CLEVELAND – Getting beat by the Cavaliers is nothing to be ashamed of, but for the Golden State Warriors, their anger seemed to boil over like Mount St. Helens Thursday night following their latest loss to the Cavs, a 115-101 setback in game six of the NBA Finals.
The loss for the Warriors makes it very simple, it’s all down to one game, as the Cavs and Warriors will go to war one ore time on Sunday in Oakland for the right to hoist the trophy as the best team in all of basketball.
It’s hard to believe that the series has even gotten to this point, but for the Cavs, they have done it showing more heart the last two games in order to be just the fourth team in NBA history to force a game seven in the Finals after being down three games to one.
Thursday though the Warriors were totally out of character. The team seemed to complain and whine about just about every call, despite the fact that things seemed to be called tight the entire night.
The biggest thing the team was fuming about was the situation surrounding MVP Steph Curry, who was ejected from the game after getting his 6th foul at the 4:22 mark of the fourth quarter.
Add on to that he was thrown out of the game totally after throwing his mouthpiece, something that some are even speculating that could lead to a suspension for game seven, but that seems awfully unlikely.
It was the first time in Curry’s career that he was ejected, and one person it didn’t sit well with was coach Steve Kerr, who will for sure be writing a check soon for his comments about the officials calls in the postgame press conference.
“He had every right to be upset, he’s the MVP of the league,” Kerr said. “He gets six fouls called on him, three of them were absolutely ridiculous.
He steals the ball from Kyrie clean at one point, LeBron flops on the last one. (Official) Jason Phillips falls for that, for a flop. As the MVP of the league, we’re talking about these touch fouls in the NBA Finals.”
Kerr, who usually is about as calm as a coach can be, was fired up enough to even go so far as to say he supported Curry throwing his mouthpiece, which wound up hitting a fan, to then Curry went and apologized for.
“Let me be clear, we did not lose because of the officiating,” Kerr said. “They totally outplayed us and Cleveland deserved to win, but those three of the six fouls were incredibly inappropriate calls for anybody, much less the MVP of the league.”
Curry, who ended the night with 30 points in the losing effort, leading the Warriors in scoring, said after the game that he had a hard time with a couple of the fouls, and that it was tough to have to watch the final few minutes of the loss in the Warriors locker room.
“The last two fouls I had I thought were — I didn’t think I fouled either Kyrie or LeBron,” Curry said. “That’s just kind of my perception of the plays and I had a reaction to it. It was obviously frustrating fouling out in the fourth quarter of a clinching game and not being out there with my teammates.
“So it got the best of me, but I’ll be all right for next game.”
Curry said that it wasn’t the first time that he’s thrown his mouthpiece, but this time instead of it landing harmlessly or landing near the scorers table, it actually his a fan, something that the MVP said he regrets.
“I’ve thrown my mouthpiece before,” Curry said. “I usually aim at the scorer’s table, I was off aim. I definitely didn’t mean to throw it at a fan, but it happened.
“I went over and apologized to him because that’s obviously not where I was trying to take my frustration out.”
With the wild crowd at Quicken Loans Arena singing ‘Nah Nah Nah Nah – Hey Hey Hey – Good bye’ as Curry was escorted to the locker room, it was a scene that the MVP nor those in attendance at the game will likely forget anytime soon.
“I thought it was kind of hilarious the way the last two fouls and me blowing up,” Curry said.
Kerr wasn’t so amused in the humor of the situation, and said he felt the game wasn’t called fairly, something that isn’t going to sit well with NBA Commish Adam Silver.
“He should be upset,” Kerr said of Curry. “Look, it’s The Finals and everybody’s competing out there. There are fouls on every play.
“It’s a physical game. I just think that Steph Curry and Klay Thompson, the way we run our offense, we’re running, we’re cutting through the lane,we’re a rhythm offense.
“If they’re going to let Cleveland grab and hold these guys constantly on their cuts and then you’re going to call these ticky-tack fouls on the MVP of the league to foul him out, I don’t agree with that.”
The Warriors will have one more shot to right their ship on Sunday, while the Cavs are hoping to take the momentum of the last two games and go to Oakland to land a knockout blow to a team that was declared by many as the greatest of all-time after setting the NBA record for regular season wins.
It will be interesting to see how game seven is called from an officials standpoint, and how much noise Curry and Kerr make about foul calls after the situation in game six.