We were watching the radar on my phone, waiting for the skies to open.
To the west, drawing ever nearer, was a monstrous green blob, highlighted by shadings of yellow. It crawled towards us. We were camped out on the roof, staring at the radar map. Just a singular blue GPS dot blinking against the oncoming wall of storm.
"Shit," yelled Matt, peering into the sky. The sun had set and the sky was a deep, angry purple. It boiled and rolled. Clouds caromed, thick and heavy, towards the ocean, towards the east. "Shit man, whaddyathink? Should we pack her up?"
"Ahh! Man," it was almost halftime. We didn't want to miss any of the game. "Fuck it. Let's do it. Let's do it now."
We unplugged the TV, coiled the wires, turned off the PA (blasting Ornette Coleman, RIP), and passed all the heavy equipment through the crawl hole in the roof, handing it from one person to the other down a ladder and into Ryan's apartment.
Behind us, the party continued. Heads turned skywards. Smelling thunder, smelling rain.
The storm hit with a vengeance. The skies opened and the rain fell down. Great, big bulbous drops. Thick summer rain drops that smelled like smoke.
We had safely relocated in time. We gathered around the TV, set up on a pedestal in the living room. People climbed down the ladder out of the storm and stood milling around on the outskirts of the party, drinking in the kitchen. Those of us die hard fans sat glued to the game. Matt, Ryan, myself. A few others. Sharing in the moment, sharing in our love of the game. Our love for the Warriors.
In the fourth quarter, Stephen Curry made it rain. He rose to the occasion, matching the intensity of the storm outside, unleashing a torrent of shots from all over the court.
He and LeBron James traded shot for shot, neither backing down. Neither surrendering an inch.
LeBron had another triple double, posting the ridiculous line of 40 points, 14 rebounds and 11 assists.
He is everything to his team. Without him they are lost.
Cleveland's last 16 FG: LBJ ast LBJ LBJ ast LBJ LBJ ast LBJ LBJ ast LBJ LBJ ast LBJ ast LBJ LBJ LBJ LBJ ast LBJ LBJ ast— Tom Haberstroh (@tomhaberstroh) June 15, 2015
Cavs had 17 baskets in that first half. LeBron either scored or assisted on 16 of them.— Chris Herring (@HerringWSJ) June 15, 2015
And yet, at the end of the game, it was Steph who was able to step up and win the game. He scored 17 of his 37 points in the fourth quarter as the Warriors pulled away to claim a 104 - 91 victory.
Now, it all comes winding down towards the end—the end of this long, glorious season.
Steph is stamping his soul onto this end.
Taking this moment and transforming it into his own personal opera. He is the conductor, arms raised, moving the audience to tears. He is the magician with eyes squinted, commanding the seas.
Stink face and all.
With the game winding down, he hit the dagger. And what a glorious dagger it was.
What a sight. What an event. The world's best player versus the league's MVP. Fighting until the end.
--- = ---
When the game was over, we sat in awe in the living room, listening to the pounding storm rattle the windowpanes.
Eventually we said our goodbyes and ran to our car. Driving down dark streets, window wipers keeping time. Beating against the rain.
The Warriors take a 3 - 2 lead headed to Cleveland with a chance to close it out.
It is almost unfathomable to imagine them as champions, but here we are. On the precipice.
Game 6. Tuesday. Let's do this.