Stephen Curry honors Craig Sager, ignites huge 4th quarter in Warriors win over Grizzlies

To quote the great yet fictional Mars Blackmon, it’s gotta be the shoes.

Scoring 18 points in the fourth quarter, Stephen Curry led the Golden State Warriors to a come from behind 101-98 Game 4 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Monday. The Warriors now hold a commanding 3-1 lead in the series, which shifts to Memphis for Game 5 on Wednesday.

For Curry, his masterful performance came after he switched shoes in between quarters after the third.

Curry honors Sager with special shoes

Curry started the game wearing a special pair of Under Armour Curry Flow 9s that were a tribute to former TNT and NBA legend Craig Sager, who passed away in 2016 after a battle with leukemia. Featuring a vibrant orange hue and colorful pattern, the sneakers were inspired by the suit and tie Sager wore during his final postgame interview with Curry in 2016. 

At time, the 2015-2016 Warriors had just won their 67th game and Sager wondered if Curry thought about resting down the final stretch of the season. The Warriors, however, were chasing the 1995-1996 Chicago Bulls’ record of 72 games.

Curry instantly shot the idea, telling Sager that his battle with cancer was motivating him and the team to chase the record.

“Seeing you and doing what you’re doing,” Curry said. “We’ve got no excuses. You’re an inspiration for us to just keep doing what we’re doing, keep fighting, and that’s the mentality we have. And it’s kind of contagious, so thank you.”

That Warriors team did end up winning 73 games, breaking what many considered to be an unbreakable record by the Bulls. 

Curry’s Sager-inspired shoes will be auctioned off with the proceeds benefiting the Sager Strong Foundation, “an organization that funds clinical trials and cancer research for leukemia and other blood cancers.” Sager’s wife Stacey, runs the foundation.

Curry changes into purple shoes from Game 3 

Despite the moving meaning behind Curry’s Sager-inspired sneakers, for whatever reason, Curry couldn’t buy a bucket while wearing them. So in between the third and fourth quarters, Curry went back to the Under Armour Curry 4 Flotro sneakers that he wore in Game 3 and then, he caught fire.

After changing shoes, Curry scored 18 points, going 4-of-7 from the field and 2-for-4 from three. Curry also got to the line nine times, making eight. And all of this happened in just nine minutes. Curry’s 18 points ties his career-high in points scored in the 4th quarter of a home playoff game.

Warriors vs. Grizzlies series schedule

Here is the full schedule for the second-round series between the Warriors and Grizzlies:

Date Game Time (ET) TV channel (U.S.)
May 1 Game 1: Warriors 117, Grizzlies 116 3:30 p.m. ABC
May 3 Game 2: Grizzlies 106, Warriors 101 9:30 p.m. TNT
May 7 Game 3: Warriors 142, Grizzlies 112 8:30 p.m. ABC
May 9 Game 4: Warriors 101, Grizzlies 98 10 p.m. TNT
May 11 Game 5 9:30 p.m. TNT
May 13 Game 6* TBD ESPN
May 16 Game 7* TBD TNT

*if necessary

 

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