Smart reacts to Steph's big Game 4: ‘That's what he does'


Guarding Steph Curry is no joke, and the Boston Celtics learned that the hard way on Friday night at TD Garden.

The Warriors superstar erupted for 43 points as his team evened the NBA Finals at two games apiece, breaking several records along the way to help Golden State take Game 4 of the series by a score of 107-97.

After their loss, members of the Celtics reflected on Curry’s performance and how it happened. All Boston guard Marcus Smart could do was tip his hat to greatness.

“We were there. He’s a great player; he made shots,” Smart told reporters following the game. “He made a lot of the shots where we were contesting from behind. We had somebody there, and he was just making them.

“That’s what he does.”

Curry’s 43 points came on 14-of-26 shooting from the field and 50 percent shooting from behind the arc. His seven 3-pointers in Game 4 made him the first player in Finals history to record five or more threes in four consecutive games.

“We obviously have to do a better job of limiting that,” Smart said. “We got to make it even more tough for him. It is what it is. We get another chance to do it again on Monday.”

Friday night marked the first true nail-biter of these Finals, and Curry was able to capitalize during crunch time by tacking on eight points in the game’s final two minutes. 

And as Dub Nation knows, there’s nothing more lethal than Curry in a rhythm -- especially in a must-win game.

“... You got to be aware, especially at the end,” Smart said. “That’s the one guy you can’t allow to beat you. Like I said, obviously he made a lot of tough shots tonight on us. When you get a guy like that, some rhythm early on, those shots, the basketball hoop starts to look a little bit bigger for him.

“We just got to make it a conscious effort to find him and Klay and their shooters, especially in transition.”

Celtics coach Ime Udoka explained that once Boston started switching on defense to try and take away the Warriors’ 3-point shots, it created some uneven matchups that allowed Golden State to capture more offensive boards and get off some unanticipated shots.

“... In general, it wasn’t even the bigs on the smalls; it was more [Andrew] Wiggins crashing from the wing,” Udoka said. “They got some extra positions as far as that.”

Andrew Wiggins was Golden State’s other star in Game 4 as he finished with a crucial double-double, grabbing a career-high 16 rebounds to pair with his 17 points.

Udoka felt the Celtics did enough to win on Friday, but the Warriors did even more -- more meaning Curry went off and Golden State was able to overpower them on the glass.

“Like I said, defensively other than the late free throws, we guarded well enough to win, even though Curry kind of got loose,” Udoka said. “Our offense wasn’t as good as it needed to be, and it aided them on defense.”

RELATED: How Tatum diagnoses his Game 4 struggles against Warriors

The Boston coach gave the Warriors their flowers for what proved to be an incredible game between two talented teams. In the end, Golden State showed its heart during the critical matchup.

“Credit to them. We knew it wasn’t going to be easy,” Udoka said. “They weren’t going to come in and lay down. We had our opportunities, especially in the first half.”

Now, the tied best-of-seven series returns to Chase Center on Monday night for Game 5 as the Celtics try to figure out how they can stop the Warriors.

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