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Warriors star makes just 4 of 14 shots as Warriors act their age in San Antonio

  • Golden State Warriors' Stephen Curry pauses during time out against the San Antonio Spurs during the first half in Game 5 of a Western Conference semifinal NBA basketball playoff series, Tuesday, May 14, 2013, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

SAN ANTONIO - For the first time in this semifinal series, the Warriors looked like a young team and played like a young team.

The Spurs were up just three points at halftime, and they had labored to get there. You had to figure the Warriors would make a run in the third quarter, just go off with drives and long 3s and putbacks, the whole deal. It's what they do and what makes them frightening. You just knew it was coming. And all those faithful Spurs fans, dressed in Spurs black, weren't attending a celebration for their team. They were attending a funeral.

Except it didn't happen that way. No one had to get out the black crepe paper or speak in soft, sad voices along the Riverwalk. The Spurs, who led most of the first half, won 109-91. And the Warriors were reduced to using Richard Jefferson and Andris Biedrins. Next to their names in the box score you usually see "Did Not Play — Coach's decision." This time they played.

Golden State Warriors vs. San Antonio Spurs Playoff Game 5

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And the valiant Jarrett Jack, the team saver, saved nothing. Oh, in the third quarter, he lost the ball and lay on the floor as Tony Parker drove the court and fed Danny Green for a dunk. And, really, the Warriors who had been so poised came apart, felt the full force of the Spurs and AT&T Arena and San Antonio. And in the fourth Jack lost the ball on a bad pass, his poise having gone elsewhere, and the wheels came off the Warriors' wagon, just came off. The Warriors seemed so young.

While it's not fair to assign blame in this rugged series — everyone tried hard — what in the world was up with Stephen Curry? Just before the tipoff he ran from the Warriors' bench to the middle of the floor, and then he made a 90-degree cut to one of the baskets. He was testing himself, testing those aching ankles and he looked fit and fine.

But there was nothing fine about the way he played. Call him the Invisible Man.

You must compare him to Tony Parker, the Spurs' leader who scored 25 points. Parker drove the lane again and again, and drew fouls and schooled the Warriors.

After the game, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said of Parker, "He's our generator offensively." If Curry is the Warriors' generator, the generator shorted out, or maybe it needs a new wire.

Be clear. In a game like this — and this kind of game brings a team, the Warriors, one game from extinction — a team's best player plays like its best player. Parker did. Curry didn't. He had nine points on 4-of-14 shooting — horrible — and in the third quarter he dribbled the ball off his foot and it went out of bounds. Call it an unforced error on the Warriors star who, for one night at least, lost the Force.

He became a mere spectator in a game that might have defined him as a superstar, at least a series star. Finally, coach Mark Jackson cried uncle and took him and Andrew Bogut out.


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