Come­back kings: Curry and Co are off to NBA fi­nals

War­riors and Cava­liers all set for a re­peat of last year’s se­ries

7 Days in Dubai - - SPORT -

“It is, for sure, the largest amount of ad­ver­sity we had to over­come.” – DRAY­MOND GREEN

Stephen Curry knocked down yet an­other 3-pointer in the wan­ing mo­ments, pulled his jer­sey up into his mouth and yelled to the rafters in tri­umph once more.

A spe­cial, record-set­ting sea­son saved for the de­fend­ing cham­pi­ons, with a mem­o­rable come­back added to the long list of ac­com­plish­ments.

Curry and Klay Thompson car­ried the 73-win War­riors right back to the NBA Fi­nals, as Golden State ral­lied from a 3-1 se­ries deficit to beat the Ok­la­homa City Thun­der 96-88 in Game 7 of the Western Con­fer­ence fi­nals.

Now, Curry and Co are play­ing for an­other NBA ti­tle. Bring on LeBron James once more.

“We sur­vived by the skin of our teeth,” coach Steve Kerr said. “We were able to pull it out, and we’re mov­ing on.”

Curry scored 36 points with seven 3-point­ers to fin­ish with an NBA-record 32 in a seven-game se­ries, while Thompson added 21 points and six 3s, two days af­ter his record 11 3-point­ers led a Game 6 come­back that sent the se­ries home to rau­cous Or­a­cle Arena for one more.

They now re­turn to the NBA Fi­nals for a re­match with James and the Cleve­land Cava­liers, who lost the 2015 ti­tle in six games as Golden State cap­tured their first cham­pi­onship in 40 years.

“You ap­pre­ci­ate how tough it is to get back here,” said Curry. “That’s the one thing I’ve learned. You can’t take any­thing for granted be­cause it’s such a grind, it’s such a battle against a great Thun­der team that pushed us to the brink.

“So you’ve got to be ap­pre­cia­tive of this ac­com­plish­ment.

“And I look for­ward to get­ting four more wins.”

All-star Dray­mond Green felt as though the vic­tory proved that the team can battle back from ad­ver­sity, having dom­i­nated through­out the rest of the year.

“It’s def­i­nitely the big­gest thing that this team has had to over­come and it took a tremen­dous ef­fort and fight to over­come it,” he said. “It is, for sure, the largest amount of ad­ver­sity we had to over­come.” Now the War­riors, who be­came just the 10th team to rally from a 3-1 deficit and win a post­sea­son se­ries, have the chance to de­liver the per­fect end to what has been a record-break­ing sea­son. How­ever, it will be tough against a Cava­liers team who will be at full strength. The Cavs had been left won­der­ing last year whether things would have been dif­fer­ent had Kevin Love and Kyrie Irv­ing been fit. This year they will have the chance to an­swer that ex­act ques­tion. “There’s def­i­nitely a dif­fer­ent feel­ing,” said James. “I didn’t ap­pre­ci­ate last year, my­self per­son­ally, get­ting to the fi­nals. So much was go­ing on in my mind, know­ing that Kev was out for the rest of the sea­son and know­ing that Ky was deal­ing with in­juries all the way from the first round. “Having these guys right here at full strength and the way I feel per­son­ally, I ap­pre­ci­ate this mo­ment, to be able to be a part of it and be there once again.” The Cava­liers will head to Oak­land for game one on Fri­day - 5am UAE time - des­per­ate to gain re­venge. But having swept ev­ery­one aside in the reg­u­lar sea­son and over­come ad­ver­sity in the play-offs, the War­riors won’t want give up their ti­tle with­out a fight.

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