The moment that might have sparked Stephen Curry to a dominant fourth quarter in Game 2 of the NBA Finals included a man in a suit on the Cleveland Cavaliers’ bench.
Kendrick Perkins, in street clothes seated on Cleveland’s bench Sunday night, failed to move his feet or legs as Curry backpedaled after missing a 3-point attempt at the end of the third quarter.
Curry, all of 6 feet 3 inches and 190 pounds, turned quickly and barked in the face of the 6-10 Perkins. While Curry said immediately after the game the incident was “much ado about nothing,” and teammate Klay Thompson said it was a “great movie,” forward Draymond Green said it was more than that.
“He went off after that,” Green said of Curry.
According to ESPN, several players said they were concerned for Curry because of his history of ankle and knee injuries.
Curry told ESPN he wouldn’t get into his thoughts on the sideline run-in, but his play might have done the talking. Curry went for 16 of his game-high 33 points and was 5-of-5 from 3-point range in just eight minutes played in the fourth. Golden State won the game 122-103 to take a 2-0 series lead.
Perkins, 33, is an interior enforcer for the Cavaliers. He’s recognized as a tough guy, and has been in his share of physical confrontations during his career.
What he hasn’t done this postseason is appear in a game. Perkins last played April 11 against the New York Knicks — his only appearance in a game this season — and has zero minutes played in 20 playoff games against Indiana, Toronto, Boston and Golden State.
—Field Level Media