OAKLAND -– Warriors guard Stephen Curry has been marvelous throughout these playoffs, playing in most games as well as one would expect of the league’s Most Valuable Player.
On Sunday night, though, Curry was uncharacteristically inaccurate. His 5-of-23 shooting performance, his worst this season, contributed mightily to a 96-93 overtime loss to the Cavaliers in Game 2 of the NBA Finals.
“I don’t expect to shoot like this,” said Curry, who finished with 19 points. “I’ve got to play better, find better shots and be more in a rhythm throughout the course of the game for us to really assert ourselves as a team.”
Generally considered the best shooter in the NBA, Curry missed contested shots, missed open looks and clearly was bothered by the pesky defense of Cleveland guard Matthew Dellavedova.
[Instant Replay: Warriors force OT, but drop Game 2 to Cavs]
“He played hard and stuck to their game plan,” Curry said of Dellavedova.
“Early in the game, I thought I was a little hesitant when I had an open shot, kind of pausing for a second and then trying to raise up and shoot it. You just don’t get a rhythm that way.”
The Cavs hounded Curry on ball screens, often trapping him. They did all they could to run him off the 3-point line. It was a terrific plan, and it worked.
Curry never did look comfortable and for that Cleveland deserves credit.
The only indication that Curry found any kind of rhythm at all came in the fourth quarter and OT, when he made all six of his free throws.
Aside from that, it was an utterly forgettable night for the MVP.
“Shots I normally make, I knew as soon as they left my hand that they were off,” Curry said.
“It happens,” coach Steve Kerr said. “It happens to everybody, whether you’re the MVP or a role player. Sometimes the shots don’t go in. Sometimes, things don’t go your way.”
Curry, who led the NBA in 3-point shots the last two seasons, finished 2-of-15 from deep. That also was his second-worst showing of the season, as he was 1-of-10 on Nov. 28 at Charlotte.