DALLAS -- One win away from returning to the NBA Finals, Stephen Curry says this is the best stretch of basketball this current Golden State Warriors team has played.
Having won four straight games dating back to Game 6 of the last round against Memphis, the Warriors look to complete a sweep of the Dallas Mavericks in Game 4 on Tuesday.
"For sure," Curry said on Monday when asked if this is the best this team has played so far. "Because it is obviously magnified by the moment. You can look at other stretches where we probably played better offensively and better defensively in spurts. But to put it all together and for it to lead to wins at this stage, that is really all that matters."
The Warriors opened this season winning 18 of their first 20 games and started off 41-13 before some key injuries slowed them down. But they're finding a way to win when it matters most in this postseason, including the first three games of this Western Conference finals by 25, nine and nine points, respectively.
One thing that the Mavericks hope for is a repeat of what happened when the Warriors had their first crack at closing out the Denver Nuggets in the first round and then the Memphis Grizzlies in the second round, both on the road.
Golden State lost Game 4 in Denver 126-121, when it was going for a sweep. They would eventually eliminate the Nuggets in five games at home. And in the second round, the Warriors had a chance to seal the series in Game 5 only to be obliterated 134-95 in Memphis. The Warriors trailed by as much as 55 in that one-sided affair before winning the series in six at home.
"In Denver, we played sloppy in the first half," Curry said. "We were just kind of all over the place and gave them life, on top of them playing well. And that allowed their home crowd to get into it.
"In Memphis, we were outmatched, outgameplanned from the start and didn't respond well until Game 6. Take those lessons and understand that feeling it is extremely hard to close out any team, especially on the road, you got to bring it."
Draymond Green said on Sunday that the Warriors put a lot of their focus on getting Game 3 because they understood that with a former Hall of Fame player in head coach Jason Kidd and a likely future Hall of Fame player in Luka Doncic, the Mavericks won't quit.
But now the Warriors say they're going to have pick that focus up even higher to eliminate the Mavericks.
"I thought we were a little careless in Denver," Warriors coach Steve Kerr said at the team hotel after players and coaches gathered together. "And Memphis just destroyed us in that Game 5. I think our guys have improved and learned a lot during these playoffs and I would expect that we learned from those two games that we lost and we will have a more focused effort tomorrow."