Warriors-Lakers: Stephen Curry had a chance to recreate the Kevin Love moment, and it was deja vu all over again.

In Golden State’s Game 4 loss to the Lakers on Monday, Stephen Curry was spectacular in every area but one. Shooting. He finished 12 for 30 from the field, including 3 of 14 from 3, and if the Warriors can’t find a way to come back from this 3-1 deficit to avoid elimination, he thinks there will be two shots in particular. For about a long time.

With the Warriors trailing by one and under 40 seconds to play, Curry induced a switch and Anthony Davis had one at the top of the key. It was a familiar position for Curry, who faced a similar matchup with another sitting-duck big man, Kevin Love, on the line in the 2016 Finals, and during that season.

In a 2019 story by then-ESPN reporter Jackie McMullan, Curry expressed regret that he didn’t slow down his adrenaline to avoid the temptation to shoot a 3-pointer in the heat of that final moment and drive slowly. Foot love for a more conservative shot, even if the Warriors were down by three in that instance.

“I look back and think I could have easily gotten around [Love] And got 2 [pointer], and we could have gotten one stop, and then I could have gone back and hit another shot, and we could have won another championship,” Curry McMullan said of his 2016 decision. “Instead of me going for the hero shot, I thought I could. It was a shot that was out of my control. And it cost us the championship.

Fast forward to Monday night, and Curry had his chance: at Davis Island, and this time going for a two-pointer wasn’t a conservative game; It was all the Warriors needed to take the lead again, just one down.

Curry danced on Davis just as Love did in that fateful moment seven years ago, but he never fully committed to going through Davis. His hesitation, like Love’s, allowed Davis to move his feet enough to force Curry into a contested, step-back, one-foot jumper that bounced out.

But Curry got a second chance. Draymond Green snagged an offensive rebound and passed it back to Curry who had Davis one-on-one in space. And once again, he settled in, firing a 30-foot errant step-back that was an ill-advised attempt, rushing even for a shooter of Black pedigree.

This is the closest to replicating a Kevin Love moment Curry will ever get. He will always regret the decision he made that night in 2016, but when he was given a chance at a do-over, he made the same decision in 2023.

Again, this is a curable shot, and There is Did it countless times during his career. But it was not necessary. Davis is a gifted perimeter defender for his size, but he can’t stay in front of Curry if Curry is fully committed to going by him.

Where you can understand Curry’s urge to fire the 3-pointer is that even if it comes from Davis, he’ll face resistance in the paint, which will still force a highly contested shot or a pass to someone else. At most levels of the game, an open look is better than competing. But in this case, Curry wanted to be the one taking the shot. He doesn’t want to put himself in a position where he faces multiple, converging defenders and is forced to give the ball away.

So he sure took the shot he knew there, the shot he knew how to make. But the shot against Love is one he’s made thousands of times. That doesn’t mean it’s a right shot. Considering the circumstances, it’s hard to argue that Curry’s decision to throw a 30-foot rainbow over Davis in a one-point game was the right shot Monday night.

Give him credit for having the guts to take the shot, but Curry, as he did with the Love shot, I think Davis will regret the decision when the smoke clears from this series and he has a chance to replay what he did. It was wrong. Unless the Warriors come back to win, of course. Then nobody, least of all Curry, cares what happened at the end of Game 4.

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