OAKLAND, Calif. – Stephen Curry stopped chewing his mouthpiece, hurled it to the floor and barked at a referee in disgust after what he viewed as another non-call in Game 2 against the Los Angeles Clippers. The normally mild-mannered Curry was given a technical for his surprising tantrum.
It was Curry's first technical in his 80th total game of this season. In order to knock off the Clippers in the first round of the playoffs, Curry might need to keep the same attitude for the rest of the series.
"I was frustrated with where the score was," Curry said before Tuesday's practice at Oracle Arena. "I got hit a couple of times and didn't get a call. I'm just letting them know how I felt. We are not going to quit. We're not going to lie down and allow a team to do what they want.
"We are going to be physical. It's about that competitive fire for Game 3 that we are going to get it done and protect our home court."
The Warriors and the Clippers are tied 1-1 in the best-of-seven series with Game 3 at Oracle Arena on Thursday. Curry thinks the key for the Warriors to regain momentum in the series is for him to play with a "banging-on-the-door-until-it-falls" mentality.
"I don't have an angry face or antics like some other guys. I definitely play with a force or will to win," Curry said. "Whether I need to be more demonstrative, I don't know. I got to be physical. I got to be forceful. I got to be any other adjective."
Curry averaged a career-high 24 points and 8.5 assists during the regular season while leading the NBA in 3-pointers made (261). The All-Star also averaged 22 points and 9.5 assists while shooting 58.6 percent from 3-point range against the Clippers in four regular-season games.
The Clippers have succeeded for the most part in slowing down Curry in the first two games of the playoffs. Curry had 14 points on 6-of-16 shooting from the field, no free-throw attempts and seven turnovers in the Warriors' 109-105 Game 1 victory. He also had just four points at halftime of a 138-98 loss to the Clippers in Game 2, but scored 20 points in the second half. The Clippers stifled Curry by trapping him with either point guard Chris Paul or Darren Collison and a forward or center.
"I got to set myself up better and get to my spots where my guys will be affective," Curry said. "C.P. and Darren are pretty quick guards."
Warriors coach Mark Jackson said Curry's offense would be aided by better screens and that no one outside of Draymond Green is setting quality picks.
"I can do a better job setting screens," Warriors forward David Lee said. "Watching the film, I haven't done as good as I can do. Setting screens for him is going to be huge and also our spacing is big because whether it's the wing or bigs on top of him, or he's looking to make a play, it's not as easy as when he has that proper spacing. If we have that spacing, we do a better job of punishing those guys."
Curry says he learned in the second half of Game 2 that "a lot of things open up" when he gets into the lane because of the Clippers' fear of the Warriors' shooters.
"When you get to the center of team's defenses more opportunities open up," Curry said. "That's kind of what happened. I was able to get to the basket more than I had the first six quarters.
"I'm looking to do that a lot more. I'm attacking the pick-and-roll, even if it's a trap, and trying to make plays."
Curry said the Game 2 loss is still "hard to let go," and the Warriors need to change their trend of poor starts in the series.
"Any competitor hates the feeling of losing, and they are going to do whatever they can the next game to make it happen, to get that winning feeling back," Curry said. "That's kind of my mentality."