Stephen Curry found himself in an unfortunately familiar position on Wednesday as his Golden State Warriors were defeated by the Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Conference play-in tournament. With around one minute left on the clock in a tie game in the fourth quarter, LeBron James hoisted a miraculous 3-pointer over Curry and through the net that gave the Lakers a three-point lead over Golden State. Neither team would score again, and the Lakers advanced into the playoffs.
After the game, Curry was asked what it’s like to have a shot like that made over him, and his response was harkened back to the last time he lost in the playoffs to LeBron’s team. “I’ve seen it before,” Curry said of the late-game heroics. “About five years ago, I know what it’s like. This one I was a little further away so I don’t feel too bad about it.”
Curry was obviously referring to the 2016 NBA Finals. With less than a minute to play in Game 7, Kyrie Irving forced Curry to defend him through a pick-and-roll switch. With the game tied at 89, Irving swished a 3-pointer to put Cleveland up by three. Only one more point was scored in the game, and it came on a free throw by James. The Cavaliers won the game, 93-89, and the championship along with it. It was the only time James had ever defeated Curry in the postseason prior to Thursday.
Fortunately for Curry, he’s subjected plenty of opponents to moments like this one. He’s hit his fair share of game-winners and back-breakers, so as awful as it must be to feel any responsibility in allowing an opponent to make a shot like that, well, you can’t win ’em all.