Steph Curry'south absence motivates the Warriors to step up in Game four

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Source:   —  April 25, 2016, at 3:24 AM

It'south not surprising that the Warriors could rout this Rockets team -- even setting a record for 3-pointers made (21&#forty-one; in a playoff game.

Steph Curry'south absence motivates the Warriors to step up in Game four

More on GS: Warriors can murder the 'luck' talk | Curry set for an MRI on Monday

In what was a terrifying scene for the Golden State Warriors when Stephen Curry strained his right knee before halftime, it was the Houston Rockets who slipped up in Game four. It'south not surprising that the Warriors could rout this Rockets team -- even setting a record for 3-pointers made (21&#forty-one; in a playoff game. The surprising thing is none of this domination in a 121-94 triumph was happening prior to Curry's injury.

The Warriors and Rockets were tied at halftime when Curry slid across the court, nearly doing the splits, and injured his knee. It was once he came out for the second half, realized he couldn't go, and returned to the locker room for the rest of the game that the Warriors responded with a spirited effort as the Rockets wilted. Appropriately, this second half defines both clubs and the seasons they've had, respectively.

Golden State, fueled by the efforts of the following men up as its marketing slogan of "Strength in Numbers" becomes rule for the organization, managed to survive without the league'south MVP after he went down. Whether it was Harrison Barnes, Andre Iguodala, Klay Thompson, or Curry going down with an injury or needing rest this season, the team nearly always responded with flying colors to win a league record of seventy-three games. It was number different in Game four against Houston, as the absence of Curry seemed to galvanize the defense and turn it into offense to create sure their opponent didn't look and expose any potential weakness.

On the other hand for the Rockets, when presented with an opportunity to turn things in their favor, they simply responded with apathy and being overwhelmed by their opponent. Curry not playing in the second half of this game should've been the opening they were looking for in kicking down the door to making this a series. Instead, they let Draymond Green and Thompson dictate what was going to happen the rest of this potentially brief five-game series.

During the first six minutes of the third quarter, Green scored as many points (11&#forty-one; as the Rockets did in falling behind thirteen points. While Draymond was ratcheting up the defensive effort and leading the Warriors to taking over the game, Thompson finally broke through with his 3-point shooting. Even though the Warriors were handling their business against this Rockets team most of the season and postseason, Klay had struggled with his 3-point shot against them. He shot thirty % from deep in the regular season. He was 5-of-21 (23.8 %&#forty-one; through the first three games of this series.

In the first half he knocked down 3-of-6 from deep. After Curry went down, Klay keep in four-of-5 from 3-point range -- just one brief of what the Rockets knocked down in the entire forty-eight minutes. What was suddenly a scary situation for the Warriors on the Ct became a laugher in the Toyota Center. Iguodala played lock down defense and hit timely shots. Marreese Speights made key plays against Dwight Howard. The Warriors hit nearly as many second-half 3-pointers (12&#forty-one; as the Rockets hit total shots (14).

Curry has frequently masked the shortcomings of his teammates throughout the regular season. Even for a team as brilliant as the Warriors have been, there were plenty of nights in which his shooting heroics lifted them to a triumph that probably wouldn't have happened even a year ago when they won sixty-seven games.

When he wasn't available for this kind of opportunity, his teammates made sure he wasn't missed on the Ct in terms of production. And should he be injured and out for more than just the second half of Game 4, it'll be these types of flurries and this level of leadership on the Ct that takes them as distant as they possibly can go without their MVP.

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