(Reuters) - Stephen Curry had a rare off-night that cost his Golden State Warriors a chance to grab a vice-like grip on the NBA Finals, but the league’s Most Valuable Player is not fretting one of the most frustrating games of his career.
Curry looked out of sorts as he missed 18 of 23 shots during Sunday’s loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers that evened the best-of-seven NBA Finals at 1-1. It was far from the performance many have come to expect from one of the NBA’s all-time best shooters.
“I doubt this will happen again, with the adjustments I’ll make once I’ll look at the film,” Curry said after the 95-93 overtime loss. “One game is not going to make me stop shooting or alter my confidence at all.”
Despite the forgettable night, Curry did force overtime with a game-tying layup with eight seconds left and drained two free throws that put Golden State ahead 93-92 with 29 seconds left in the extra period.
But with four seconds to play, he air-balled the potential game winner and the top-seeded Warriors went on to lose at home for only the fourth time in 51 games this season.
“It happens to everybody, whether you’re the MVP or a role player. Sometimes the shots don’t go in. Sometimes things don’t go your way. Steph will bounce back. He’s a great player,” said Warriors head coach Steve Kerr.
“I’ve seen it with everybody. I’ve seen it with Michael Jordan, Tim Duncan. It doesn’t matter who you are. Nobody is immune from a tough night.”
Curry, who is trying to deliver the Oakland-based franchise a first championship in 40 years, followed his team-high 26-point performance in Game One with 19 points on Sunday.
Much of Curry’s struggles are being credited to Cleveland’s Matthew Dellavedova, who stepped in for an injured Kyrie Irving and harangued his more experienced opponent all night.
Curry will get a chance to redeem himself on Tuesday when the series shifts to Cleveland for Game Three.
“I’ve got to play better, find better shots and be more in a rhythm throughout the course of the game for us to really assert ourselves as a team,” said Curry.
“They’ve done something that maybe has taken us out of our rhythm, and we have to figure out what that is specifically. But I think we’re still confident. We still believe that we’re going to win the series.”
Reporting by Frank Pingue; Editing by Mark Lamport-Stokes