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Warriors notebook

Warriors are 0-3 in closeout opportunities on the road in these playoffs

To win in Boston Thursday, said Golden State's Klay Thompson, it's "going to take the most effort we’ve had to give all year."Matthew J. Lee/Globe Staff

The Warriors have failed to capitalize on their first closeout opportunity in each round of this postseason so far, but they’re hoping Thursday night will be different.

With a 3-2 series lead in the NBA Finals, Golden State can clinch the championship with a win over the Celtics in Game 6 at TD Garden. Players and coaches have long said that closeout games are the toughest to win, so the Warriors are well aware of the challenge.

“It’s extremely hard,” center Kevon Looney said Wednesday. “Especially on the road. I don’t think we have had a closeout on the road this playoffs yet, so it’s going to be tough. But we feel like we have the formula, we have the talent to do it.”


In each of the previous rounds, the Warriors needed to return to the Chase Center to end the series. Up, 3-0, against Denver in the first round, they lost, 126-121, in Game 4 at Ball Arena before winning Game 5. Up, 3-1, against Memphis in the conference semifinals, they lost, 134-95, in Game 5 at FedEx Forum before taking Game 6. And up, 3-0, against Dallas in the conference finals, they lost, 119-109, in Game 4 at American Airlines Center before wrapping things up in Game 5.

Coach Steve Kerr said he doesn’t see any common threads among the losses.

“I just think this is the NBA,” he said. “You’ve got talented teams. You’ve got talented players you’re going against. You’re in somebody else’s building. It’s just not easy to close anybody out in the playoffs. We are just going to have to play really well to win. It’s as simple as that.”

Steve Kerr and the Warriors are looking to close out a series on the road for the first time this postseason.Matthew J Lee/Globe staff

Now there is a title on the line. Staying in the moment will be a key part of their approach.


“Just being present,” said guard Klay Thompson. “You do yourself a disservice if you think about things that don’t even exist yet.”

Added point guard Steph Curry: “You got to be present as much as possible and not worry about the consequences of a win or a loss. The only opportunity you have is that 48 minutes.

“The more you can trick your mind into being in the moment and staying there, that’s the best advice I can give anybody in that situation because it’s going to be the hardest game you probably ever played in your career because of what the stakes are.”

Curry said past experiences with closeout games should help prepare the Warriors for their nerves, the atmosphere, and the crowd. He’s hopeful they can stay focused on game-plan adjustments and continue to bring some physicality on both ends.

In losing Games 4 and 5, the Celtics dropped back-to-back games for the first time this postseason. They haven’t lost three games in a row since late December, when they came up short against Milwaukee, Minnesota, and the Clippers.

“This is a very good team,” Thompson said. “We know they’re going to play with a sense of desperation. So, for us to match that or exceed that, it’s going to take the most effort we’ve had to give all year. But I can tell you this: We’re all ready for the opportunity, and we’re all very excited.”

Curry favors the Sox

With the Red Sox hosting the A’s at Fenway Park this week, Curry spoke a little bit about his fandom and explained why he was so drawn to soon-to-be Hall of Famer David Ortiz.


“Those iconic moments that Big Papi was always a part of, even the championship moments, the way that he was kind of an ambassador for the city, spokesman for the city, just the reception and chemistry he had with this town,” Curry said. “All of that is inspiring, for sure.”

Golden State's Stephen Curry says he was a big fan of David Ortiz and the Red Sox.Jim Davis/Globe Staff

Curry, who grew up in Charlotte, N.C., is a Red Sox fan, while his brother Seth is a Yankees fan. Curry’s bachelor party was at a Red Sox game in 2011. He has been to a few other games, too, and has visited the inside of the Green Monster.

Swinging by

The US Open trophy paid a visit to TD Garden Wednesday. Both teams have a number of golf aficionados, so the NBA coordinated with the USGA to have the trophy on-site. The players sounded doubtful that they’d have time to check out The Country Club in Brookline, though a few golfers are expected to be in attendance for Game 6.

Nicole Yang can be reached at nicole.yang@globe.com.Follow her on Twitter @nicolecyang.