SAN FRANCISCO — Stephen Curry has seen the Golden State Warriors bounce back many times this season and is confident they will do so again in Game 2 of the NBA Finals on Sunday.
Citing how the Warriors bounced back from their 39-point Game 5 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies in the second round and a 10-point loss to the Dallas Mavericks in Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals before liquidating both teams in the next game. , Curry said he saw evidence of resilience this season.
“Even times throughout the regular season where things start to get a little out of hand at times,” Curry said after practice on Saturday. “And kind of have your ‘come to Jesus’ moment, like we gotta play it right.
“How are we going to turn the script around and get things back on track? We’ve responded pretty well overall.”
After suffering a fourth-quarter meltdown and dropping Game 1 of the NBA Finals to the Boston Celtics at home on Thursday, the Warriors lost a series opener for only the third time under the Steve Kerr era. But for this current Warriors collection, it’s the first time they’ve lost 0-1 in a best-of-seven series.
“It’s the first time for a lot of things with this particular group,” Curry said of a team that includes players like Andrew Wiggins and Jordan Poole making their NBA Finals debuts. “We’re here in the final for a reason, because we figured it out along the way. If we want to come back to this series, we have to figure it out again.”
When asked if this constituted one of those moments of truth, Curry emphatically replied, “Absolutely.”
The Warriors will be looking to defend the Celtics’ 3-point shooters much better after giving up 21 treys in Game 1, including nine in the fourth quarter.
“We have to play harder on the defensive side,” said Draymond Green, who blamed himself for not playing up to his standards in Game 1. “I think there were times in the game where they didn’t feel us; when you play against a big team at this level at this stage of the season, they have to feel every possession.
“We just have to make sure they feel every possession we have.”
The Warriors could use defenseman Gary Payton II in Game 2. Payton did not play in Game 1, although he is available after being out with a broken elbow since Game 2 of the second round against Memphis. Kerr, who played Andre Iguodala 12 minutes in Game 1 after the veteran hadn’t played since Game 4 of the first round at the Denver Nuggets with a neck injury, said Payton was feeling better and that he planned to use it more.
Golden State forward Otto Porter Jr. called Game 2 a “win” three times after practice. The Warriors will look to their experienced league core to lead the way. Curry, Green and Klay Thompson have all expressed confidence in the Warriors’ ability to bounce back with the championship on the line.
“Draymond and Steph have been to the finals six times,” Kerr said. “They’ve seen it all. They’ve seen it all. They’ve won championships. They’ve lost championships. They’ve been heartbroken. They’ve had parades. That’s all part of it. So that’s the right mental approach , and it is the one born out of experience.”
Thompson said he was excited for Game 2.
“I need to shoot more,” said Thompson, who had 6 of 14 shots in Game 1. “I gotta take more shots. I gotta make more saves. I just gotta be myself. Yeah, that would be one of the greatest to ever shoot him, so I’ll build on that.
“We’re going to play with desperation tomorrow, and I think that’s when we’re at our best.”