NBA Finals Game 3: Curryless in Cleveland


Source: nba.com 

Stephen Curry's got several nicknames and two cute kids. He's got a chef for a wife and a beautiful stroke from three. He's also a 2 time MVP and an NBA Champion. But even with all that going for him, winning isn't automatic. You've still gotta show up and play.

So far through these Finals, Curry has not shown up.

Thanks to a horrible start from the Splash Bros and an offensive explosion from Kyrie Irving, Lebron James, and JR Smith, the Cavaliers were able to stay unbeaten at home in these playoffs to beat the Golden State Warriors 120-90. This is Cleveland's third time winning by 30+ points at home this postseason.

Curry did end up with 19 points but didn't score his first point until the 4:00 mark of the 2nd quarter, thanks to the two early fouls he picked up in the 1st quarter. He also took his first free throws of the entire Finals late in the 3rd quarter, which points to his lack of aggression on the offensive end.

Klay Thompson wasn't much better, finishing with 10 points on 1-7 from three point range. He did bang knees with Timofey Mozgov late in quarter number one and had to go back to the locker room. He later returned but was a complete nonfactor.

The Warriors as a whole looked terrible offensively. They had 18 turnovers, leading to 34 points for the Cavs, and missed several wide open three pointers and mid range jumpers. Golden State's starters were also outscored 105-57.

Harrison Barnes was the one bright spot for the Warriors. He finished with 18 points and led the team with 8 rebounds, fighting inside all night against Cleveland's Tristan Thompson, who ended up with 13 rebounds.

Not only was Curry bad on offense, but his defense was similarly atrocious. Time and time again, he would lose his man and give up a layup or a wide open three. He did not look like the 2016 MVP I've watched all year and Kerr noticed that as well. Kerr took Curry out late in the 2nd quarter to seemingly just talk with him. After some quick comments, Kerr asked Steph if he was ok and Steph just nodded his head.

The Cavaliers came out of the gate on fire, opening up a 20 point lead in the 1st quarter. They lost some of their energy in the 2nd quarter however, allowing the Dubs to cut the lead to only 7 at halftime. It was at this point that I thought Curry or even Klay would have a 3rd quarter explosion, something they've been able to do throughout the year.

Unfortunately, the Cavaliers came out with more energy and a more physical game plan in the 2nd half and didn't look back. After two bad shooting nights, Kyrie Irving ended the game with 30 points while Lebron James finished with 32-11-6. JR Smith finally heat up to knock down 5 threes and the Cavaliers as a whole out-rebounded Golden State by 20.

To put Curry's poor Finals performance in perspective, let's look at some numbers. 

Via Tommy Beer:

Prior to the start of this series, Curry had never scored < 20 points in consecutive playoff games. He's now scored < 20 in 3 straight games

Via Darren Rovell:

Worst consecutive three game point total for Steph Curry during season: 50 points. Curry's point total for 1st 3 Finals games: 48 points.

Curry's had a pretty bad start to these Finals but there is still some hope for Golden State.

1. The Warriors have only lost back to back games once this entire season (last series vs. OKC).

2. The Cavaliers still have to win at Oracle, something they've been unable to do since Game 2 of last year's Finals.

Game 4 is Friday at 6 PT, 9 ET in Cleveland. I expect Draymond to rally his troops to come out with a ton of energy. He's the heart of the Warriors and the entire Bay Area. WE NEED HIM.

Go Dubs.

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