Steph Curry recalls pregame atmosphere before Warriors-Rockets Game 6 originally appeared on nbcsportsbayarea.com
When Kevin Durant went down with a strained calf during the third quarter of Game 5 of the Warriors' second-round NBA playoff series with the Houston Rockets, a number of people pushed the panic button for the two-time defending NBA champions.
Steph Curry was in a horrible shooting slump and the Dubs' bench had been rendered almost unplayable against the team that is obsessed with taking them down.
But there was no panic from the battle-tested Warriors.
Instead, holding a three-games-to-two series lead, the Warriors rolled into Houston for Game 6 and brushed aside James Harden and Co. behind Curry's 33 second-half points.
The addition of Durant has made the Warriors almost unbeatable, and it's easy to forget that Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala led the Warriors to the 2015 title and 73 wins in 2016.
So the Warriors felt no different heading into Game 6 in Houston, despite missing the two-time NBA Finals MVP.
"It wasn't anybody having to go in and make a speech before practice or a game like, 'Alright, let's block out the noise, guys. Let's not listen to anybody,' " Curry said Friday after practice. "Nobody has to say that. It's like we just show up and play basketball."
That approach has served the Warriors well.
After dispatching the Rockets, the Warriors swept the Portland Trail Blazers in the Western Conference finals to advance to their third straight NBA Finals appearance.
[RELATED: Steph, KD right to be on message ahead of NBA Finals]
Durant is not expected to be available early in the NBA Finals, but the Warriors hope to get him back at some point in the championship round.
Until then, Curry, Thompson, Green and Iguodala will be tasked with finishing off another championship run.