Steph Curry proves Richard Jefferson wrong with all-time Game 4 performance:

Steph proves Jefferson wrong with all-time Game 4 performance originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea:

Trailing two-games-to-one in the NBA Finals and facing the daunting task of trying to beat the Boston Celtics in the hostile environment of TD Garden on Friday night, the Warriors knew they needed to summon one of the best efforts of their dynastic run in order to even the best-of-seven series.

While it was not the prettiest win, the Warriors managed to pull out an incredible 107-97 win over the Celtics, thanks to an iconic 43-point, 10-rebound performance by Steph Curry.

It was not the most points Curry ever has scored in an NBA Finals game (47 against the Toronto Raptors in 2019) but the Warriors needed every single point from the two-time NBA scoring champion. Playing on an injured left foot, Curry shot 14-of-26 from the field and 7-of-14 from 3-point range.

With Draymond Green stuck in a massive funk and Klay Thompson not hitting on all cylinders, Curry willed the Warriors to a season-saving win, hitting several clutch shots in the second half.

Hours before the Warriors and Celtics tipped off in Boston on Friday, ESPN’s “NBA Today” panel looked back at the best NBA Finals Game 4 performances of all-time, and wondered if anyone from Golden State or Boston would be able to crack the list .

The discussion was spurred on by an article from ESPN’s Kevin Pelton, who picked the best Game 4 performances by position.

When host Malika Andrews asked analysts Kendrick Perkins and Richard Jefferson who had the best chance to author an all-time performance in Game 4, neither picked Curry.

Perkins: “Jayson Tatum. This is the moment for Jayson Tatum right now. He hasn’t had that standout ‘I’m the best player on the floor’ moment in this series. The conversation has either been Steph or the conversation has been Jaylen Brown .I do not care about Jayson Tatum going out there and getting 25 or 30. I want to see one of them 40 pieces tonight and I think he has it in him.I think he’s going to perform well tonight and I think he’s going to do it in great fashion with Deuce on the sideline cheering him on. “

Jefferson: “I do not think anybody. I do not think anybody has a chance to join that list. I’m not being a Debbie Downer. I just looked at that list, Kareem [Abdul-Jabbar], [Charles] Barkley, [Michael Jordan]… “

ESPN NBA analyst Zach Lowe: “You know Steph Curry is playing in the game, right?”

Jefferson: “I do not think anybody has a chance. We’ll see if I’m wrong. We’ll see on Monday.”

Pelton broke his list down by position and has Magic Johnson’s 1987 Game 4 performance against the Celtics as the best game by a point guard. In that game, Magic finished with 29 points, eight rebounds and five assists. He went 12-of-20 from the field and did not attempt a 3-pointer. Not an eye-popping stat line, but per Pelton, it was one signature moment that has Magic on the list.

With the Lakers down 106-105 with seven seconds remaining, Johnson took the inbound pass, drove across the lane with six-time All-Defensive team member Kevin McHale on him and hit a sky hook – dubbed the “junior, junior sky hook “- with two seconds remaining to give Los Angeles an eventual 107-106 win and a three-games-to-one lead.

Did Curry do enough to supplant Magic from the list? That’s up for debate but on pure numbers, a strong case could be made that the two-time NBA MVP now has the most impressive NBA Finals Game 4 performance of all-time by a point guard.

If you consider Curry more of a shooting guard, he’s not knocking Jordan off the list after MJ dropped 55 points on 21-of-37 shooting in the Chicago Bulls’ 1993 Game 4 win over the Phoenix Suns.

RELATED: Curry’s NBA Finals performance for the ages leaves teammates in awe:

As for Tatum – Perkins ‘pick – he went 8-of-23 from the field and finished with 23 points and 11 rebounds in the Celtics’ loss.

It was Curry who had the performance to remember, proving Jefferson – and Perkins to some extent – wrong.

If there’s anything we’ve learned during Curry’s career, it’s a losing cause to bet against him.

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