The Golden State Warriors and Oklahoma City Thunder series took another turn last night as the reigning NBA champions clawed their way back into the series after securing a 111-120 victory at the Oracle Arena in game five of the Western Conference Finals.
Steve Kerr's troops now travel to the Chesapeake Energy Arena for game six of the series knowing a defeat would see them go home early and fail to retain the Larry O'Brien trophy.
They've lost the two games at this venue by a combined 52 points during this series and that's not a promising omen when they're fighting for their postseason lives in game six.
Have your say on GiveMeSport - NBA by taking part in our survey here: http://gms.to/1ZIq9kk
Article continues below
As part of their survival last night, Stephen Curry dropped 31 points but also recorded five steals. The 28-year-old led the NBA with 2.14 steals per game this season and received 13 points in voting for the league's all-defensive team, including three first-place votes.
However, when Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook were asked if the reigning MVP was an underrated defender, Westbrook visibly laughed as his teammate fielded the question.
"He's pretty good, but he doesn't guard the other best point guards," Durant said. "I think they do a good job of putting a couple of guys on Russell from [Klay] Thompson to [Andre] Iguodala, and Steph, they throw him in there sometimes. He moves his feet pretty well. He's good with his hands.
"But, you know, I like our matchup with him guarding Russ."
Article continues below
Westbrook has been utterly explosive during the series and has averaged 28 points and 11 assists per game against the Warriors. It's been suggested that Curry isn't operating at 100 percent due to a knee sprain he has been dealing with since their series with the Portland Trail Blazers, but Westbrook has established himself as a superstar regardless.
Asked about Curry's credentials before game one, Westbrook said: "He's a shooter. He's not nothing I haven't seen."
Whilst that's hardly flattering to a man who is up to his eyes in personal records and accolades, Curry is fully aware of what he is best at. He credits Klay Thompson as the better defender out of the two and he is often tasked with tackling their opponent's biggest offensive threats.
"I've got a great teammate that's obviously a better defender on the perimeter," Curry said. "I like the challenge, and I'll do my job the best I can. That's what I'm out there to do. In those situations, I don't get too caught up in a one-on-one matchup.
"My job is to follow the game plan. I've done that the last four years of my career, trying to elevate my defensive presence. I do my job."
Curry has the chance to wipe the smile off their faces in game six in Oklahoma on Saturday night.