The moments -- plural -- actually. The Warriors, after all, had come back from a 3-1 deficit to win after only nine clubs in 232 previous tries, all of 3.9 percent of the tries in NBA history, had pulled the same 180. They had done it against a quality opponent capable of winning big games on the road, not in the first round when an overfed team in cruise mode stirred in time to swat aside an overmatched weakling. And they had earned it with the very poise that had been surprisingly missing in the middle of the series, with a victory in the final minutes of Game 6 on Saturday in Oklahoma City followed by a victory in the final minute two nights later in California.
"I think everybody will look at 73 wins (in the regular season) and say, 'Wow, this team never hit any adversity,' but there is adversity in every season," All-Star power forward Draymond Green said. "It all comes in different forms. But when you're talking down 3-1, and everything's on the line, that makes it 10 times worse. So it's definitely the biggest thing that this team has had to overcome and it took a great, tremendous effort and fight to overcome it. But like I said after Game 4, if I think anybody can do it, it's this group. Because once we figured something out, we can get it rolling, and I think, although we lost Game 4, and we got punished, I think we figured it out. It wasn't easy. That's a great team we just beat and we had to continue to fight. And I knew if we continued to fight, which I had no doubt in my mind that we would, that we could do it.
"So it's by far the biggest thing. It's just everything that went into it from the great season we had the hopes of repeating, and that all being on the line in every single game for the last three games we had to win is, for sure, the largest amount of adversity we had to overcome."
The Warriors understood how close 73 wins came to becoming something to be thrown in their face, a tool to mock them as a great regular-season team that didn't get victories when it really mattered. Try in-their-face close, with Oklahoma City within three points in the final minute in Game 6 and then within four with 1:40 remaining in Game 7.
Curry was asked afterward what he had learned about himself and the team through the comeback from 3-1 and said, "Actually nothing," before he added the telling part of the statement: "I knew we were ready for the moment. We were a mature basketball team that tried our best not to listen to the noise outside when six, seven days ago we're down 3-1, everybody thought the wheels were falling off and it was kind of the end of our run. But in that locker room, the talk was positive. It was, 'Let's figure this out. Let's go out and take it one game at a time and claw our way back into the series and see what happens.' We followed that kind of mindset these last three games. It's just you appreciate how tough it is to get back here. That's the one thing I've learned. You can't take anything for granted because it's such a grind, it's such a battle against a great Thunder team that pushed us to the brink. So you've got to be appreciative of this accomplishment, and I look forward to getting four more wins."
They get it too. With the last step of the 2015-16 journey still ahead, beginning Thursday as the Cavaliers return to Oracle for Game 1 of the Finals rematch, eliminating the Thunder was for all time, as rare as that is to say for a prelim. Of course there was no reason to play it cool.