Steph Curry proves Richard Jefferson wrong with Game 4 of all time

It seemed like an easy prediction for ESPN analyst Richard Jefferson at the time: Neither the Golden State Warriors nor the Boston Celtics would let a player pull off one of their greatest Game 4 performances of all time in Friday’s NBA Finals. And yet, thanks to Steph Curry, he was still wrong.

Ahead of the Warriors’ 107-97 win over the Celtics on Friday, ESPN’s NBA Today aired a segment featuring their best Game 4 performances ever. This list was by position and had four Hall of Famers (Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar), along with one probable future Hall of Famer (Kawhi Leonard).

Host Malika Andrews then questioned whether there would be an all-time Game 4 performance in Friday’s game. Former Celtics center Kendrick Perkins said it would be Jayson Tatum and ESPN senior writer Zach Lowe said Jaylen Brown. Jefferson was a little more cynical.

“I don’t think anyone has a chance to join that list… I was just looking at the list with Kareem, Charles Barkley, MJ…” Jefferson said before Lowe reminded him that Curry was playing. “I don’t think anyone stands a chance, we’ll see if I’m wrong.”

Lowe continued to be in disbelief at the take, blurting out, “So you’re telling me this game is going to have Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. Nobody stands a chance of a game with 30 points and 10 rebounds?”

“Let me say this: I don’t necessarily have no chance, I don’t think it’s going to happen,” Jefferson replied.

Lowe then sarcastically replied: “Well, what a bold prediction! The greatest Game 4 in basketball history is not happening tonight. We’re just asking if there’s a chance!”

The 30 points and 10 rebounds mark mentioned by Lowe was in reference to Leonard’s performance against the Warriors in 2019. Leonard finished the tournament with 36 points and 12 rebounds. It’s also worth noting that Andrews softly agreed with Jefferson when he last responded with “I don’t think so.”

Yes, so to that prediction: Curry went on to not only have the greatest finals of his career but one of the greatest finals of all time with 43 points, 10 rebounds and 4 assists. Not only was Steph’s total score higher than some of ESPN’s listed performances, but there is important context in that for most of the game, Curry appeared to be the only competent basketball player on the team. He kicked and yelled the Warriors to a 2-2 draw, two days after suffering a nagging foot injury.

This just shows the height of the Golden State star. Although Jefferson has been out of the league for a while and it’s been quite a while since he and Curry last faced off on a basketball court, Curry still found a way to beat him in the finals. How many other players can do that?

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