The Golden State Warriors are a frustrated yet confident bunch, and heading into Game 4 of the NBA Finals tonight in Cleveland, all eyes are on Stephen Curry.

The League’s MVP has yet to have a signature performance in the championship series, and he knows that must change.

Curry was so uncharacteristically bad in Game 3—he had more turnovers than points at halftime of the 120-90 loss to the Cavs—that head coach Steve Kerr briefly benched him.

Per NBA.com:

While Cavs coach Tyronn Lue must weigh the benefit of bringing (Kevin) Love back into the mix and potentially destroying the matchup advantage the Cavs enjoyed without him in their 120-90 win, Kerr and the Warriors must resolve Curry. He was missing in the figurative sense in Game 3, and really for the entire series so far. Taking it a step further, in nine Finals games dating back to last summer, Curry has yet to unleash a volcanic effort, the kind that repeatedly defined his historic season and elevated the Warriors into superteam territory. He knows and they know.

 

“I have to play 100 times better,” Curry admitted. “I didn’t play my game. I’m disappointed I didn’t help my team win.”

 

His matchup with (Kyrie) Irving would seemingly give him the upper hand, mainly because of Irving’s weak defensive reputation. Instead, Irving ripped through Curry for 16 points in the first quarter while Curry replied with astonishing passivity and only five first-half shots. He looked, dare we say, timid? It was an odd performance by Curry on both ends which cost the Warriors, who take their cue from him, precious energy if not the game. […] “I had a couple of lapses where I didn’t follow the gameplan, and Kyrie gets an easy layup, gets his confidence going,” he said. “I take the blame for that.”