Steph Curry’s great defense even the NBA Finals

SAN FRANCISCO — The NBA Finals are all about two-way players.

Every possession is vital in this round. The competition is ruthless. Any weakness will be found and turned into a liability.

Can’t shoot? The ball is going to find you and that shot clock is going to be approaching zero.

Can’t defend? You can bet you’ll be targeted.

And it won’t stop until you make it stop. Teams will run the same set 50 times in a row if it works. A championship is on the line, after all — who cares about style points?

One-way players can make hundreds of millions of dollars, have signature shoe deals and be in every other commercial on TV.

They might even play a few games in the playoffs, too.

But if a one-way player is the star of a team, that squad is not competing for a championship. They’d be lucky to sniff the Finals at all.

So it’s a good thing for the Warriors Steph Curry is a two-way star.

The Warriors won Game 2 of the 2022 NBA Finals the same way they won countless games throughout their six title-round runs: They stomped their opponents in the third quarter.

The Warriors won the third 35-14 Sunday night en route to a 107-88 win, evening the Finals at 1-1.

Even the Warriors’ formula for winning the third in Game 2 was tried-and-true. The Dubs locked down on defense and turned those stops into transition offense opportunities.

Curry scored 14 of his 29 points in the frame, knocking down shots that no one else in the NBA would dare shoot, before he went to the corner to create space for Jordan Poole, who, despite being unplayable for the first six quarters of the series, had six quick points (including a half-court buzzer-beater) and a slick assist in the final 65 seconds of the frame.

But you already know that Curry and the Warriors can score in bunches.

Thirty-foot, off-the-dribble 3-pointers? Ho-hum, right?

What changed the game in the Warriors’ favor Sunday wasn’t just Curry’s offense, though.

It was his defense.

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