NBA

Stephen Curry.

Steve Kerr insists Steph Curry's slump is not down to injury

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The Golden State Warriors are on the verge of being eliminated from the playoffs as they trail the Oklahoma City Thunder 3-1 in the Western Conference Finals and face the biggest game of their season at the Oracle Arena tonight. 

The Warriors have never faced an elimination game under Steve Kerr since he took charge and haven't come up against much adversity in the last two years as they have dominated the entire league in that period.

Teams who lead a best-of-seven series 3-1 are 37-2, which doesn't bode well for the Dubs' chances of overcoming the deficit against a determined and impressive Thunder team. 

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If any team can do it, though, it's Golden State. They went down as the best regular season team of all-time after winning an NBA record 73 games and are, of course, the defending champions. 

If the Bay Area franchise is to complete a dramatic comeback, they need their back-to-back MVP Steph Curry to return to his best.  

The point guard is currently in the midst of a two-game slump which has coincided with the team losing consecutive games for the first time all year.  

In game three, Curry shot 7-of-17 and 6-of-20 with six turnovers in game four, going a combined 5-for-21 from beyond the arc.  

Golden State Warriors v Oklahoma City Thunder - Game Three

The 28-year-old's dip in form has led many to question how healthy he really is after suffering ankle and knee injuries earlier in the playoffs.  

A report by Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports on Wednesday stated that a source close to Curry confirmed he was playing at "70 percent, at best".  

Speaking in the post-game press conference after the loss the MVP said he felt "fine" when asked about his health issues.  

His head coach Kerr has also dismissed the notion that Curry is struggling due to his knee injury and blasted the report by Yahoo.

Golden State Warriors v Oklahoma City Thunder - Game Four

"Is that 'sources with knowledge of the team's thinking?' " Kerr said. "Nobody has said anything about Steph being 70 percent to me. Training staff, relatives, friends, sources with knowledge of the team's thinking -- nobody has told me he's 70 percent. Evidently they told the media but not me."

With a game every other day now in the conference finals, there is very little recovery time for players as they spend their off days travelling when the series shifts to the opposing cities.  

The Coach of the Year acknowledged that his star player is not as explosive as he normally is and accepts that he maybe isn't completely up to speed following the three-week layoff he had with his MCL sprain. Kerr, however, stopped short of saying he was hurt.

"I know he's not injured -- if he were injured, he would not be playing," the 50-year-old said. "Is he bothered a little bit, perhaps by the layoff when he went three weeks without a game? He may not be quite where he needs to be, but it's not an injury, and that's the important thing."

With Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook playing at the highest possible level for OKC, the Warriors need their big players to match that and step up when it matters most, starting tonight in Oakland. 

Topics:
NBA
Stephen Curry
Golden State Warriors
Pacific Division
Western Conference
Klay Thompson

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