Warriors All-Star Stephen Curry is out of sorts
Stephen Curry isn’t one to snap at referees. Technical fouls aren’t his thing.
But his shot hadn’t been falling, his team was getting crushed by the Clippers and, yeah, he was angry.
So he picked up his first technical foul this season after yelling at a non-call, thinking he was fouled by Chris Paul and/or Blake Griffin on a layup in the Clippers’ 138-98 dismantling of the Golden State Warriors.
Strange game for Curry, an All-Star who pretty much disappeared as the Clippers took a 26-point halftime lead Monday. He missed seven of his first eight shots, which was odd because of all the pregame talk about him.
“He’s one of the all-time great shooters,” Warriors Coach Mark Jackson said beforehand, adding that Curry had turned “from a star into a superstar.”
That can be true on many nights. Not the important part of Game 2 in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs.
Curry was awful in the first half, scoring four points on one-for-six shooting as the Warriors trailed by 26 points.
He was so off that Clippers fans chanted “Overrated” as he shot free throws. It was only the second quarter.
His first made three-point shot didn’t come until the 7-minute 49-second mark of the third quarter. He missed all five before that.
He then went on a nice run — “About time, Curry,” a Clippers fan derisively yelled — but his team trailed by 32 points after three quarters. He finished with 24 points.
Curry wasn’t great in Game 1, scoring 14 points on six-for-16 shooting, but the Warriors won that one.
“We played bad. We were awful,” Jackson said after Game 2. “We had some bad performances out there and we were out of character.”
Jackson knows something about the art of shooting, having played with Reggie Miller in Indiana in the 1990s.
If you gathered a handful of the best shooters ever in a gym to see who owned the best touch, Curry would win at least something, Jackson theorized before Game 2.
“If you said, OK, there’s a variety of shots — you’re going to shoot one-legged, you’re going to push the ball in transition and stop and pop at the three, you’re going to take a run off your left foot, then Steph Curry’s going to win,” Jackson said. “He’s the best shooter when you’re talking about variety that I’ve ever seen.”
Curry had been enjoying an overwhelmingly successful season, seemingly beating the ankle issues that plagued him earlier in his career. It helped that the Warriors added quality backup Steve Blake as well as Jordan Crawford to help, “relieving some of those minutes,” normally sopped up by Curry, Jackson said.
“It’s been easier on [Curry’s] body,” he added. “Those guys are two guys that play at a high level;. They’re not afraid of the moment. Especially Steve, he’s a natural point guard.”
Yeah, about Blake. Clippers fans were ready from the start Monday. They actually booed Blake when he checked into the game. His crime was being traded by the hated Lakers to the Warriors two months ago.
It’s not exactly retribution for Chris Paul getting booed at Dodgers games by pro-Lakers crowds. It’s something, though.
So was the Clippers’ effort Monday night. Curry has something to prove Thursday in Oakland, where the Warriors have won five in a row against the Clippers.
But Monday wasn’t a total loss for the Warriors.
Andre Iguodala and Andrew Bogut each earned votes for the NBA defensive player-of-the-year award, which went to Chicago’s Joakim Noah.
Iguodala finished fifth in the voting, picking up one first-place vote and seven second-place votes, while Bogut was 10th with one vote for first place and a vote for second place.
Bogut hadn’t played in this series and remained out indefinitely because of a fractured rib.
A panel of 125 media members voted.
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