Boston – There was a lot on the Golden State Warriors after their 116-100 loss to the Celtics Wednesday night in Game Three of the NBA Finals. But on top of their minds after falling behind 2-1 in the series was the stature of their co-star Stephen Curry.
With 4:16 left in the game and the Warriors regressed by 12, Curry left the pigeon to land to try and secure a loose ball. Al Horford of Boston met him, and as the two struggled to secure possession, Horford rolled over Curry’s left leg.
Carrie lay on the floor for a few minutes, writhing in pain.
“I saw him dive in the shower,” said Warriors striker Draymond Green. “So I picked up my blunder that people paid for because he’s screaming at the bottom of the heap.”
The curry came with a noticeable lameness.
“Obviously, in some pain, but I’ll be fine,” said Carey. “We’ll see how she responds. There’s not much to say. I don’t feel like I’m going to miss a match. Use the next 48 hours to prepare.”
When Curry walked in and out of the press conference room after the match, he walked very carefully, trying to avoid putting any real pressure on his left foot.
Curry said the injury felt close to what he suffered against the visiting Celtics in March, when he twisted his foot in a similar play featuring Marcus Smart. This play resulted in Curry straining his left foot – the same foot affected in Game 3 – and losing the final month of the regular season. Carey said Wednesday’s injury felt less severe.
“[Horford is] “Big body, obviously,” said Carey. “I haven’t seen the play, so I don’t know if it could have been avoided or not. I was in this situation with Marcus back in the bay, and you just want to get out of there. That’s all I was trying to do at that point, knowing the position Which I’ve been in. Like I said, for how I feel, it’s not that bad. So hopefully you’ll respond well over the next couple of days.”
“We’ll know more tomorrow,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said in a stern tone.
Losing Curry, even if only for one match, would be detrimental to the Warriors’ title hopes. Even battered curry wouldn’t bode well for the Golden State.
Through the first three games, Curry was the Warriors’ best player and the only source of consistency. In Game 3, he scored 31 points on 12 of 22, including six three-pointers. He finally got some help from Splash Brother Klay Thompson, who finished with 25 points, but that was against the largely absent Green.
Green scored only two points and failed to make any impact on the defense. He didn’t give the level of focus or intensity he gave to warriors earlier in the series. He was spoiled when he went to help Carrie in a late scrum.
“I was…,” Green said, his son beside him as he took questions from the media. Later, he called himself “Soft”.
Greene’s performance didn’t stop Celtics fans from raining down on “F— you, Draymond” all night long.
“We’ve played against rude people before,” Thompson said. “Throwing F-bombs with the kids in the crowd. Very neat. Good job, Boston.”
Golden State goalkeeper Jordan Bull contributed 10 points in a 4 of 8 shot but continued to struggle to find a meaningful way to influence his team.
Boston made Curry work every shot he took, suffocating him in defense all night long. Celtics held Curry to attempt only two games in transition after averaging five of those games per game in his first two games.
They also forced Curry off the paint, as he fired three field goal attempts from just 9 feet from the basket. (He made 12 such attempts in games 1 and 2.)
“Their people and the way they defend, they are very physical,” said Carey. “They have a method, obviously with Marcus on the ball, he’s very aggressive, and Robert [Williams III] Behind the play, they usually have a lot of length and volume on the wings.”
Because he couldn’t drive to the edge and create connection, Curry only attempted one free throw – a massive 1 penalty kick in the third quarter after it was deemed Horford didn’t give Curry enough room to land on his three-point shot.
“I don’t know why there is only one free throw,” Curry said. “I felt like there were a couple of possessions or plays that could go my way.”
The last time Curry attempted only one free throw was in a playoff in 2018.
“It’s hard to understand the flow of the game based on some of the calls that went my way where I have four calls and you have to defend a certain way because you want to stay grounded and not let that affect a game,” Curry said. “But you know, you still have to find a way to be effective no matter how the game is called, which is a good lesson to learn in the next game.”
The Warriors’ loss was not due to the free-throw disparity. (Boston shot 24 to 15 for Golden State.) But it had to be with the level of fitness the Celtics played.
Boston outperformed Golden State 47-31, including 15-6 on the offensive boards. The Celtics also outperformed the Warriors in the paint 52-26.
“That was really the main issue – point-of-attack defense,” Kerr said. “They passed us. It wasn’t based on which groups they were running in. It was just that they were coming down on us, they passed us, and that hurt us.”
The Warriors dropped by as much as 18 points in the first half. But as they have done in every game in the series, they played a massive third quarter, even taking the lead shortly after capturing seven points late in the period. But they were unable to keep them in fourth, which resulted in the Celtics closing out the game.
The Warriors know they need to find a way to play more consistently throughout the 48 minutes. They know that they need to use the power they found in Victory Game 2. They know they need to get more contributions in turns.
But they all know that none of this would really matter if Carrie wasn’t available.
“We need him if we want to win this thing,” Thompson said. “I know Steve is going to do everything in his power to play. I really hope he’s OK because he’s our identity, and without him it’s going to be very difficult.”