Stephen Curry says he needs to play better than ever in Game 7

ByEthan Sherwood Strauss ESPN logo
Sunday, June 19, 2016

OAKLAND, Calif. --Stephen Curry believes he needs to play better than he ever has in Game 7 against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday.

"I need to play my best game of the year, if not my career," he said after practice Saturday.

"Because of what the stakes are -- that doesn't mean score 50 points, though," he added. "That means control the tempo of the game. I need to be aggressive, where I need to push the envelope."

Teammate Marreese Speights, though, expects Curry to do just that: score 50.

"Steph's gonna go off on Sunday," Speights wrote Saturday in an essay for The Players' Tribune. "I wouldn't be surprised if he comes out and scores 50. With all the things the media's been saying about him, and everything on Twitter, I know he's going to respond. I know it. And then all the other guys are going to fall into place. That's how it works for us."

Curry is averaging 23.5 points on 17.5 shots per game in the series, but he has more turnovers than assists. He also fouled out of Game 6, prompting him to throw his mouthpiece, which hit Andrew Forbes, son of Cavs minority owner Nate Forbes. Curry, who was subsequently ejected, apologized to Forbes on his way to the locker room with 4:22 left in the game.

Of the sequence, Curry said Saturday, "I was going to the bench either way, so I might as well have kept walking to the locker room. That's kind of how I view it, in a funny way. But the way that we move on is win Game 7 and have a lot more fun postgame."

Curry did not shy away from the negative implications of potentially losing Game 7. Asked if a Finals loss would make the team's historic 73-win regular season a failure, the back-to-back MVP said, "Yeah, pretty much, because that was our goal from the beginning."

"We're here on Game 7 with a chance to do it," he said. "We've had two chances already, haven't gotten it done, 48 minutes to do it, so if we come up short, we'll all be very, very, very disappointed. No two ways around it."

Curry's wife, Ayesha, became the focus of some controversy when she tweeted of Game 6: "I've lost all respect sorry this is absolutely rigged for money ... Or ratings in not sure which. I won't be silent. Just saw it live sry." Ayesha Curry later deleted the tweet.

Asked about the controversy Saturday, Stephen Curry said, "There's nothing really that's going to distract me from what's happening on the court. I get asked about it, and it's between me and Ayesha, the conversations about what happened. That's going to be handled."

He added: "That doesn't take any spotlight off of what my job is on the floor and what these next 48 minutes are going to be like in Game 7. So that's kind of all I'm worried about."

Curry concluded with a joke: "I might have to cut the Wi-Fi off in my house there."

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