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Game 5 Preview — Stephen Curry: “I Feel Good, Boss”

Warriors point guard Stephen Curry smiled while, as he usually does, he sauntered across the locker room for the exit. The question was short and simple, how do you feel.

Curry’s response: “I feel good, boss.” Then he started clapping. The same kind of clapping he does when he’s hype, like he did after that three-point play during his majestic run in the third quarter of Game 4.

His eye is still red. But his ankle, which he sprained 10 days ago in Game 1, should be feeling better as well. And the hamstring, which tightened from a hard fall on his butt in Game 3, is feeling better.

JACKSON: “There are no limitations. We haven’t practiced much but he has been getting treatment and been steady with that. He feels fine. I think his body is beat up – his eye, his ankle, his leg. But he’s a gamer. It’s been impressive to see how true he is to treatment and how tough he is in the game.”

More notes heading into Game 5…

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George Karl wouldn’t give away his game plan, but he said several players will have their turn at defending Curry. Expect to see Andre Iguodala and even defensive specialist Julyan Stone, a 6-foot-6, 200-pound guard in his second year out of Texas El Paso. But mostly, expect Curry to be trapped and pressured a lot.

KARL: “We’ll mix up the matchups tonight. … Curry has been under control a lot and then he explodes. He just has a momentum. He takes control of the game. I think we have to be more careful of that maybe even put Julyan Stone, one of our better defenders, on him and give him two or three minutes of assignment to slow (Curry) down.”

Another thing you can expect is the Nuggets to go back to their usual lineup. They Nuggets have tried to match the Warriors, and it hasn’t worked. The Warriors can simply shoot better than Denver. Kenneth Faried’s comments about “not playing Nuggets basketball” highlights the sentiment around Denver: the Nuggets made a mistake goings mall. Expect them to go back to the big lineup (even if not to start the game) and let Bogut bang against a center, let Faried play against a guy his size, and try to dominate the boards.

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One player who is enjoying single coverage is Carl Landry. He knows it’s hard for a defense to commit an extra man to the post because the Warriors guards are such good shooters. So Landry is licking his chops when he gets to go to work against his man.

LANDRY: “Hopefully all of us our confident enough to feel like the guy in front of us can’t stop us. It’s not just me, but all of us, when you see one-on-one defense, your eyes light up.”

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Draymond Green saw my tweet about how he has the best 3-point percentage on the team in the playoffs. He got a good laugh out of that

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Game 4 Rewind: Stephen Curry, Warriors Take Denver’s Heart and 3-1 Series Lead

To think, the legendary performance by Warriors point guard Stephen Curry on Sunday almost didn’t happen.

Before he went off for 22 points in the third quarter — powering the run that turned a close game into a 115-101 Warriors win over Denver in Game 4 — coach Mark Jackson considered shutting Curry down for the game. Still bothered by his sprained left ankle, Curry wasn’t looking too good early on.

MARK JACKSON: “It was almost like a boxer who knew he was on the ropes. I guess he realized and sensed it. He captured the moment. He embraced the moment. … It was almost like he had been waiting for this his entire career and he wasn’t going to allow his body to tell him it was too hurt to match the moment. It was an incredible, incredible performance by him.”

With a shooting display befitting of a video game, Curry led the Warriors on a 25-10 run to close the third quarter and turn a close game into a spectacle. His memorable display gave command of the series to the Warriors, who are now a win away from upsetting the No. 3 seed and advancing to the second round to take on No. 2 San Antonio.

STEPHEN CURRY: “I was just able to get good looks,” Curry said. “I felt a little warmer, body wise, in the third quarter and was able to get a rhythm.”

More on the Game 4 win…

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Mark Jackson’s Wife, Desiree, to Sing National Anthem for Game 4

The wife of head coach Mark Jackson, Desiree Coleman Jackson, will sing the national anthem for tonight’s game against the Warriors.

She’s an accomplished singer who has performed on Broadway, did an album on Motown and was the protege of Patti LaBelle. She is the co-pastor at Jackson’s church, True Love Worship Center International, in Van Nuys, Calif.

MARK JACKSON: “I always say she has way more talent than me.”

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Game 3 Rewind: Warriors Survive to Take Control of Series

It wasn’t pretty, certainly not like Game 2 in Denver. And they nearly gave it away.

But the Warriors, like they have so many times this season, grinded one out. They took control of the series by outlasting the Denver Nuggets in a fight, 110-108, overcoming a desperate Nuggets squad and their own mistakes.

MARK JACKSON: “We’re tied together, we compete and we’re a defensive-minded team. When you make defensive your primary focus, you’re going to be in ball games. … We gave up 42 second-half points because we locked in and we competed.”

The Warriors’ didn’t dominate on offense like they did in Game 2, when they made Denver’s head spin with 131 points on 64.6 percent shooting. And their defense wasn’t good throughout the game. Nuggets guard Ty Lawson torched the Warriors with 35 points and 10 assists. Denver racked up 66 first-half points on 53.3 percent shooting.

But Golden State clamped down when they absolutely had to and head into Sunday with a chance to take command of this series.

More on the Game 3 win…

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Stephen Curry’s Sprained Left Ankle Proves Manageable

When the pregame stuff settled and all his attention turned to the court, coach Mark Jackson noticed something that had him shaking his head. Unbeknownst to him, point guard Stephen Curry had taken off the brace protecting his sprained left ankle.

MARK JACKSON: “I’ve learned very early, he’s very slick with his. So he picks and chooses the time in which he thinks I’m not looking. So when I found out, he was already running up and down the court.”

Clearly, Curry was fine.

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Bruce Bowen Explains How He Would Defend Stephen Curry

I had a chance to talk with ESPN analyst Bruce Bowen, the former standout defender for the San Antonio Spurs. I asked him how he would defend Stephen Curry.

“I wouldn’t try to force him to do anything. I would play him straight up because he is too good. He takes advantage whenever you try to force him to do something. He is really good at countering. I wouldn’t force him left or force him right, I wouldn’t make him pass and I certainly wouldn’t let him shoot. He is such a smart player and has so much skill, all he does is see what you’re trying to do to him and counter. I would take away the three. You can’t let him shoot the three, so I would take away that. But I would play him straight up and take away the 3.”

I asked Bowen if, as a defender, Curry impresses him. He laughed and said of course not: “His daddy is Dell Curry. What you’d expect? That’s the family business.”

Bowen did say he was proud of Curry. He said he remembers seeing him as a little kid with his father.

“This isn’t an accident. He was in practice with his dad in Charlotte putting up a thousand shots a day. He’s worked his tail off to get this good. I’m just proud of the work he’s put in.”

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Warriors Anticipating Epic Oracle Atmosphere

In 2007 playoffs, the underdog Warriors started the first round of the playoffs in a place that was nearly impossible to get a win: American Airlines Center. Dallas was 36-5 at home during the regular season, but the Warriors managed a split. So when they came home, it made for a surreal setting. The crowd was in third-quarter form two hours before tip-off. And when the Warriors went on a run, the place got so loud you couldn’t hear yourself think.

Fast forward six years. The underdog Warriors started the first round in a place that was nearly impossible to get a win: the Pepsi Center. Despite the fact that Denver (38-3 at home during the regular season) had won 24 straight at home, the Warriors pulled off a split. Now, they come home to what is expected to be an electric Oracle Arena.

The banners are already up on each side, with more inside. The Warriors are preparing for what figures to be one of the most electric atmospheres in the NBA. A few details:

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