Comeback kings: Curry and Co are off to NBA finals
Warriors and Cavaliers all set for a repeat of last year’s series
“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.