SAN FRANCISCO — For the first time in his career, Warriors point guard Steph Curry didn’t make a 3-pointer in a postseason game.
“I don’t think I’ve ever been happier after a 0-for-whatever type of night,” Curry said after Golden State’s 104-94 victory in Game 5 of the NBA Finals.
Curry had made at least one three in all 132 of his previous playoff appearances, but he finished 0 of 9 from behind the arc on Monday night. All 16 of Curry’s points came either on 2-pointers or at the free-throw line.
“I think Steph was probably due for a game like this,” coach Steve Kerr said. “He’s been shooting the ball so well that, at some point, he was going to have a tough night.”
Headed into Monday’s game, Curry had made a three in 233 straight games, regular season and playoffs, and had made multiple threes in 38 straight playoff games. Both streaks are the longest in NBA history. His last game without a 3-pointer was against Milwaukee in November 2018.
According to Curry’s “Splash Brother,” Klay Thompson, that feat is difficult to contextualize.
“The man is a magician with the ball in his hands,” Thompson said. “I’ve seen him do so many amazing things. It’s become routine and expected, and it shouldn’t be, because he really is a transcendent talent that we’ll never see again.”
Game 5 was a cold 3-point shooting night all around for the Warriors, who made just 9 of their 40 shots (22.5 percent) from range. Outside of Thompson, who knocked down 5 threes, and Jordan Poole, who banked in a deep buzzer-beater at the end of the third quarter, Golden State struggled from behind the arc.
But because the Warriors still came away with the win, taking a 3-2 series lead, at least one of Curry’s teammates viewed his poor shooting performance as a positive — and for good reason. Since 2013, Curry has failed to hit a 3-pointer in just nine games. In the subsequent games, he has averaged 4.4 threes made.
“He’s going to be livid going into Game 6,” said Draymond Green. “That’s exactly what we need.”
Curry, too, sounded optimistic about the potential to bounce back.
“I’m not afraid to go 0-for-whatever because I’m going to keep shooting and taking shots that you normally feel like you can make,” he said. “I’ve responded well when I’ve had games like that.”
Andre Iguodala was available for Game 5
Veteran forward Andre Iguodala was available for Game 5, despite initially being listed as questionable with knee inflammation. Iguodala played 12 minutes in Game 1 but has since been used sparingly. He still maintains an active role from the bench, often coaching up his teammates.
Looney comes off the bench
Warriors coach Steve Kerr stuck with his starting lineup change for Game 5 of the NBA Finals, keeping forward Otto Porter Jr. in over center Kevon Looney.
Looney started Games 1-3 before Kerr decided to play him off the bench in Game 4. He was Golden State’s first sub, checking in for Porter Jr. with 7:23 remaining in the first quarter.
Even out of the starting lineup, Looney still plays an important role for the Warriors. His contributions on the glass have been hugely impactful. Fourteen of Looney’s 34 rebounds this series have come on the offensive end, giving the Warriors significant second-chance opportunities.
In Game 4, Looney played 28 minutes and was part of Golden State’s closing lineup. He made what Kerr called “the biggest bucket” of the win — a layup to put the Warriors up, 102-97, with just more than a minute to go.
“He’s been a contributor for many years,” Kerr said Monday. “He played in the Finals for us in ‘18 and ‘19 and played significant minutes. We’ve always had a lot of confidence in him. This year, he had his best season of his career. He’s grown into an elite rebounder. He played in every game. So, we have a ton of faith in Loon. He’s done an incredible job for us.”
Nicole Yang can be reached at email@example.com.Follow her on Twitter @nicolecyang.