Steph Curry practically carried his team on the back as he produced a 43-point masterpiece, Friday, to will the Golden State Warriors to a 107-97 Game 4 victory over the Boston Celtics and even the 2022 NBA Finals at 2-2.
At 34, the two-time regular season MVP might just be in the twilight of his career, but he looked like a man still playing at the absolute peak of his powers.
Through four games, Curry is averaging 34.3 points on a sweltering 66.4 shooting, including a 49.1 percent clip from three. This is not just him going berserk yet again, it is a coupling of scoring volume and efficiency the likes of which the NBA Finals has almost never seen.
Steph Understands What’s at Stake
He had been here before. Down a game in the NBA Finals, on the road in the most hostile of environments, Curry knew he had to be a little louder on Friday night at TD Garden. And gosh, did he deliver!
It was not the first he came through for the Warriors in big moments in the course of his decorated career. He has won three championships and done it all, but Friday’s performance left even his longtime teammates with an outing they had never seen before.
Granted, it was not quite the Michael Jordan flu game, but nursing a hurt left foot that had put his status for Game 4 into some question, Curry overcame it all – the foot, the relentless crowd, the Celtics’ physically demanding defense and scored 43 points, hitting back-breaking 3s again and again, as he almost single-handedly willed the Warriors to victory and take it back to the Bay Area with home-court advantage restored.
Steph Curry set the internet on fire last night 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥 pic.twitter.com/XPzF73PKjP— StephMuse (@StephMuse_) June 11, 2022
Boston’s Defense Rattled
Nothing has come easy. Boston’s defense – including Jaylen Brown, Derrick White and Marcus Smart are contesting almost everything he takes, but Curry was elusive on the night, just hitting ridiculous shots and it is one of the major reasons this series is tied back up, further reinforcing the value Steph injects on his own.
The Warriors’ offensive rating plummets by 25.9 points per 100 possessions without him on the floor, a nuclear swing that not just leads Golden State but is the largest of the series among every player who has logged at least five minutes.
The Warriors outscored the Celtics 15-0 in clutch time, marking the first time they’ve won the fourth quarter this series. That, and Stephen Curry’s 43-point, 10-rebound masterpiece has the series tied heading back to San Francisco.
The Steph Curry critics, at this point, are not interested in objectivity or truth. Just attention. Dude is a basketball marvel. A wizard. Can’t take my eyes off him.— Colin Cowherd (@ColinCowherd) June 11, 2022
It is win or go home for the Boston Celtics team as they are condemned to responding with a more efficient showing against a team noted for its championship DNA.
And to the Bay Area We Go
The Celtics have a tendency of not making anything easy on themselves. They love to take the hard road, and that is the path they are back on with the home-court advantage returning to the Warriors.
On Game 4 day, fans arrived at the TD Garden for what could have been the final time this season and found a T-shirt draped over their seats with the Celtics’ 17 NBA championship banners lined up on the front. There was a blank rectangle where the 18th would go.
Now the Celtics would need to win at least one more time in San Francisco to fill in the blank.
Steph nearly outscored the Celtics' two leading scorers by HIMSELF 😳 pic.twitter.com/ycixbC4Oov— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) June 11, 2022