. Boston’s got, obviously, best defense in the league. Huge and powerful at every position, and for Steph to take that kind of pressure all game long and still be able to defend at the other end when they are coming at him shows you — I think this is the strongest physically he’s ever been in his career, and it’s allowing him to do what he’s doing.”
Curry scored 43 points in Game 4 to go along with 10 rebounds and four assists. While the Warriors’ supporting cast contributed in the victory, it was Curry who led the game in most-attempted shots (14-for-26) as Boston’s defense continued to shut down the other Golden State players. Curry was asked postgame if he felt the need to assert himself and carry more of the burden on offense.
“I think it’s kind of constant throughout the game just trying to put pressure on their defense and keep your foot on the gas pedal,” Curry said. “There are times where you feel like you have to kind of be more aggressive to score, just based on flow of the game and how they are guarding us and where I can see some advantages. But also we understand they are a great defensive team that you can’t — your normal sets are just the normal flow.
“Probably isn’t going to be there for the meat of the game just because that’s what they are good at and how they dominate games on that end of the floor. Those are the times where you can be a little bit more aggressive, try to, let’s say, force the issue a little bit. That doesn’t always mean shoot, but it means attacking, being aggressive and finding lanes, doing it over and over and over again.”
The Warriors likely will need more heroics from Curry in Game 5 on Monday as the Celtics will seek a way to contain the three-time NBA champion to take a 3-2 series lead back to Boston.