Stephen Curry on LeBron James' Game-Winner: 'All-Time Great Players Make Great Shots'May 20, 2021
Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry credited Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James for hitting a tough game-winning three inside the final minute of Wednesday's Western Conference play-in game.
Curry, who was the closest defender on the play, explained he didn't expect James' long-range jumper to go in:
The Lakers held on for the 103-100 win and advanced to the 2021 NBA playoffs as the No. 7 seed in the West.
Golden State was in control for most of the contest, leading by six after the first quarter and 13 at halftime. Los Angeles fought back by outscoring the Dubs 35-24 in the third quarter to set the stage for LeBron's late-game heroics.
James said the shot was made even more difficult because he was struggling to see properly after being poked in the eye by the Warriors' Draymond Green with just over two minutes left.
"After the finger to the eye, I was seeing three rims and shot at the middle one. By grace, I was able to knock it down," he said. "I've been poked in the eye before. It is going to be sore tonight and tomorrow, but we got a big-time win."
James finished the contest with 22 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists for a triple-double, while Anthony Davis added 25 points and 12 boards.
Curry knocked down six threes en route to a game-high 37 points, but the rest of the Warriors shot just 41.7 percent (25 of 60) from the field.
"This is a bitter pill to swallow. This was our game and we couldn't get it done," Golden State head coach Steve Kerr said.
While the reigning champion Lakers are playoff-bound, the Warriors now face a win-or-go-home clash with the Memphis Grizzlies. The winner earns the No. 8 seed in the West.
Golden State will host the second play-in game, which is set for Friday at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN.
L.A. opens its first-round series on the road against the Phoenix Suns on Sunday at 3:30 p.m. ET on ABC.