Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry admitted his team was struggling in the first three quarters of Game 4 versus the Memphis Grizzlies but he was glad that they were able to close out the match on a high and clinch a 101-98 victory and take a 3-1 lead in the series.
The Grizzlies were playing without their top star Ja Morant but it was all but an easy night for the Warriors. With nine and a half minutes left to play in the game, the Grizzlies had an eight-point lead and a real shot at winning Game 4.
The Warriors, who were struggling pretty much for the entire night up until that point, then outscored the Grizzlies by eight in over the next three minutes. "When you come into a fourth quarter with no offensive flow and you're still within three or four possessions, there's some motivation behind that," Curry said, per ESPN.
Curry delivered in the fourth quarter
Curry finished the game with 32 points and 18 of those 32 points came in the final quarter. Earlier that day, the Warriors were struck by two bad news. Warriors head coach Steve Kerr was feeling unwell before the game, and after taking a COVID-19 test, he was ruled out of the game as his test returned as positive.
The other bad news was that Adreain Payne, one of Draymond Green's best friend, was shot and killed. Kerr was replaced by Mike Brown, who will join the Sacramento Kings as their new head coach after the Warriors finish their season.
"It was an up-and-down, emotional day," Brown said. "It was a tough night for us, but at this point in the year, you win ballgames. Doesn't matter how you get there, but you win ballgames." Curry and company were having a pretty rough night but it all changed in the fourth quarter when Curry got going.
"Because [Curry] doesn't think about the past or dwell on it too hard, he always thinks about the next thing that is going to happen in a positive manner for him, whether it's a made shot or the right pass," Brown said.
"He's always confident because he thinks next play all of the time." After the game, Brown gave credit to Warriors veterans Green and Andre Igoudala. "To have veterans like Andre and Draymond who have been through the highs and lows of many playoff series, when they are reassuring the guys of that, it gave everybody else confidence," Brown said.
"Their presence, their voice, their calmness, reassurance, all that stuff means a lot for our group, especially with Steve being out."