Stephen Curry: “We’re enjoying every bit of this”
Curry finished with a double-double of 21 points and 12 rebounds in Warriors 112-87 win over the Mavs and says he “super comfortable and enjoying every moment” of the WC final.
The Golden State Warriors are a game up in the Western Conference finals and Steph Curry says it feels great to be back. The Dubs ran out 112-87 winners at the Chase Center with Curry posting a double-double - 21 points and 12 rebounds - the fourth highest number of rebounds of his playoff career to date. He averages 5.4 rebounds at this stage of the series and admitted afterwards that he couldn’t be happier to more than double that. “I always have a radar on rebounding, sometimes you get them, sometimes you don’t but a team that shoots as many 3s as they do requires all the guards to come back and help the bigs, catch those long rebounds. Just be alert,” he explained. “They have a couple of wings that crash the glass, you gotta put bodies on them. But when you do get those rebounds, it helps us get into the break a little quicker because the guards got the ball and obviously, it helps us to keep them to one shot”.
Wiggins smothers Doncic
Apart from Curry’s rebounds, Andrew Wiggins played a key part in the win by tirelessly tracking Luka Doncic all over the court. The Canadian’s man-marking limited Doncic to just 20 points - way down on his average of 33.5. He even left the Slovenian with a scratched face, a reminder that he will be closely shackled for the rest of the series. “He took the challenge and Luka’s tough man - he still finds a way to control possessions. But Wiggs was relentless, every possession, he was out there on it,” Curry said. That’s all we really want, even if Luka has his numbers, you just want him at the end of the day to feel like he had to work for everything he got, and not give him anything easy. We have to be able to help him on the back side and on rotations; they want to try and bring me and JP into the pick and rolls, communicate to Wiggs, let him know where it’s coming from, be on a string but that point of attack was awesome and he’s shown what he’s capable of when I entered the floor”.
The Western Conference finals are nothing new to Curry. This is the sixth time he has made it to this stage of the competition and he knows how tough it will be for the Warriors to win the series. “I’m not going to compare it to other games, or other series but obviously when you get to this stage, you do have to elevate your execution if you want to win because the competition gets better. Dallas is tough, so we did a good job in one game and we’ve got to keep doing it over and over and over again. Wiggs is understanding the nuances of what winning basketball is - just how to key in on the little things, taking those one-on-one challenges, using his athletic ability to get to the rim if he needs to, confidence shooting 3, being comfortable in our offense… there are a lot of different things. He’s understanding what that this time, a playoff run, requires to win games and the joy that comes with it. It’s not like he’s out there scoring 30 every night, it’s the other things that help you win and the joy that you get out of that.
“We’re all trying to continue to get better and peak at the right time - on both ends of the floor. And we do have the ability to turn it up pretty quickly. When you have that ability to create separation like we did in the third quarter, it’s a fun way to play,” he continued, adding that he feels “super comfortable” on this stage. “It’s more just the understanding that, because we’ve been away for two years and this is a different team. There’s a sense of urgency of how important… there’s more gratitude of being back and a sense of urgency in not letting an opportunity slip away. Who knows how it’ll play out but I’m enjoying every bit of this, I know Klay is as well, Draymond is. It’s special,” he concluded.
The Warriors are at home for Game 2 on Friday night.