‘It’s going to be epic’: Stephen Curry and LeBron James face off – again

SACRAMENTO — At some point it will be someone else’s time. One of the young teams trying to dethrone the Golden State Warriors is going to break through. One of the defensive stoppers assigned to Stephen Curry’s bottling will actually do it. An agitator will do more than push the bear that is LeBron James.

But not yet.

Not after Curry scored 50 points to lead the Warriors to a 120-100 win over the No. 3-seeded Sacramento Kings in Game 7 of their hugely entertaining first-round series on Sunday afternoon.

Not after James led the Los Angeles Lakers to a resounding 40-point win over the No. 2-seeded Memphis Grizzlies to wrap up their first-round streak 4-2 on Friday night.

Not in the next two weeks, when the superstars who have defined the NBA’s past two decades meet for another matchup starting Tuesday (10 p.m. ET, TNT) in San Francisco in the Western Conference Semifinals. This is the first playoff meeting between LA and Golden State in 32 years, although the Warriors have faced James four times in the NBA Finals in the past eight seasons while he was with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

“It’s going to be epic,” Warriors forward Draymond Green said. “You got Steph, you made Bron start all over again.”

All season, James — who had the first 20-point, 20-rebound playoff game of his career in Game 4 against Memphis — has been asked how he maintained such a high level of play at 38.

All season, the Warriors have been asked if this will be their so-called “Last Dance” together as their collective age and extraordinary payroll hangs over them.

“But…stop trying to move on so quickly,” Green said. “Stop trying to turn the page on Bron.

“We’re so caught up in what’s the next thing, we don’t appreciate the current. Then you go to the next thing and you look back, like, ‘Man, I wish we still had this. J ‘wish we could still see that.'”

“So for me and our guys,” Green continued, “we’re going to appreciate that every step of the way.”

Sunday 7’s deciding game was something of a tribute to everything that has made the Warriors’ run so compelling over the past decade.



King James’ rivals: They came, he saw, he conquered

LeBron James has faced many challengers over the years. Here are some of the players who tried their luck against the Los Angeles Lakers star.

Curry’s line will look like a typical monster game: 50 points, seven 3 points. But he did this one with his short game, amassing the most points in the paint (22) he’s ever scored with a dizzying assortment of scoop shots, floaters and layups.

These are the shots he seems to have fun with during pre-game warm-ups. It will float the ball higher than it would ever need in a game, almost like a rant in HORSE.

“People think he’s having fun or showing off,” said Warriors assistant coach Bruce Fraser, Curry’s longtime warm-up partner. “But he’s still working on his short game. It’s like [in golf]. We call it “chip and set”.

After the Warriors dropped a demoralizing Game 6 in San Francisco on Friday night, the coaching staff spent a long night with game tape trying to piece together what happened.

“I think [head coach] Steve [Kerr] stayed up until 2 a.m. and slept for two hours after that,” Fraser said.

Kerr has long preached balance during his decade at the helm of this team. Perspective. Breathe and reset rather than twist and turn. In this case, however, the rapid 36-hour turnaround time between games 6 and 7 left him with little choice.

The best he could do was do the all-nighter himself and change up the team’s routine, giving his players some sun and fresh air before heading back to Sacramento for Game 7.

“We had a good movie session on the ninth floor of the Chase Center, which has a great view of the [San Francisco] Bay,” Kerr said with a smile before the game. “Which might not seem like a big deal, but it kind of is. You get some sun, you look at the bay.

“I think there has to be a sense of perspective – even if it’s just a nice view and a bit of sunshine and a chance to breathe and relax between games. .”

There was no time to attach funny music videos to emphasize a particular theme, as Kerr has done over the years. But Kerr and his team pointed to a particular theme.

“The whole focus was on the spacing,” Kerr said. “Watching the movie [of Game 6], trying to figure out why there was no place to go. We were just crowded.”

That’s what Curry found in the painting on Sunday: space.

And when he does that, he creates a gravitational pull for the rest of the team.

Pretty much the only place Curry missed on Sunday was on the free throw line, snapping two of his five shots. But even there, he managed to pull through.

Rather than get angry, Curry smiled after his misses from the line.

“Attitude can manifest a lot of things,” Curry said. “I missed five free throws in the last two games. It’s not like me. But never overthink it. Just enjoy the moment. So the smile was intentional. I just try to be in the present. I’m just trying to get a free throw…so I’m trying to have fun with it.”

Curry’s voice was a bit nasal after the game – the result of allergies, he said, not an illness.

“I should go get some local honey,” he joked. “It’s just that time of year.”

Indeed, it is.

Once again, the Warriors and Curry and the Lakers and James will dominate the NBA scene in these playoffs which are now down to the final eight teams.

“Here we are eight years later from the first time we met in a playoff series and we’re still playing at this level,” Green said. “It’s special. It says a lot about who you are as a pro and how seriously you take it. How you enjoy this game.”

“You talk about some ultimate competitors,” Green continued. “LeBron is one of the ultimate competitors. Steph, Klay [Thompson], myself. And so to have those opportunities, we don’t take for granted.”

#epic #Stephen #Curry #LeBron #James #face

Leave a Comment