The greatest 3-point shooting team the league has ever seen, as Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson combined to sink more shots from beyond the arc than 13 teams in the league did during the regular season, has gone cold over the last six quarters of play.
Ever since pushing the Cavaliers to the brink of elimination, Golden State has shot just 38.6 percent from the field, has been outscored by an average of 4.3 points a quarter and hasn’t held the lead at any point in over 73 minutes of play.
A 3-pointer from Curry with 1:32 remaining in the second quarter of Game 5 marked the final time the Warriors held the lead in the NBA Finals.
For six quarters, Curry has transformed from the first unanimous MVP in league history into a player continually frustrated by Cleveland’s defensive pressure and being in continuous foul trouble throughout the series.
It all came to a boil with just under 4:30 remaining in the contest Thursday night.
Thompson missed a free throw and Curry tried to poke the ball away from LeBron James, but was whistled for his sixth foul of the game, ending his night.
Curry whipped his mouthpiece into the stands, as he disagreed with the call, resulting in a technical foul and a debate to his availability for Game 7 Sunday night.
Instead of a suspension, Curry was fined $25,000, but will be in the starting lineup.
His presence will be a necessity in what has been an even matchup.
Both the Cavaliers and Warriors have tallied 610 points in the six game series and each team has won two out of three home games.
Oracle Arena has been an advantage for the Warriors throughout the year, as the team posted a 39-2 home record during the regular season and won 84.6 percent of their post season games at home.
A loss for Golden State would not only surpass the amount of home losses the team suffered during the 82 game regular season, but also equal the amount of defeats the team has suffered all year.
The team hasn’t dropped three consecutive games since Nov. 2013, with Curry missing two of the games recovering from a concussion.
While Curry hasn’t been scoring with ease — as he did all year en route to his first career scoring crown — he is still displaying unprecedented success from beyond the arc.
The 6-foot-3 guard has already set an NBA Finals record, as he has converted 28 times from 3-point range, one more than Danny Green made during his breakout performance at the 2013 NBA Finals.
While Cleveland has surrendered 55 points to Curry in the past two games, its containment of the All-Star point guard in the series is exactly why it has managed to become just the third team ever to force a Game 7 after trailing an NBA Finals series 3-1.
The former Davidson star has enjoyed more success shooting from beyond the arc (43.1 percent) than he has from inside it (41.9 percent) in this series.
In Game 4 and 6, the Cavaliers immediately seized control of the contest and never relented. During both games, the Warriors failed to take a lead at any point of the game.
Cleveland took Game 5 by dominating the second half, turning a tie game at half time into a nine point advantage heading into the fourth quarter.
The primary reason for the Warriors success has been the ability for the team to have a multitude of players capable of taking a game over.
Thompson kept the season alive with an epic performance in Game 6 of the Western Conference finals, Shaun Livingston scored 20 points off the bench to claim Game 1 of the Finals and Draymond Green flourished with 28 points in Game 2.
Curry managed to take control in Game 4, as he hit a series high seven shots from 3-point range as part of a 38 point scoring performance.
To avoid becoming the first team ever to blow a 3-1 lead in the NBA Finals, Curry needs to set the tone early.
The crowd will be behind him, all of the foul trouble from Game 6 will be erased and each long range shot he makes will further entrench his name into the record books.
A win will Sunday will forever entrench Curry as one of the greatest to ever play the game.