One thing that’s been clear all series thus far, is that Stephen Curry has been held in check by the Clipper’s defense early in games. If the Warriors were going to play from ahead instead of behind like they have been in each previous game, they needed Curry’s scoring early.
He didn’t disappoint, and the Warriors took game four with a 118-97 win behind solid play from the entire Warriors team, but an especially exceptional performance by Curry, who finished with thirty-three points, seven rebounds, and seven assists, including seven made three-pointers.
Curry had six threes all series heading into game four. He made five in the first quarter alone, scoring 17 points and electrifying Oracle arena into a frenzy early on.
In the 2nd quarter, the Clippers were tasked with chipping away at the Warriors large lead, a position they hadn’t found themselves in all series. Jamal Crawford, the Clippers sixth-man of the year candidate did a pretty good job of it, making some ridiculously long threes over the out-stretched arms of Klay Thompson, scoring a quick 13 points, and finishing with a team-high 26.
But the Warriors proved to be too focused, quelling the Clippers attempts at a run through tremendous defense leading to easy baskets. The Warriors finished the 1st half up 18 with Curry, Thompson, and David Lee all in double figures.
Golden State needed to come out of the gates in the 2nd half the same way they did in the first, with aggressive defense resulting in transition threes. The Clippers had other things in mind, scoring efficiently and with ease, as they have much of the series thus far.
At times it looked like the Warriors could have gone either way,letting the Clippers get back in the game or withstand the inevitable onslaught of Blake Griffin post ups. The Warriors responded though, especially in thanks to the physical play of Iguodala, who woke up offensively for the first time all series, scoring 22 points including eight-of-ten on free throws.
With an 18-point lead heading into the 4th quarter, the Warriors needed to stay the course but wavered at the start. Closing out games have always been a harrowing experience for Golden State as Warrior fans well know. They let LA cut the lead to nine, but key shots from Barnes and Iguodala kept the Warriors up for good, and they evened the series 2-2.
While the story of this game for a lot of fans will be the roundly criticized racist comments allegedly made by Clipper’s owner Donald Sterling, there’s incredible basketball being played by both teams, and everyone should be looking forward to a surely competitive contest in LA on Tuesday night for game five.