Warriors' Stephen Curry enjoys 'coolest experience I've ever had' facing his brother
OAKLAND — Seth Curry had a friendly message for his big brother. At the free-throw line. In the fourth quarter of a Western Conference Finals duel.
They were a long way from their Carolina driveway.
With 2 minutes to go in the Warriors’ eventual Game 2 comeback, Steph Curry settled in for three free throws
“After he made the first one, I told him, ‘That’s like 70 in a row.’ I was trying to jinx him a little bit,” Seth recalled. “He’s like, ‘Alright. It’s going to be 72.’ So, he made them both. He wasn’t fazed.”
Boys will be boys. The Brothers Curry will remember this one.
Steph made all 11 of his free throws Thursday night as part of his 37-point performance, all of which helped the Warriors win 114-111 to put the Portland and his little brother in a 2-0 series hole.
“This was like the coolest experience I’ve ever had playing against him,” Steph said. “We talk about the stage, and he was amazing tonight.”
Seth came off the bench to score 16 points, the virtual equivalent of a 40-point game by his MVP-proven brother. He led everyone with a +13 on the plus/minus marker. The sibling rivalry went on display beyond the scoring, however, as Seth came up with four steals, and Steph even tried to isolate himself against him at the 3-point arc.
It took almost seven quarters until the Curry-vs.-Curry storyline actually showed up with an NBA Finals berth on the line.
“What a special time to be in the Curry family, because you never know when this will happen again,” Warriors guard Klay Thompson said. “I’m enjoying this. I know how hard they work.
“… It’ll be a story forever told, especially in the Bay Area.”
And especially in the Curry household.
Up in the stands, parents Dell and Sonya smiled and cringed and applauded and held their breath, again donning split jerseys but swapping them after Game 1 so that Dell fronted a Portland jersey and Sonya a Warriors one.
“My parents, we’ve talked about it all series, that they’re stressed,” Steph said. “It worked out perfectly tonight. He played well, and we won.”
Added his brother: “Both of us were going back and forth, making plays. My dad’s probably stressed out and my mom’s stressed out.”
Once Portland squandered a lead that was 65-50 and ultimately peaked at 17-point lead, it needed a spark to recover from the Warriors third-quarter revival. Seth provided it.
He made a trio of 3-pointers, and each had Portland in the lead (95-92, 105-98 and, finally, 111-110).
That final 3-pointer came with 1:03 remaining, and it came a minute after his brother was sinking those aforementioned three free throws for what then was a 110-108 Warriors lead.
“He tried to distract me at the free throw line in the fourth quarter,” Steph said. “I knew how to go back at him to stay focused on what I needed to do.”
Steph, by the way, has made 30 consecutive free throws; he had a career-best streak of 43 snapped when he missed his first attempt in Game 3 at Houston last series.
“It’s just fun,” Steph said of facing his brother for the first time in the playoffs. “I have to catch myself sometimes because I want to go over and have small talk with him, but I have to stay locked in.”
The brothers weren’t the only ones enjoying what Seth confirmed was “for sure, for sure” their most intense toe-to-toe battle, considering the stage.
“They both know there’s going to be a conversation about this when the series is over, and they’re going to play like it,” Portland guard Damian Lillard said. “Every time we played them this season, Seth has played great and it has something to do with playing against his brother.”
Seth, 28, is five years removed from playing on the Warriors’ minor-league affiliate in Santa Cruz, and with the Blazers being his sixth NBA team, he is “not taking for granted” this opportunity.
“I have seen every Warriors game and every Steph game the past 10 years, so I know some things they like to do and he likes to do,” Seth said. “But it wasn’t enough.”
Steph credited his little brother for being a “pest” on defense, to which Seth noted is part of his job description and that his familiarity obviously helps.
“I feel like he was thinking about where I was at times,” Seth said. “I was trying to make it tough on him.
“He’s going to do what he does, but if you make him work a little more, it gives us a chance to win.”
There might only be two chances left. Enjoy the Curry-vs.-Curry show while it lasts.