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Steve Kerr: Stephen Curry's tough night not a slump

Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry reacts after

Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry reacts after scoring against the Cleveland Cavaliers during the second half of Game 2 of the NBA Finals in Oakland, Calif., Sunday, June 7, 2015. Photo Credit: AP / Ben Margot

CLEVELAND - As Stephen Curry was lofting jump shot after jump shot, some of them arching even higher than the ones he rains down on opponents in games, Warriors coach Steve Kerr was sitting on the scorers' table at Quicken Loans Arena defending the NBA MVP.

Game 3 of the NBA Finals couldn't tip off without more dissection of what happened two nights ago.

Curry was way off target in Game 2. He shot 5-for-23 and missed 13 of 15 three-point attempts in the Warriors' two-point overtime loss to the Cavaliers that tied the series at a game apiece. Following his team's shootaround, Kerr, a shooter as a player, explained Curry's performance this way: It happens.

"Steph Curry's in a slump?" Kerr said incredulously. "Where were you in Game 1? He had a bad game. He had one bad shooting game. That's what happens in basketball. It's happened to every player that ever put a uniform on. Steph's not in a slump. He just had a tough night."

Curry's tough night may have been an aberration. He was looking to prove that in Game 3 Tuesday night, promising to play more aggressively, but also to be more effective and impactful.

"Yes, but that doesn't necessarily mean scoring," he said. "That just means making plays.

"There's been games in the playoffs where I've gone eight or nine minutes without shooting to try and get guys involved and find ways to attack. It doesn't mean I'm going to finish the possession with a shot, but I like to have an impact and get us good shots on each possession."

Cavaliers unheralded guard Matthew Dellavedova is getting plenty of credit for being a Curry stopper, including from his superstar teammate LeBron James. Curry has handled it professionally, and even called Dellavedova "a great player."

But Curry was ready to shake off his Game 2 rust and try to help his team regain the home-court advantage that the Cavaliers took from the Warriors on Sunday.

"I doubt this will happen again," Curry said. "One game is not going to make me stop shooting or alter my confidence at all.

"I'm not going to let one game alter my confidence. As a team, we're not going to let one game alter our belief that we're going to win this series."

Curry won the MVP after averaging 23.8 points and 7.7 assists, and shooting 48.7 overall and 44.3 percent from three, for the NBA's best team. He's scoring 28.4 points in the playoffs, but his shooting percentages have dipped to .447, and .410 on three-pointers.

That could be because teams have more time to prepare and the defense is usually better in the postseason. By comparison, James is shooting 42.4 percent, well below his regular-season 48.8 percent. But James is doing everything for the undermanned Cavaliers.

He's averaging 41.5 points, 12 rebounds and 8.5 assists in this series.

Curry has shot below 40 percent in seven of 17 games this postseason, including three of the last four. It's worth noting that four games ago, Curry took that nasty spill against the Rockets in the conference finals when he landed on his head.

But Curry dismissed the idea that the fall is affecting him now.

"No, it has nothing to do with it," he said. "I feel good. I just have to shoot better."

Kerr agreed.

"He's fine physically," Kerr said. "Shots come and go. We could have done a better job offensively of getting him some rhythm. Hopefully, we can do that, but it's part of the process. Nobody would say a word if it was the regular season. But it's not, so the focus is on that. He'll make them. He always does."


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