Dray, GP2’s Sport 3 absence gave Dubs further motivation to win initially appeared on NBC Sports activities Bayarea
The Warriors entered Thursday’s Sport 3 matchup with the Kings down 2-0 and with out two of their most essential defenders.
Hoping to keep away from the improper aspect of NBA playoff historical past, Golden State’s job of avoiding a 3-0 sequence deficit — one thing no staff has overcome within the playoffs — grew more difficult with each Draymond Inexperienced and Gary Payton II out.
As an alternative of backing down and shriveling, Warriors coach Steve Kerr stated the staff was extra-motivated to get the dub with the absence of their defensive drivers.
“It was a implausible effort by the group,” Kerr advised NBC Sports activities Bay Space after the Warriors’ 114-97 win at Chase Heart. “I feel they actually needed to do that with out Draymond and Gary. They needed to show they’ve acquired what it takes, too.
“We had nice particular person performances from lots of people. But it surely was actually simply the entire group bringing the vitality, the toughness that allowed us to rebound. After which the intelligence of maintaining possessions easy and taking good care of the ball.”
Whereas Video games 1 and a pair of in Sacramento have been forwards and backwards and got here all the way down to the wire, the Kings by no means had a lead within the third recreation of their Western Convention first-round playoff sequence.
That’s a credit score to the Warriors’ protection and physicality, after all, but additionally to their star level guard Steph Curry, who had that look in his eye that tells all with out saying a single phrase.
“I noticed the look on his face in huddles,” Kerr stated. “He was respiratory and type of meditating throughout timeouts, I may see how locked in he was. He was terrific tonight.”
Curry erupted with a game-high 36 factors on 12-of-25 taking pictures from the sector and 6 of 12 from behind the arc.
Unsurprisingly, he put the staff on his again and at occasions tried to pump the Chase Heart crowd up. His “NBA Finals Steph Curry”-like efficiency certainly made that simple for Warriors followers.
Inexperienced, on his podcast the following day, thanked Curry for as soon as once more saving him from public ridicule after the Warriors ahead was suspended for Sport 3 after stomping on Domantas Sabonis’ chest in Sport 2.
Whereas Curry put the staff on his again, Kevon Looney put it on his total physique — actually. His sacrifice and starvation for rebounds paid off in a significant approach within the must-win contest as Looney grabbed 20 rebounds (9 offensive) and 9 assists.
“That is who Loon is,” Kerr stated. “He’s completed this in so many playoff video games. He’s all the time locked into the sport plan. He’s one of many smartest gamers I’ve ever been round. He simply by no means makes errors and he’s grow to be among the finest rebounders within the league. His protection, his consideration to element, his connection together with his teammates — it’s fairly unimaginable.”
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With the season in danger and a number of strain main into the sport, Looney stayed level-headed and targeted, per traditional.
“By no means, by no means,” Kerr stated when requested if Looney ever wants a pep speak. “Loon is only a lunchpail man. He simply involves work day-after-day and by no means misses a recreation, by no means misses a observe, by no means will get too excessive, by no means will get too low. He’s a coach’s dream.”
Golden State may have Inexperienced again for Sport 4 on Sunday at Chase Heart and the Warriors hope to even the best-of-seven sequence.
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