BOSTON, Massachusetts (AP):
Even as he lay on the court, with 240-pound Celtics centre Al Horford on top of his recently recovered left ankle, Stephen Curry knew what was wrong.
And as soon as he stood up and took a few steps, he knew he would be okay.
“I’m going to play. That’s all I know right now,” the Warriors star said on Thursday, a day before Golden State will face Boston in Game four of the NBA Finals.
“I know exactly what it is,” said Curry, who hurt the same ankle on a similar play in a late-season game against Boston. “I guess (there’s) comfort knowing I’ve been through it before, but also you would rather not have to deal with something like that at this point in the season.”
Curry wound up at the bottom of a pile on Wednesday night as players from both teams dove for a loose ball late in the fourth quarter. Teammate Draymond Green said he heard Curry scream in pain, but the Warriors star remained in the game until coach Steve Kerr sent in the bench trailing by 14 with two minutes left.
The Celtics held on to win 116-100 and take a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series. Golden State need a win on Friday night to avoid falling behind 3-1 before the series shifts back to San Francisco.
A key to them avoiding the brink of elimination: Curry not just remaining healthy, but playing like a two-time NBA MVP. The Warriors guard scored 31 points in Game three, but just two of them came in the fourth quarter as the league-leading Celtics defence chased him around the court.
Golden State held a film session on Thursday, but the team’s regulars did not practice. Curry appeared to walk without a limp when he entered the media room to talk to reporters, and he took the steps to the podium three at a time. He had no bandage or brace on his leg.
Curry said he got plenty of sleep — 10 and a half hours — and spent some time with his foot in an ice bucket. But he said he did not need an MRI because the injury was the same as the one he sustained when Celtics guard Marcus Smart landed on his foot in a March 16 game in San Francisco.