The sun and the moon seem to be in alignment for the Warriors in their quest for an NBA Finals berth at what promises to be a raucous Oracle Arena tonight.
But is the star?
After Stephen Curry took a terrifying spill against the Houston Rockets in Game 4 on Monday night, he vowed to be available for the potential Western Conference clincher. But if Curry, coach Steve Kerr or anyone else in the organization had further information one day later, they were tight-lipped about it.
“No, I don't know anything,” Kerr said before the team left flood-ravaged Houston on Tuesday morning. “I assume he's OK. He was fine after the game.”
Kerr was positive about this much: There's no better time for his team to claim the elusive conference title than this evening.
“It would just be special to win the conference championship,” Kerr said. “It doesn't matter to us where we accomplish that. We just want to get it done and we're in a great position to do so, so we'll put together a better game.
The winner of the series will meet the Cleveland Cavaliers in the final round. The Cavaliers completed a four-game sweep of the Atlanta Hawks in the Eastern Conference finals on Tuesday night.
In a futile attempt to contest a shot in the 128-115 defeat one night earlier, Curry flipped head over heals and landed in a heap on the floor. He suffered a bump on his head but passed concussion tests that were administered by team personnel.
Kerr had no second thoughts about the decision to play Curry in the second half, when he scored 12 points on 4 of 11 in the field. The Warriors trailed 78-69 at the time in a game they never led.
“One hundred percent,” Kerr said of his confidence level. “That's why our doctors are here. That's why [general manager] Bob Myers is in the locker room with him.
“I was in there with him at halftime, and he was going through his testing, and I asked the doctors, and they said, 'Well, we have to put him through the rest of these tests, so we'll let you know.' I said, 'Great.' I planned to play without him. I started Shaun [Livingston], and then midway through the third quarter, [head trainer] JoHan [Wang] came to me and said, 'Steph is good to go. Doctors cleared him.'”
Kerr and his staff had other things on their minds, namely James Harden, who put up big numbers in three of the four games.
After Harden was limited to 17 points in the third game, he went off for 45 points and required only 35 total shots to get them.
Teammate Josh Smith also came alive with 20 points (nine on 3-pointers) and two blocked shots. He was especially active in the first period, when the home team took advantage of numerous breakdowns to take a 45-22 lead.
“Yeah, I mean, we don't just want to leave [Smith] alone out there,” Kerr said. “We still want to get out to him. But I don't think you compromise your defense to do that.
“You still need help on Harden's drives, so you have to give up some things, but you can do a better job of covering up and not just leaving him totally alone. We have to adjust a little bit, but it's not going to change our game plan.”
“We just got to play and be aggressive and get stops and do our thing.”