BOSTON — Golden State Warriors superstar Stephen Curry is set to play Game 4 of the NBA Finals on Friday.
Curry’s status was up in the air after suffering an injury late in the fourth quarter of Game 3 when Boston Celtics forward Al Horford rolled over Curry’s leg as the two dived for a loose ball.
Curry lay on the ground for a few minutes, screaming in pain, before limping to his feet. He was still walking cautiously about an hour and a half after the game when he walked in and out of the press conference room.
But on Thursday, Curry seemed to be doing just fine. The Warriors did not hold a team practice Thursday, instead using the day as a day of rest and recovery. Only players with few minutes worked on the pitch.
“[I got] about 10 1/2 hours of sleep, a few dips in the ice bucket and that’s about it for now,” Curry said of the treatment he had been doing over the previous 12 hours. use today and tomorrow to fully prepare for the Game. Get as much recovery and healing as possible and understand how important Game 4 is. I am delighted with this opportunity.”
Curry compares the injury he suffered in Game 3 to a less serious version of the sprained foot he suffered against the Celtics in March, when Marcus Smart rolled over his leg in another loose ball situation. and that he missed the last month of the regular season. .
“Because I’ve been through what I’ve been through in the regular season and coming back, I know exactly what it is and what I have to deal with and the pain, the pain level and all that,” Curry said. . “So once I got checked last night, I knew I wouldn’t have to go through any further tests just because we’ve been through this before.”
In March, it took only a few steps for Curry after the game with Smart to realize something was wrong with his foot.
“As soon as you start taking a few steps, you kind of know whether you can run normal, cut normal or not,” Curry said.
Because of that, not only did it take just a few steps for him to say he was injured on Wednesday, but he was also able to assess whether he should retire from the game immediately or if he could continue playing. It also gave him the assurance that he will be available on Friday.
“There’s a good understanding of what it is and all of that. I guess the comfort of knowing that I’ve been through it before, but also, you’d rather not have to deal with something like that at this stage of the season.”
Curry’s availability is imperative to the Warriors’ success, especially in a pivotal Game 4 that will see the Warriors tie the series again or fall behind 3-1.
The entire Golden State organization knows it. And that’s why as soon as Curry could tell his injury wasn’t serious, he declared himself available.
“I’m going to play,” he said definitively. “That’s all I know at the moment.”
In addition to a healthy Curry, the Warriors are going to need a better performance from forward Draymond Green, who described his own performance in Game 3 as “soft”, adding that he played “like s—“.
“I have to be more aggressive on both sides of the ball,” Green said. “…We’re a much better team when I’m aggressive offensively, so I have to be aggressive for this team. I’ve always prided myself on giving the team what they need to win.”
Green, who finished with just 2 points, 3 assists and 4 rebounds in 35 minutes of play, was the focal point of the Boston crowd’s anger as fans serenaded him with “F— you , Draymond!”
Green said on his podcast that his family was affected by the chants.
“It’s just about finding that balance and being Draymond Green,” he said. “I know how to be him better than anyone. I know how to be him better than anyone can be. So I just have to be myself.”
Klay Thompson said he expected Green to lead the way again, like he did in Game 2, as he flew and made his presence felt from the whistleblower.
“Draymond is here for a reason,” Thompson said. “We wouldn’t be the Warriors without Draymond. He’s one of the best players I’ve ever played with. He’s one of the smartest players I’ve ever played with. We’re all human . We’re not immune to a bad night or two.”
“But I know one thing is for sure and that is we respond like champions. I know Draymond will come out and play his typical ball brand which is very physical, fast, talks trash and is just the Money Green whom the Dub Nation loves so much and has taken us to heights the franchise has never seen before.”
ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk contributed to this story