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What Stephen Curry said after Warriors collapse against Rockets

OAKLAND — At least Stephen Curry kept it clean this time. There was no shouting profanity into the rafters, no need to wash out his mouthguard with soap.
But damned if the Houston Rockets didn’t make this a series again.
James Harden and Co. won 95-92 in Game 4 at Oracle Arena on Tuesday night to tie the Western Conference Finals series 2-2.
When Curry’s last-gasp 3-pointer clanked off the rim after the buzzer, the series headed back to Houston for Game 5 on Thursday.
“We need to re-set, put together a pretty solid 48-minute game, and steal one down there,” Curry said. “It would be nice if it was a close-out game, but it’s not.”
Curry memorably proclaimed “This is my (flipping) house,” or words to that effect, after Game 3. But because of their fourth-quarter collapse on Tuesday, the Warriors have suddenly lost their (flipping) home-court advantage.
This is essentially a best-of-3 series now, with Game 5 and a potential Game 7 to be played in Houston, where the Rockets went 34-7 at home during the regular season.
“This was huge game,” Rockets guard Eric Gordon said. “This game was very, very important.”
The Warriors took an 80-70 lead before going arctic in the fourth quarter. The cold shooting included Curry, who forced shots, hurried 3-point attempts and dribbled himself into trouble in the paint.
“Early in the fourth, I got a little rushed,” he acknowledged. “Got a shot blocked, missed a lay-up. I could sit here and nitpick all you want. Had some decent looks that didn’t go down, but that’s not why we lost.”
In all, the typically thrill-a-minute Warriors managed only 12 points in the final 12 minutes — their lowest scoring fourth quarter in a playoff game of the shot clock era, according to ESPN Stats & Information. Curry was hardly alone. The Warriors made only 3 of 18 shots in the quarter as a capacity crowd waited in vain for one of their beloved shooters to send them into giddy joy. No such luck.
By the time Curry misfired on a 3-point attempt from the corner with 0.5 seconds left, it was so quiet in Oracle Arena that you could hear them hootin’ and hollerin’ back in Texas.
The shot wouldn’t have counted anyway. It came a fraction of a second after the buzzer.
“I actually got a decent look,” Curry said after leading the Warriors with 28 points on 10-of-26 shooting, including 6 of 13 from 3-point range.  “I think maybe in my head I was thinking 0.5, you don’t know how much time you can catch, turn, do that whole thing. So maybe I rushed it a little bit.”
Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry (30) attempts to pass the ball uinder pressure by Houston Rockets’ James Harden (13) during the fourth quarter of Game 4 of the NBA Western Conference Finals at Oracle Arena in Oakland, Calif., on Tuesday, May 22, 2018. Warriors lost 92-95.(Ray Chavez/Bay Area News Group) 
More proof that this was a surreal unraveling: This marked the first time since Steve Kerr took over as coach in 2015 that the Warriors outscored their opponent by 15 points in the third quarter and then lost anyway. They had been 51-0 in those games (regular-season and playoffs), according to ESPN Stats & Information.
“They just outplayed us in the fourth quarter,” Kerr said, using a phrase no head coach ever wants to use.
Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry (30) reacts to a foul against him during their game against the Houston Rockets in the second quarter of Game 4 of the NBA Western Conference finals at Oracle Arena in Oakland, Calif., on Tuesday, May 22, 2018. (Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group) 
This time foul shots, not foul mouths, were at issue. The Rockets went a whopping 23 of 27 from the line while the Warriors were about half that, 13 of 14, and at times the boos rained down like 19,500 scathing Yelp reviews for the officials.
But the Rockets won because they handled the blows better, remaining upright even when the Warriors walloped them with early haymakers. Houston didn’t score at all over the first 5:18 of the game as the Warriors took a breezy 12-0 lead.
But by late in second quarter, Houston asserted its will. No play was more emblematic then when Harden took his beard on a trip through the heart of the Warriors defense.
Harden zoomed around Kevon Looney, blew through Curry’s outstretched arm as if it were a broken turnstile and then, as the finishing touch, thundered a dunk over Draymond Green.
That’s the  Draymond Green, the Warriors’ iron-willed defender. Harden saw Green coming and simply powered over him, a fitting symbol on the night the Rockets punctured the Warriors’ era of invincibility.
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Just two days ago, the Warriors won Game 3 by 41 points, the largest margin in franchise playoff history. They came into this game with a 16-game winning streak in home playoff games, one better than the Michael Jordan-prime Chicago Bulls (1990-91). They even got their traditional third quarter Curry flurry — 17 points on 5 of 8 points.
And it added up to nothing.
“We were in pretty good shape for 44 minutes with a chance to win and really take control of this series,” Curry said. “But it didn’t happen. Now we’ve got to fight.”

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