Steph Curry’s NBA legacy is bulletproof at this point, but the shooting extraordinaire was still nearly the scapegoat in the Golden State Warriors’ battle with the Sacramento Kings in Game 4 of the first round of the 2023 NBA Playoffs.
Up five with 47 seconds left, Curry sent the Chase Center into delirium Sunday when he called a timeout that Golden State did not have. A technical foul was assessed, the free throw made and a stunning 3-pointer was drained by De’Aaron Fox to pull the Kings within one. In an instant, the whole basketball world was thrust 30 years back in time when then-Michigan star Chris Webber committed a devastating National Championship blunder of the same ilk.
But the Warriors survived Curry’s uncharacteristic mental mistake and even a missed jumper by the greatest shooter the game has ever seen, hanging on 126-125. No harm done. Head coach Steve Kerr later said he did not clarify to his players that the team no longer had any timeouts after an unsuccessful challenge near the two-minute mark. The result was a perplexed Curry.
“I didn’t realize when we lost the challenge that we didn’t have any timeouts left,” Curry explained after Sunday’s thriller, per ESPN’s Kendra Andrews. “[Coach] took the blame for it, but I ain’t going to lie: I thought it was the smartest play in the world. I looked at the bench, and everybody was shaking their head. It was an unfortunate situation.”
Dubs fans surely would have preferred a more anti-climactic conclusion but were ultimately sent home with an extra shot of adrenaline. Not to mention the satisfaction of knowing that the series was tied with the pressure now shifting back to Sacramento.
Experience and championship pedigree have been speculated as possible deciding factors for this series, and after a narrow victory that seemed destined to be a miraculous comeback for the Kings, Game 6 might be the Warriors’ best chance at proving that theory true.
Regardless of outcome, expect Steph Curry to be well-aware of the timeout situation.
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