MANILA, Philippines – Steph Curry had described it as the “16 bad minutes” of Game 2.
But Curry said the Golden State Warriors already put behind that embarrassing episode where they squandered a 31-point lead in the second half that paved the way for the Los Angeles Clippers to stage the biggest comeback in NBA playoff history.
The recovery was in full display in Game 3 where Kevin Durant erupted for 38 points as the Warriors crushed the Clippers, 132-105, for a 2-1 series lead in the Western Conference first-round playoffs on Thursday, April 18 (Friday, April 19, Manila time).
“We hope that’s behind us in terms of having a 16-minute stretch like that where we literally forget how to play basketball,” said Curry. “But we have a lot of work to do, we're not getting ahead of ourselves at all.”
The Warriors compiled another huge lead at almost the identical part of Thursday's game by taking an 88-57 lead with 7:10 left in the 3rd quarter. But this time, the defending champions made sure they’re in full control. (READ: Ruthless Warriors flog Clippers for 2-1 series lead)
“We reminded the guys at halftime, I don’t even think we needed to,” said Warriors coach Steve Kerr. “But it’s such a long game. There are plenty of time for wild swings.”
“This is a good example that you’ve got to be prepared,” added Kerr. “You don’t get happy when you get a little bit of the lead and let your foot off the gas. It’s good to play a team like [the Clippers] to keep you sharp and play the right way.”
Game 4 of the best-of-seven series is set on Sunday also in Los Angeles, where the Warriors will vie for a commanding 3-1 lead.
“We just keep challenging the guys and reminding them what’s at stake,” said Kerr. “We can take control of the series if we can get that one (Game 4). If we don’t, we’re in a tough spot. We just have to lock in and play the next one. But I like our approach tonight and I like our chances.”
“It’s 2-1 in the series, we have to come back on Sunday and get a win, and continue to move on from there,” added Curry. “We’ve been through this before and I don’t think we’ve won any championship looking ahead. We’ve got work to do now.” – With a report from Agence France-Presse