“You just get the nerves,” Curry said. “At the end of the day, when you’re out there, you just have to be in the moment. You need to be present as often as possible and not worry about the consequences of winning or losing. The only opportunity you have is these 48 minutes.”
The core of the Warriors of Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green are still there from the 2015 championship run. They are on the verge of winning their fourth title in eight seasons, with newcomers to the floor – like Andrew Wiggins and Jordan Poole – who have never been in that position.
Curry’s advice to her: lie to yourself a little.
“The more you can get your mind to be in the moment and stay there, that’s the best advice I can give anyone in this situation,” he said. “Because it’s going to be the toughest game you’ve probably ever played in your career because of the high stakes.”
The stakes will be just as high for the Celtics, who let the turnover demons that haunted them at times during the postseason prevent them from establishing a comfortable 3-1 lead in the series.
Boston limited Curry to his lowest Finals score in Game 5 but failed to overcome 18 turnovers. The Celtics fell to 1-7 this postseason after committing 16 or more turnovers — and losing straight games for the first time since late March.
But they have a chance to force Game 7 — and the chance comes at the Garden, where they’re 6-5 in the playoffs.
The mood at the end of Wednesday’s practice session was relaxed, with players smiling and joking while throwing a few shots. Celtics star Jayson Tatum said the optimism comes from the team’s recent playoff history.
Boston’s route to the Finals included victories in Game 7 against Milwaukee in the second round and Miami in the Conference Finals. The Celtics reached the Finals as only the 12th team in league history to win back-to-back Game 7s in the previous rounds.
“In those moments we just reacted. I don’t know exactly what it is, but I think it’s just our will to want to win, we’re just trying to figure it out,” Tatum said. “I think my thought process, like that game, Game 7 vs the Heat, was just do whatever it takes to win.”
That and reminding himself and his teammates that there’s still basketball to play.
“It’s the first before four. It’s not over yet,” Tatum said. “As long as it’s not over, you have a chance.”
Tatum and Green had one of the most memorable moments of Game 5 when Tatum refused to let Green take the ball when he went to the bench during time out.
The game was an example of the headgames Green attempted to play against a young Celtics team during the Finals.
Tatum held a basketball during his press conference on Wednesday. He was asked by a reporter if he still keeps it from Green.
“Oh, how the other day?” Tatum asked. “Yes, this is my ball.”
One thing Celtics coach Ime Udoka wants to get rid of ahead of Game 6 is his team complaining to umpires about calls.
Boston committed two technical fouls in the loss – one in the first quarter by Udoka and one by Marcus Smart early in the fourth. Smart’s technique was immediately followed by an offensive foul call on him, resulting in a 3-pointer from Golden State.
“I think in general there are just too many conversations sometimes. It feels like someone is talking to a referee after fouls or dead balls, free throws, time-outs,” said Udoka. “We have to put our energy into the game and everything else in between, except the referees.”
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