Warriors

Warriors

HOUSTON -- Stephen Curry, with his Warriors down five in the final minute of Saturday's Game 3, tried to throw down a dunk before blowing his easiest opportunity of the night.

"Not my finest moment," Curry said.

The sequence put the finishing touches on Golden State's first loss of the NBA playoff second-round series against the Houston Rockets and sealed one of the worst postseason performances of Curry's career. 

"He just had a tough night," Warriors coach Steve Kerr said of Curry's 17 points on 7-of-23 shooting. "Everybody, no matter how good you are, you're going to have some bad games. It was just a tough night for him. It didn't happen." 

More curious than Curry's final stat line were the types of shots he missed in the Warriors' 126-121 overtime defeat.

With 1:46 left in the fourth quarter, Curry missed a point-blank layup that would have given the Warriors a one-point lead. In overtime, with the Warriors down 121-118, he split a double team at the top of the key, creating a wide-open layup attempt that he missed. Curry missed his last six shot attempts, including the botched dunk, over the last 17 minutes of the game.

"I was feeling pretty good," Curry said of the dunk try. "Had a nice bit of steam. Probably a little bit of frustration with how the rest of the night went."

Added Warriors forward Andre Iguodala: "He did a good job tonight of getting to the basket. He got a couple of finishes he didn't get to go down ... but the attack was there, and I was really happy about that." 

 

Saturday's performance was a culmination of a rough postseason for Curry. He's averaging 19.2 points in his last six playoff games on just 38.3 percent shooting from the field, including 29.4 percent from 3-point range. At times, he's struggled to stay on the floor, committing 3.8 fouls per game, despite writing "no" and "reach" on his sneakers.

Curry's struggles have coincided with the brilliance of Kevin Durant, who's averaging 35.6 points, five rebounds and five assists on 51.5 percent shooting from the field in the playoffs. Saturday's game provided the latest example of the conundrum, as Durant poured in 46 points, carrying the Warriors for much of the night as Curry struggled to find his shot.

The biggest question looming with Curry is about the middle finger on his left hand, which he dislocated during the first quarter of Game 2. Following the game, he warned that it would take some time for him to grow accustomed to playing with the injury, specifically on how he shoots the ball.

Since the injury, Curry is shooting just 22 percent from 3-point range and averaging three turnovers. No one knows the extent of pain associated with the dislocation more than Curry. Still, he's not using the finger as a reason for his struggles.

"Naw, I've just gotta make those," he said. "If I'm out there playing, gotta produce. And it just didn't happen tonight."

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For now, Curry will retreat to the team hotel in Houston, recalibrate and figure out how to do what he has done better than any player in NBA history: put the ball in the basket.

"If a couple more shots go my way, this game could be different, but that's basketball for you," Curry said. "I'll probably be thinking about it tonight, go to sleep and turn the page."