For the first time in their five-straight NBA Finals appearances, the Golden State Warriors find themselves down two games, with the Toronto Raptors on the brink of sealing their first NBA championship.
The Raptors head back to Toronto for Game 5 in the driver's seat, leaving the hobbled Warriors in a 'win or go home' situation, but point guard Steph Curry maintains the experienced group has what it takes to flip the script and keep their quest for a three-peat alive.
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"I think after Game 4 it was a tough vibe in the locker room," Curry told reporters. "Just because you lose two in a row at home, nobody likes that feeling at all especially in the Finals and it's kind of a little self-reflection, 'what do we need to do? What do we need to correct?' for us to stay alive.
"But I wouldn't say we're down it's mostly just we're anxious for tomorrow to just get out there and play a great basketball game and I think we're confident in the fact that we can do that and our best bet for us is just to block out as much noise as possible, have a great practice today where we hone in on the details that we need to correct and really come with the right mindset of the energy and effort we need to play with, with our backs against the wall."
"We know we can do it, it's just a matter of proving it."
"We know we can do it, it's just a matter of proving it."- NBA TV (@NBATV) June 9, 2019
Steph Curry on the challenge the Warriors are facing down 3-1. #NBAFinals pic.twitter.com/L2mYEV13m0
In the 34 times a team has gone down 3-1 in the NBA Finals, only one team has ever managed to overturn the defeict an win the series - the 2016 Cleveland Cavaliers who made history against Curry's Warriors.
"We still got plenty to play for," Steve Kerr said ahead of Game 5. "We have an amazing opportunity and challenge. We're going to do everything we can to meet that challenge. We're excited about it."
Golden State themselves have seen both sides of the equation after going down 3-1 in the 2016 Western Conference Finals against the Oklahoma City Thunder, before roaring home to win in seven games, a feat Draymond Green says the team can draw on ahead o Game 5.
"We've been on the wrong end of 3-1 before, why not make our own history?" Draymond Green said in his post-game press conference following the Game 4 defeat.
The Warriors enter Game 5 unsure if Kevin Durant will return, with the star small forward offically listed as 'questionable' following practice in Toronto today.
If KD got some work in today against the rest of his teammates - it wasn't much. He was one of the first players back in the locker room and the Warriors weren't on the floor very long to begin with.- Nick Friedell (@NickFriedell) June 9, 2019
With or without Durant, the Warriors face a tough task on the road against the Raptors, but having played in big games under pressure consistently for half a decade, Curry is confident they can lean on those experiences to keep their calm.
"It does help having been on the back end of this five-year journey, where we have seen so much and been in a lot of different atmospheres and different pressures and expectations, that we can lock in on just strictly 48 minutes. The context of it all really doesn't matter," Curry added.
"It's win one basketball game and take it from there."