The Golden State Warriors are on the brink of elimination from this year's playoffs after the Oklahoma City Thunder soundly defeated the reigning champions 94-118 in game four of the Western Conference Finals to take a 3-1 series lead.
After putting together a record-setting 73 wins in the regular season - including winning all three of their battles with the Thunder - anything but retaining the Larry O'Brien trophy will be seen as an underachievement for Golden State, let alone not even making the NBA Finals.
The Warriors absolutely must do what the Thunder just did if they wish to remain in the series and take it to seven games; they have to defend their homecourt.
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Naturally, Stephen Curry is vital to their chances and as the unanimous MVP, now is the time to step up and carry his Warriors to safety. This is the first time the Dubs have suffered back-to-back losses all season and the 28-year-old point guard appeared powerless to stop it.
Curry scored 19 points on 6-of-20 shooting and committed six turnovers. He missed nine of his first 10 shots and finished 2-of-7 on uncontested shots, including 0-of-5 on uncontested three-point attempts, according to ESPN Stats & Information.
On the other hand, his counterpart, Russell Westbrook, recorded a triple-double of 36 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists to drive the Thunder to the all-important W.
"The series isn't over," Curry said following their second consecutive blowout loss. "We've got to believe in ourselves. There's obviously frustration. It's a terrible feeling once again not stepping up and being ourselves and playing our game.
"But I think we're a special team. This isn't how we're going to go out."
Curry's All-Star teammate, Draymond Green, echoed the same sentiment.
"This is all or nothing," Green said. "We've put in too much work to go out like this. I wouldn't be able to live with myself all summer going out like this. I'm not sure what it is, but whatever it is, gotta do it."
Golden State's No. 30 broke all kinds of three-point records during the regular season and has become a household name over the last 12 months. However, after winning the MVP award two years in a row, Curry knows he carries a lot of the Warriors' weight on his shoulders and he needs to deliver under pressure.
"I'll be better and understand the moment in those situations where the momentum can swing either way," Curry said. "The last two games, it's gotten away from us. A lot of that falls on my shoulders and playing better."
The Oracle Arena in Oakland will host game five of this electric series on Thursday evening. Will the Warriors spoil what was a historic season?