BOSTON — Bodies were strewn across the hardwood floor and dived after a loose ball late in Game 3 of the NBA Finals.
Stephen Curry limped out of the heap.
Draymond Green got away with his sixth foul.
The Golden State Warriors’ last chance for a comeback win ended Wednesday night with 3 1/2 minutes left in a scramble that went as the game went for the Boston Celtics. Marcus Smart grabbed the ball and the Celtics held on to beating Golden State 116-100 and leading 2-1 in the best-of-seven series.
A game after the Warriors mishandled Boston to tie the championship series 1-1, the Celtics pushed back — coming away with a 47-31 lead in rebounds and a 52-26 lead on points and leaving the Golden State’s leading scorer returns with a sore leg.
Curry said the injury was similar – “but not as bad” – to the one he sustained when Smart rolled onto his ankle during a regular-season meet in San Francisco in March. Warriors coach Steve Kerr criticized this game as “dangerous”. .”
But the two-time NBA MVP said stopping him from Game 4 on Friday night wasn’t bad enough.
“I’ll see how it reacts. However, I don’t feel like I’m going to miss a game,” Curry said. “Use the next 48 hours to prepare.”
Golden State trailed by as much as 18 points in the first half, but it was a 12-point lead for Boston when Jayson Tatum missed a jumper from the foul line. The rebound was slapped around and three Celtics and as many Warriors went down to secure the basketball.
During the scramble, Celtics center Al Horford landed on Curry’s leg. Green said he heard his teammate scream in pain and that’s why he pulled Smart away – Curry defended but caught his sixth foul.
“I saw him dive and that was it. So I caught my foul when I pushed him off because he’s yelling at the bottom of the stack,” Green said. “I will take the foul. But I will get him off his feet.”
Curry stayed on the floor while Green chewed up the ref.
“He said I ducked for someone. Stephen has put his legs up. I just asked, ‘Isn’t that the same thing?” Green said. “He told me it wasn’t the same.”
Curry stayed in the game, but after teams traded baskets to leave Boston 14 points clear, Kerr emptied his bench. Curry finished the game with a game-high 31 points.
“The injury didn’t put him out of the game but I got him out with 14 points two minutes from the end because we didn’t want to catch up,” Kerr said, adding that he had no further information about the injury report: “We will (Thursday) know more.”
Green was credited with setting the tone in Golden State’s Game 2 win with nine points, seven assists, five rebounds and one technical foul — and nearly one more. But he finished Wednesday with just two points and four rebounds.
“I was soft,” Green said, also using expletives to describe his play with his 5-year-old son, who sat next to him on the podium after the game.
“When you allow a team to be comfortable, especially at home – in front of a home crowd, it’s tough,” said Green. “We will be better. I’ll be better. Come out win Game 4. Go back 2-2.”