That said, both men understand the magnitude of the moment, but both backed off the idea they had to take over and do it all themselves.
“I need to play my best game of the year if not my career because of what the stakes are,” Curry said. “So that doesn’t mean scoring 50 points, though. That means controlling the tempo of the game. When I need to be aggressive, well, I need to be aggressive, but when I need to push the envelope, do it, but do it under control. Do it within the schemes that we’re used to as a team. Focus on details on both ends of the floor.”
“I’m fortunate enough, first of all, to help the series go on,” LeBron said of his play the last couple games, which has him as the Finals MVP favorite heading into Game 7. “And I start to learn from my mistakes and break into the film and seeing the ways that they’re defending me, the ways they’re defending our team, ways I can be a little more efficient. I’ve gotten better as the series has gone on. I told you guys that me turning the ball over was something I’m not happy with, and I’ve got to figure out a way to not turn the ball over as much. And I’ve been able to do that the last couple games and put myself and my team in a position to be successful.”
LeBron was asked if the outcome of this game would define his career.
“No,” he answered.
The reporter followed up, “You don’t see it that way?”
LeBron’s legacy will be shaped by the titles he’s won, the gold medals he’s collected, the six straight trips to the NBA Finals, the records, and much more. Will his ability to bring (or, potentially not bring) a title to Cleveland be part of that legacy? Of course. But it will not define it.
LeBron has played well, but the Warriors are the favorites and statistics favor the home team in Game 7s. Through it all the Warriors are very confident heading into Sunday.
“If you think about the thing we hold on to is knowing we were down 20 in the first quarter of Game 6 on the road, clawed our way back to within 8 and within 7 two different occasions in the fourth quarter, and LeBron had an amazing game,” Curry said. “So the margin of error is very, very slim for us because of what we can do over the course of 48 minutes.We just can’t beat ourselves. And just play better.”
Sounds simple, but it will not be.
And both teams will feel the pressure they are trying to blow off the day before Game 7.