Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors proved worthy of their moniker on Sunday against the San Antonio Spurs, winning Game 4 in overtime 97-87 and tying up this best-of-seven series at two games apiece.
Needless to say, the rabid crowd at Oracle Arena was ecstatic.
Curry was a game-time decision with a painful ankle injury suffered in Game 3 of this series. He clearly favored his left ankle throughout the contest, yet he managed to play 39 minutes and helped his team win in convincing fashion in overtime.
According to USA Today's Sam Amick, Curry took an anti-inflammatory shot before the game and wouldn't be denied the opportunity to compete.
On Curry's shot, it was anti-flammatory.He hoped to stop taking shots, but - to paraphrase - has been waiting for this chance his whole life— Sam Amick (@sam_amick) May 12, 2013
This was a contest Golden State had to have. Had the Warriors lost this game, they would have faced an elimination game on Tuesday in San Antonio—a difficult if not impossible circumstance to overcome.
And after getting absolutely handled by the Spurs in their own building two days earlier, this young team had reason to feel defeated.
But just like this group did after suffering a heartbreaking and potentially demoralizing double-overtime loss in Game 1 of this series, it responded with fire and won another huge game.
Even more impressive is that the Warriors were able to win despite the fact that they made just 38 percent of their shots from the field. It was the team's first playoff win when shooting under 40 percent since 1975, according to Scott Howard-Cooper of NBA.com.
The Warriors, at 38% from the field, won a playoff game while shooting less than 40 for the first time since ay 14, 1975.— Scott Howard-Cooper (@SHowardCooper) May 12, 2013
Curry scored 22 points, hauled in six rebounds and dished out four assists while playing hurt. He also stuck around after the game to give reporters plenty of time, which Poor Man's Commish recorded for your viewing pleasure.
Stephen Curry postgame locker room video, all 18 minutes. I was the only one who stayed & video'ed the whole thing... youtube.com/watch?v=cT4Jnn…— Poor Man's Commish (@poormanscommish) May 12, 2013
Small forward Harrison Barnes had a monster game, scoring 26 points and grabbing 10 rebounds—five of which came on the offensive glass.
Andrew Bogut really played well on the defensive side and tallied 18 rebounds in just 28 minutes of play battling with Tim Duncan, Tiago Splitter and Boris Diaw. Jarrett Jack also contributed in a major way, scoring 24 points, registering seven rebounds and doling out four assists.
The entire team showed up on Sunday to overpower and outplay one of the traditionally tougher teams in the NBA.
With the series even and three games left to play, Golden State has just as much a chance of winning it as does San Antonio. In fact, if not for an epic meltdown in Game 1, this team would be up 3-1 and in control of the series.
Which team will come out of this series in the end?
The Spurs are a veteran, tough team who don't panic in tough situations, though. This is a team that will only be defeated by another team capable of displaying the same indomitable will in response.
So far, judging by what we've seen from Golden State, San Antonio has met its equal.
Game 5 will give one team an advantage, but it shouldn't surprise anyone to see this series go the full seven games. Both teams feature talented rosters and plenty of grit, and the final games are certainly must-watch TV.
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