Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson prove they still have a knockout punch, but how long can they hold off erratic shooting?

Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson prove they still have a knockout punch, but how long can they hold off erratic shooting?

Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson combined for 59 points on 14 3-pointers in Golden State’s series-clinching victory over Memphis on Friday. Thompson won the day, hitting eight of his 14 3-pointers and 11 of 22 shots overall. Curry went 4-for-17 at one point before hitting two dagger 3-pointers as the Warriors. finally drive away the Grizzlies.

But numbers require context. Curry didn’t play well. He finished with 29 points, and it’s a testament to his all-time threat level that he was sloppy on the ball and couldn’t take a shot for most of the night yet still finished a plus-14 for the game. . and he did hit the shots when they really counted, but looking at Dallas or Phoenix in the conference finals, he’ll have to be better.

Same goes for Thompson, who was terrific Friday but has been forcing shots for a while now. It took an 11-for-22 performance in Game 6 for Thompson to finish the series over 40 percent from the field. He’s not the defender he used to be, putting much more emphasis on his offensive contributions.

Curry, meanwhile, just can’t find his shot, except for a few score-saving runs. He was 6-of-17 for 3 on Friday and finished Memphis’ series shooting 32 percent from beyond the arc and 41 percent overall. This is by far the worst postseason shot of his career, coming on the heels of the worst regular season shot of his career.

As I wrote earlier this week, Curry’s shooting issues have served to reinforce just how great of a player he is. He has still posted five 30-point games in the playoffs; only Giannis Antetokounmpo has more so far. He rolled 29 on Friday. He is such a winning player. Even when his shots don’t go in, he’s still attacking off the dribble, he’s still deflecting the ball, he’s still chasing shots and still creating leads for everyone else. James Harden should take note.

But at some point, one would think, these shots will have to start coming in as the postseason progresses. It’s hard to imagine the Warriors beating the Suns, or even the Mavericks, with Thompson and Curry shooting so inconsistently, especially since they no longer have an elite defense to fall back on.

It’s a blank slate now. The Warriors have survived two rounds and the score starts 0-0 against whoever they play next. Curry and Thompson can put these erratic ways behind them and warm up at the right time, and if they do, the Warriors can beat anyone. But we have yet to see evidence that they can consistently conjure their old magic.

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