Steph explains how Mavs' ‘ego win' in Game 4 unfolded


Between the leaky roof, a balancing basketball and the Warriors’ disengaged performance turned near comeback, Dub Nation was left wondering what went wrong during the team’s failed sweep opportunity in Game 4 of the Western Conference finals.

After Golden State fell 119-109 to the Dallas Mavericks at American Airlines Center on Tuesday night, Steph Curry tried to explain to reporters exactly why his team was unable to close out the series.

In a stunning turn of events, the Mavericks were able to bounce back from their three-games-to-none deficit and put themselves into the win column after going 20-for-43 on 3-point attempts -- a performance from the field by Dallas that Curry called an “ego win.”

“A lot of that was just great shots by them,” Curry told reporters after the game, noting that Dallas was “heaving from everywhere” during Game 1, but the shots weren’t falling.

And in Game 2, Curry said, Golden State was able to cool down the Mavericks’ hot start by the second half, while Game 3 was an “average-type” matchup.

“Tonight, you’re playing, it was almost like an ego win,” Curry said, explaining the Dallas mindset. “You come out and you really have nothing to lose, so that confidence started early. We didn’t really do nothing to slow it down.

“And then that’s when the avalanche starts.”

It was an avalanche indeed, with the Mavericks leading by as much as 29 points during the game. The Warriors pulled within eight points of the lead by the fourth quarter, but the bench’s inspired comeback fell short in securing the sweep.

“So, it's a good lesson learned,” Curry continues. “You tip your hat to them because they made a lot of shots. We had a couple breakdowns in our zone that gave them easy looks, and they made us pay.
“We knew to close them out, it's going to be tough. So, you've got to strap up on defense. When we go home, Game 5 and figure out how to slow them down, especially in the first quarter.”
Curry also went on to explain how the Mavericks were able to break down Golden State’s zone defense.
“They tried some stuff against our zone, trying to overload one side and force us to rotate, and we were just a step slow,” he said. “They obviously have a lineup where they can put five shooters out there, and then they switched it up -- I don't know if it was end of the first half or second half, but they put Luka [Dončić] off the ball in the zone, so he was the one catching with a live dribble and making us make a read.”
As the Warriors look for a gentleman’s sweep in Game 5 at Chase Center on Thursday, Dallas can rest assured Curry and Co. will be prepared to try and stop the Mavericks' 3-point rush.

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“Playoffs are fun. It’s a game of adjustments, and you’ve got to figure [it] out,” Curry said Tuesday. “If you can’t do it on the fly, and you have a game like you have tonight -- these next 48 hours, get prepared and come out with another level of focus on what they did to win the game like they did tonight.”
No NBA team has ever climbed out of a three-games-to-none hole in the playoffs, but the Mavericks on Tuesday looked like a team that has a chance if the baskets continue to fall in their favor.
And the Warriors certainly don’t take that lightly.

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