OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Cleveland wasn’t the only team missing a crucial component in Game 2 of the NBA Finals. While Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving was back in Ohio recovering from knee surgery, the Golden State Warriors have no idea where Stephen Curry’s shot went.
The reigning MVP missed 18 of 23 shots, including an air ball with 4.4 seconds left in overtime that sent the Warriors to a 95-93 loss Sunday night that left the finals tied at a game apiece.
“Shots I normally make, I knew as soon as they left my hand that they were off,” Curry said. “That doesn’t usually happen. I mean, mechanically I don’t know if there is an explanation for it, just didn’t have a rhythm and didn’t find one the whole game.”
With Curry offering little help to fellow Splash Brother Klay Thompson, the Warriors head to Cleveland without home-court advantage and mired in what could be a tough series after many experts practically handed them the title when Irving was lost for the series after Game 1.
Thompson scored 34 points but the rest of the team shot just 34.5 percent as the Warriors lost for only the fourth time in 51 home games this season.
“Our offense was horrible,” forward Draymond Green said. “I think we did a really good job on defense. But we were really, really bad offensively. It’s hard to win when you can’t score and we struggled to score tonight.”
Curry was the biggest culprit as he was just 2 for 15 from 3-point range and failed to deliver in the closing seconds of overtime. With Cleveland leading 94-93, Curry shot the air ball over Matthew Dellavedova.
After LeBron James made one of two foul shots, Curry threw a bad pass to Thompson and the Cavaliers left with the win.
“I doubt this will happen again, with the adjustments I’ll make once I’ll look at the film,” Curry said. “One game is not going to make me stop shooting or alter my confidence at all.”
Curry finished with 19 points and did make the tying layup with 7.2 seconds left in regulation but that wasn’t enough for Golden State.
After swishing his trademark warmup shot from the tunnel on his first try before the game, Curry struggled to make just about anything once the game started.
He was just 1 for 6 in the opening quarter, with the only make coming on a beautiful reverse. But he missed three attempts from long range in what would prove to be an omen for the night.
“Early in the game I thought I was a little hesitant when I had an open shot, kind of pausing for a second and then trying to raise up and shoot it, and you just don’t get a rhythm that way,” he said.
He went more than 18 minutes without scoring a single point in one stretch starting early in the third quarter. He missed two shots on one possession, a jumper and then a 3-pointer from his favorite spot in the left corner. Curry had made 13 of 14 from that spot coming into the game this postseason.
“So sometimes the ball doesn’t bounce your way, it doesn’t go in, it’s fine. You keep playing,” coach Steve Kerr said. “I’ve seen it with everybody. I’ve seen it with Michael Jordan, Tim Duncan. It doesn’t matter who you are. Nobody is immune from a tough night.”
He finally broke the drought with a 3-pointer with less than 3 minutes remaining in the fourth and added two free throws the next possession to cut Cleveland’s lead to 85-80.
Curry wasn’t alone with a rough offensive night for the Warriors. No other player besides Curry and Thompson reached double figures and Marreese Speights even missed a breakaway dunk in the closing seconds of the third quarter.
Besides Thompson, the best shooter in a Warriors shirt might have been the fan who made a halfcourt shot to win a BMW during an in-game contest.
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